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The "Gibson Well" Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a picture of the first Gibson Well drinking pavilion. Located in the 700 block of what is now NW 2nd Avenue, it was one of the first drinking pavilions in the city. An expanded pavilion replaced the one in this picture, and it became one of the more popular social gathering places in town. The Christian Church now [2008] occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was located.
Date: 1900?

Texas Carlsbad Well [ 2 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: An early picture (probably taken from a newspaper) of the Texas Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue. It stood across the street west of the Crazy Well and its first Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The large, two story Second Crazy Pavilion, built adjacent, and to the south of the first one, faced west toward the Carlsbad. The Carlsbad had been replaced by a brick structure by 1909. Stained glass windows were later added to the building that depicted Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water that "Makes a man love HIS wife. "Makes a wife love HER husband, "Robs the divorce court of its business, "Takes the temper out of red-headed people, "Puts ginger into ginks and pepper into plodders." (Please see the picture one down, but one, for a better view of it.) This is the second picture of this image. The first one has been cropped, and does not show the outer parts of the picture. The third one is a slightly clearer picture. A colophon on the lower left corner reads: "Evans Photo Min Wells Tex"
Date: 1905?

[A Mineral Wells Advertisement]

Description: A 1906 seasonal advertisement, compliments Central Texas Realty Association, depicts a young lady (An Art Nouveau goddess?) half-kneeling within a frame that suggests stained glass. She is holding a water jug, from which pours a stