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[The Damron Hotel Fire, 18 of 21: Individual in Front of the Burning Hotel]
The Damron Hotel, built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort, burned completely on December 22, 1975. Shown here is another view of the front entrance to the hotel as flames burst through the front wall of the building. The gesturing individual with the hard hat has not been identified.
Colonial Hotel
The Colonial Hotel at 115 W. Hubbard Street was built by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife, who would not live in the country, despite the fact that he had bought a ranch (near Mineral wells) of five thousand acres about the year 1900. The hotel was traded to Agnew and Bessie Damron for a ranch about 1917, and its name was changed to The Damron Hotel. The popular hotel burned down December 22, 1975 along with several other adjoining businesses.
[A Joint Meeting of Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs]
This photograph is found in A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells...", first edition, on page 101. The caption reads, "Inside the Damron Hotel at a joint meeting of Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. Dr. McCracken is third from the right." Dr. Joseph Hill McCracken was President of the Texas Medical Association in 1911. The Damron Hotel, in the 100 block between West Hubbard and Southwest1st Street, burned in 1975.
"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"
This is a photograph of a building with a sign that says, "Famous Mineral Wells Crystal Plant." There is a hill, covered in trees, behind the building. Writing at the bottom of the image reads: "Where Famous Crystals Are Made." Ed Dismuke, a druggist from Waco, came to Mineral Wells for his health after his family physician told him he only had a "short time" to live. After miraculously regaining his health, which he credited to the mineral waters of his new hometown, he sold water by the drink at the Damron Hotel, later opening his own company, The Famous Water Company. He also opened The Famous Mineral Crystal Plant on the east side of Lake Pinto in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith. The two also organized The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway with its two gasoline-powered "dinky cars" named "Esther" and "Susie" after Smith's daughters. This is a picture of the plant where Famous Crystals, labeled "Pronto Lax" were made. Dismuke had outlived the doctors who had told him he only had a short time to live when he died at the age of ninety-four.
The Health Resort Quarterly, 3 of 4: Pages 2 and 3
Listed on this page are articles extolling the qualities of local mineral water, the mineral water baths, and the year-round climate of the city. Advertisements defining the grades of water offered by The Carlsbad Water Company and the amenities offered by The Damron Hotel are also to be found on these pages.
Hotel Damron, Mineral Wells, Texas
This picture shows a post-card view of the Damron Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was built in 1906 as The Colonial Hotel by rancher J.T. Holt, a rancher whose ranch of five thousand acres was near Mineral Wells. Nonetheless, she would not live in the country. The hotel was traded around 1917 to Agnew and Bessie Damron. The hotel burned completely in 1978.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 19 of 21, Two People Looking South from North]
The Damron Hotel was built as the Colonial Hotel in 1906 during the heyday of Mineral Wells as a popular resort city. It burned completely on December 22, 1975. This picture shows the front entrance under a dark plume of black smoke, with flames breaking through the upper floors of the front wall. Two people (one with a hard hat, and one without)stand observing the proceedings.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 20 of 21: Different View of the Fire]
Shown here is yet another view of fire at the Damron Hotel, December 22, 1975 is shown here. The hotel was located in the 109 W. Hubbard Street. The fire also destroyed Davidson Hardware, which was in the same building, and damaged Pemberton's ( nearby appliance store) and George's Man's shop a well as damaging the back of Hill's Style Shop.
[Art Weaver 's Studio]
This is a photograph of the 400 block of North Oak Avenue, showing various storefronts including Art Weaver Photography (412 North Oak Avenue), adjacent to and right of the Grand theater (formerly the Crazy Theater). The Baker Hotel is in the background on the skyline at the far right of the picture. The street is not really curved--it is the lens of the camera that took the photograph that makes it look so.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 21 of 21: An Early Stage, Looking East, Smoke Billowing]
Here is a view of the Damron Hotel (formerly located at 109 W. Hubbard Street)during the early stages of the fire (on December 22, 1975) that completely destroyed it. It was a popular hotel during the heyday of Mineral Wells--through the "Roaring Twenties", the Great Depression and World War II.
The Famous Water Pavilion--Damron Hotel
The Famous Water Wells maintained a pavilion in the lobby of the Damron Hotel, where guests could partake of mineral water. This hotel was located on the corner of W. Hubbard Street and SW 1st Street. It burned down in 1975.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 11 of 21: Fighting the Fire on W. Hubbard St.]
Shown here is another picture in the series of photographs of the fire that destroyed the Damron Hotel during the holiday season of 1975. This smoke-shrouded scene of W. Hubbard, shows the front entrance to the hotel in the earlier stages of the fire's progress. The Damron was built in 1906, during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort spa. It burned completely on December 22,1975. The hotel's name was changed in 1917 when Mr. Holt (who had built the hotel) traded it to Agnew and Bessie Damron. It was a very popular hotel through the "Roaring Twenties", the Great Depression and World War II.
The Bethesda Bath House
This is a photograph of the Bethesda Bath House was formerly located 406 N. Oak, with the top of the front of Chautauqua (to the northeast of the bath house) visible over the top of the roof's gable at the left side of the building. It was, apparently, a private house as the architecture is Queen Anne--spindle-work sub-type. The Bethesda Bath House apparently contained the office of Dr. G. W. Hubbard. Bathing in the mineral waters was considered a health treatment, and was recommended by local doctors. There is a structure seen behind the bath house in the lower right quadrant of the photograph. This may have been the doctor's residence.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 15 of 21: Passenger Cars on a Back Street]
The Damron Hotel, built in 1906 during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort spa, burned completely on December 22, 1975. It was located at 109 W. Hubbard Street. This picture shows the dense cloud of smoke that resulted from the holiday catastrophe. Westbound traffic on .S. Highway 180 had to be re-routed in order to avoid the clutter of debris that littered the street.
[Bathing Beauties]
Three young women lounge at the "old" Mineral Wells City Pool. The woman on the right was Jill Hickey, Mineral Wells High School graduate of 1966, later Jill Hickey Moore of Stafford, Texas. This photograph, judging by the women's hair-do's, appears to have been taken in the 1960's.
The Avalon
The Avalon Hotel was located at NW 3rd Street and NW 3rd Avenue. The architecture of the building seems to be Queen Anne. Assembled here in front of the hotel is a group of people, possibly hotel guests. Judging by the graininess of the picture, and the clothing of the people, it must have been taken about the early decades if the twentieth century. A reversed-image of this picture appears on page 100 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition 1975.
[The Austin Well]
This photograph shows the Austin Well as it was in 1974. A legend on the back of photograph reads: "Looking south shows remains of Austin Well in the foreground with the remains of what used to be the crystal plant. Across the street may be seen the St Regis box plant." The former Crazy Water Crystal plant, at the left edge of the picture, is now [2009] the St. Regis box factory This well is associated with a unique and romantic history: It was dug by a Mr. Austin, who claimed to have "Sore eyes", so that he had difficulty riding a horse. The horse, however, faithfully led him to a well where Mr. Austin soothed his eyes. He saw improvement after six weeks; and moved to Mineral Wells, where he drilled a well of his own. A cowboy rode a blind mare into Mineral Wells and auctioned her off for a dollar and a half. Mr. Austin acquired the horse, and put her to work drawing water from the well by turning a wheel to which was attached a rope, which with each revolution of the wheel, pulled a bucket of water from the well to ground level. Nellie was trained to pause at a point in her circular route long enough for the bucket to be emptied, then continue on to pull up the next bucket when it was filled. Blind Nellie was retired in her old age, but continued to walk a similar circular route in the pasture to which she was retired, pausing in each revolution, as before, until her death in 1912. Texas Packaging Company, Incorporated, has occupied the box plant since 1980.
[Bank of Mineral Wells]
This picture shows the interior of the Bank of Mineral Wells. Collie Smith, L.E. Hamen, and someone named only "O'Neal" are shown in the cages. Please note the cuspidors and the potted plants. The bank went out of business in 1924. The building was then used by Ball Drugs, and then by Massengale's Appliances. The building was eventually torn down, to make room for a parking lot in the downtown area. It is featured in "Time was in Mineral Wells" on page 148.
[The Damron Hotel Fire, 14 of 21: Drifting Smoke From the Fire]
The Damron Hotel, which was built during the days that Mineral Wells was a popular resort city, burned completely on December 22, 1975. It was located 109 W. Hubbard Street. This photograph was taken from about a block away from the scene, and shows the dense cloud of smoke that resulted from the fire. The hotel was built in 1906 by rancher J. T. Holt [who was born in 1841, and who died in 1919] (A business leader in Mineral Wells, who was partner with a Mr. Shirley [who was born in 1869, and who died in 1934]. They opened, in 1907, a general store in Graford, which they ran as a branch of a store already in Mineral Wells) for his second wife because she insisted that she would not live in the country. Originally named the Colonial Hotel, the name was changed in 1917 when Mr. Holt traded it to Agnew and Bessie Damron for a ranch. In its heyday, both the Kiwanis and the Rotary Service Clubs once met in its dining room.
The American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp at Their 1933 Convention in Chicago
This much-battered picture has obviously been pinned to a cork-board in order for it to be made into a photograph. Enough of the legend at its bottom survives to proclaim that the picture commemorates the attendance of the Drum and Bugle Corps of Mineral Wells' Farris Anderson Post No. 75, at a national convention of the the American Legion, in Chicago, Illinois, on October 2-5, 1933. The photograph was taken, the legend states, compliments of the Majestic Hotel. Please note: The American Legion provided the following names to accompany the picture: David Burnswick,[sic] Director; Paul Grable, Drum Major; Tommie Burns, Trumpet; James W. Calvert, Trumpet; E.M. Davidson, Trumpet; Lawrence Davis, Trumpet; Sam Goldman, Trumpet; Jack Armstrong, Trumpet; Bob Echols,[sic] Clarinet; (?) Davidson, Clarinet; Lloyd Kendall, Clarinet; Bob Irvine, Clarinet; (?)Brady, Piccolo; Arly (?) Bolfour,[sic] S. Drums, B. Drums; Dan Raeffell,[sic] Bass; W.E. Davis, Bass; Roy Prince, Trombone; Vaughan Davis, Trombone; (?) Trombone; Franz Schubert, Baritone; Alex Pavlovsky, Horn; W. W. Woodward. Horn; George Oliver, Horn; Bill Chancellor, Color Bearer; W.H.H. Smith, Color Bearer; Allan Wallace, Color Guard; George Barber, Color Guard. This band was awarded a state championship three times.
[A Bird's Eye-view of Mountains in the Distance]
llustrated here is a view of Mineral Wells from the southeast, looking northwest. On the left, the large building in front of the hill is the Chautauqua, built by public subscription in 1905. It was demolished sometime about 1912. The large white building near the edge at the left middle of the picture was the First Baptist Church, which served the congregation from 1900 to 1920. The dim building under the hill at the upper right of the picture is the East Ward School (Mineral Wells' first High School), built in 1906 and closed in 1926. Please note the windmills in the backyards.
[A Man With a plow]
A note on back of photograph states that it shows preparation for paving the brick highway from Mineral Wells to Millsap. The note contains the name D. M. Shrum, but does not indicate that it is the person in the photograph. The brick highway to Millsap was part of the nation's first transcontinental highway, the Bankhead highway, from mile zero in Washington, D.C. to San Diego in California. It was built through Mineral Wells in about 1921.
Cafe Royal
Only a caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the N.W. corner of NW 1st Avenue and 3rd Streets, was known as the W.E. Mayes Building. Upstairs rooms were rented under the name of the "Carlsbad Hotel" in recognition of the nearby Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion at the opposite (or NE) corner of the block: 700 NW 2nd Avenue. (The first edition of "Time Was in Mineral Wells", page 105, identifies it as the Wells Hotel.)
[Men on Horseback and a Horse-drawn Wagon]
Men are shown here,sitting on horses, while another one sits in a wagon in front of the Holt Hardware Store. The sign hanging on the hardware store sign reads "Tin Shop." A sign to the left of the hardware store reads "Saddle and Harness Shop." A note with the picture states "Joe Myers on Left. William Louis Myers in wagon. Father and grandfather of Julia Myers Thompson." "1904" is written on back of photograph.
A Jinricksha
Notes that accompany the photograph read: "Picture taken near the top of the thousand steps which used to climb East Mountain up NE 3rd Street. Path can still be seen going up the side of the mountain at this point." The souvenir picture was taken in the 1930's, and is believed to have been taken at the photographer's cabin, where the winding donkey trail formerly crossed the steps.
A Map of the City of Mineral Wells
A plat of the city of Mineral Wells, prior to 1920. The names of the streets were changed after 1920.
[The Gibson Well]
The Gibson Well was located on the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue. In 1888, the label on a bottle of "Natural Gibson Well Water" boasted cures for "constipation, rheumatism, female complaints, nervousness, calculi, stomach, liver, kidney & bladder disorders." Please note the crossing of the "WMW&NW RR" tracks and the "Dinky Car" tracks in the left foreground of the picture.
[An Early Delivery Truck]
An early delivery truck, whose wording (on the side reads) "R.O. Norman, Tailor, Cleaning & Pressing, phone 514", is shown here. Note the vertical windshield, and the crank on the front of the truck. Note also the 3-digit telephone number on the side of the truck.
[A Mineral Wells Orchestra]
Shown here is a clipping from a newspaper, showing the Mineral Wells Orchestra. Members are, top row: John Nance, Jeff Reimar, John (last name unknown) and an unidentified mandolin player; middle row is a string guitar quartet consisting of: Mrs. J.E. Johnson, Mrs. R. L. Yeager, Mrs. P. E. Bock, and an unidentified fourth lady; front row: Mrs. J.D. Cranford, John Muns, an unidentified person (perhaps a trombonist), and Mrs. I. N. Wynn. The clipping was cut short; some information is clearly missing.
[Women in a Truck]
An unknown group of six women is shown posing on a truck. The type of truck is also not known. There are two photographs of this group of women with not a clue concerning who they might have been. The Bimini Bath House (and a horse-drawn wagon) are in the background. See also, the photograph "Five Women on Bridge."
[A Park Gathering]
Three unknown men and seven unknown women gather in a park in front of the Gibson Well Drinking Pavilion in the early part of the twentieth century--presumably by the appearance of their clothes. Please observe the parasol that the lady on the right front is holding. The pavilion was located in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue, a site now occupied by the First Christian Church. The exact date of the photograph is unknown.
Service Club, Camp Wolters, Texas
An illustration of the Service Club at Camp Wolters, which was located just outside Mineral Wells, Texas is shown here. Once the largest Infantry Replacement Training Center during World War II, Camp [later Fort] Wolters was re-opened during the Korean Conflict, and again during the Vietnam War. This portrait of the service club is probably a photograph taken from an old picture postcard.
[A Mini-Park]
The women of Mineral Wells beautified the town by planting vacant lots. This "Mini-park" was located in the 200 block of Hubbard Street, and is now [2008] a parking lot adjacent to Murray's Grill.
[The Brick Highway Between Mineral Wells and Weatherford]
The 1936 ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new brick highway between Weatherford and Mineral Wells, now U.S. Highway 180, is depicted here. This photograph was taken just seconds before the photograph found on page 97 of A. F. Weaver's book, "TIME WAS..." 2nd edition. Some of the dignitaries in the photograph are Allen Wallace, W.A. Ross, Pat Corrigan and Paul Woods. The new highway to Weatherford began at the 900 block of East Hubbard, and the bricks to fashion the highway were hand-laid by two strong Negro men.
[The Road to Mineral Wells]
The 1936 opening of the brick highway from Mineral Wells to Weatherford, now known as Highway US 180. This was a Works Project Administration (WPA) highway, built during the early "Great Depression" recovery period. The photograph is looking west toward Mineral Wells, and the Baker Hotel may be seen faintly on the horizon at left center of the picture.
[The Brick Road East of Mineral Wells]
The brick highway (emphatically not yellow brick!) east of Mineral Wells (the Bankhead Highway) was the nation's first transcontinental highway, beginning at milepost 0 on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and ending at San Diego, California. Bricks for it in this area were made in Thurber, Texas (on the Palo Pinto/Erath county line). All bricks were laid by two (some say one) black masons. Bricks made in Thurber were also used to build the seawall at Galveston after the disastrous hurricane of 1900, to pave the streets of Fort Worth, and even Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.
[Mineral Wells High School's First Graduating Class, 1903]
Shown in this picture are, from left to right: Maggie McDaniel, Annabel Cushman, Myra Hunt Oliver and (Valedictorian) Ferdinand "Doc" Howard. The title of his valedictory address was "The Electrical Age." The diplomas were presented by Judge F.C. Highsmith. This photograph is to be found in the second edition of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver on page 189.
[Mrs. Yokley Entertained the "Aid"]
A group of people sit and stand on the elaborately-decorated porch of a house. Written on the back are the following notes: Mrs. Yokley entertaining the "Aid." Standing - Mrs. Mollie Yokley, Mrs. John Beetham, Mrs. M. E. Paren (mother of Mrs. Bock), Mrs. M. Raines (mother of Mrs. McCracken), Mrs. Lock (a neighbor), Mrs. Veal and Nila, Mrs. J. H. McCracken. Sitting - Mrs. Provine, Mrs. Schneider, Mrs. Galbraith and Ann Lock, Mrs. Charles Harris, Mrs. G Montcastle, Mrs. W. L. Kearnes, Mrs. R. E. Bock, Mrs. Rosa Stevenson (a Dear Friend), Miss Lula Giraud (teacher and friend). Children - Bobby Provine, Edna Bock (on Pastor's lap), Drua Yokley and John C. Provine. J. W. McCall, Pastor.
[The Mineral Wells Convention Hall and the Hexagon Hotel]
The Hexagon was the first electrically-lighted hotel in Mineral Wells. The Convention Hall was built, in part, on the foundation of the Hexagon's DC power plant. The Convention Hall was built for the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention, which was held in 1925.
[The Baker Hotel: A Picture Taken From the South Window of the Hexagon Hotel]
A note with this photograph states: "Photo taken out of top floor south window of Hexagon Hotel. Photo re-printed in 1977. Photo probably taken 1954 due to penciled in date on back." (Also, the building in the lower left corner of the picture still bears the "USO" sign of World War II.) See also "Hexagon Hotel" [with history]. In front of the Baker Hotel stands the "Old" Post Office, now the Ladies Garden Club Building. The Crazy Hotel can be seen between the right edge of the picture and the spire attached atop one of the gables of the Hexagon Hotel.
[A Model of Hexagon Hotel--and Elizabeth Sickels]
Illustrated here is picture of a model of the Hexagon Hotel (and the only living daughter of David Galbraith, Elizabeth Sickels) that was taken about 1977. The model is now located in the Mineral Wells Historical Association's Rock School House.
[The Hexagon Hotel]
The popular Hexagon Hotel, built in 1897, was the first structure in Mineral Wells to be electrically-lit. Electricity was supplied by a DC power plant next door. It was located at 701 N. Oak, and was torn down September 1959. This photograph is found on page 177 of "Time Was.." 2nd Ed. by A. F. Weaver.
The Hexagon Hotel [With History]
Construction of the Hexagon Hotel was started in 1895 and completed in 1897. It was constructed of long-leaf yellow pine; the exterior was cypress siding, and the roof was covered with hand-split cypress shingles. The interior was of "Heart of Pine" (The hardest that could be found) wood. According to Winnie Beatrice McAnelly Fiedler (A thesis presented...to University of Texas.. for the Degree of M.A....) Galbraith purchased the lot No. 19 in the Wiggins Addition for $1,500. It was opened in 1897 and its telephone number was "6." Galbraith died in 1927. All the stone work was done by two English stone-masons. The building was constructed with pegs and square nails. The four staircases inside spiraled down through the five floors. The lobby floor was covered with hexagon-shaped tan, brown and blue tiles. The rooms were hexagon-shaped with a bath between every two rooms. The hotel was torn down for the materials in the building in September 1959. (This information is found on page 106 "Time Was in Mineral Wells" by A.F. Weaver) The hotel was sold, for a brief time, to the Caldwell family, and it was dubbed "The Caldwell-Hexagon Hotel." It advertised under that name in the Jacksboro "Gazette" of June 4, 1914, stating that it had its own "Deep well, fresh water." Rates were given at $12.50 per week. The "Palo Pinto County Star (Mineral Wells, Tex.)" remarks (in 1966) that "Rates in season were $1.50 per day; out of season, $1.00 per day, which included bath privileges. Meals were available at nearby hotels." The "Star" goes on to relate that the Hexagon Hotel was converted into apartments at some time prior to its utter demolition, but it does not say exactly when this conversion was made.
Boating on Pinto Lake, Mineral Wells
This appears to be a photograph of an old postcard entitled "Boating on Pinto Lake, Mineral Wells." It shows a boating party taking a cruise by motor boat, which was an activity enjoyed by many tourists to this area. The picture appeared in the Daily Mineral Wells Index on May 6, 1902, but no date was assigned the picture.
[The Hexagon Hotel Staircase]
The Hexagon Hotel had four staircases that spiraled down through its five floors. The interior trim was of "heart of pine"--a hardwood, despite its name. Pegs and square nails were used in the construction. The building was designed in a honeycomb pattern to maximize ventilation for the comfort of the guests. See also: Hexagon Hotel [with history] for further details.
Strange Structure [article]
An article written by Maid J. Neal, in an unknown publication, describes in detail the construction and design of the Hexagon Hotel, which was built in 1895-1897 by D. G. Galbraith. See also "Hexagon Hotel" [with history] for further details.
[The Hexagon Hotel]
A picture of the Hexagon Hotel. See also "Hexagon Hotel [with history]." This picture was taken in 1925. Note the construction of the Convention Hall beside the Hexagon Hotel on the right. The Convention Hall was demolished in 1977
[The Hexagon Hotel Stairwell]
This picture shows the staircase in the Hexagon Hotel taken from the top floor. A view of the first-floor lobby can be seen at the lower middle of the picture with the stairs spiraling from floor to floor down to the ground level. A writer in the Palo Pinto County Star (Mineral Wells, Tex.) in 1966 remarked that "[A]s one entered the lobby once could see the stairways as they encircled each floor giving a gallery effect." See also: "Hexagon Hotel [with history]" for further details.
[A Letter from Mrs. William Wehunt to A.F. Weaver]--dated to About 2002
The letter shown is from "Mrs. William Wehunt", who was the former Katherine Brookshire, whose father owned a furniture store in Mineral Wells. The bank referred to in the letter is believed to have been the Bank of Mineral Wells, that failed in 1924. It had been Mineral Wells' first bank. The Brookshire family of Mineral Wells is believed to be distantly related to the founder of the chain of Brookshire grocery stores.
[The Hexagon Hotel], Southside
This photograph is a cleaned-up version, by A.F. Weaver, of the Hexagon Hotel, at approximately the time of its completion. (The site has been cleaned, and the trash removed.) Construction of the Hexagon Hotel started in 1895, and it opened for business in 1897, to ameliorate Mineral Wells' torrid summertime heat years before air-conditioning became available, its design was such that it could catch every vagrant breeze, and cool the hotel. A DC generating plant (seen behind and to the left of the hotel) furnished power to an electric light in each room. It was the first electrically-lighted hotel in Mineral Wells. the plant was operational when the hotel opened. There was also a steam laundry and an ice house, as well. The ice house produced its first block of ice in 1903. The builder/owner, Mr. David G. Galbraith (along with five other men) held the patent for acetate. Mr. Galbraith was a prominent cattleman from Colorado City, Texas. He came to Mineral Wells in hopes of curing a sever attack of rheumatism. He took the baths, and found that they helped him, so he decided to remain in Mineral Wells, and open a hotel. The original photograph, included in the A.F. Weaver collection, shows evidence of construction-related activity and debris along NW Holland Street (now [2007]: NE 6th Street).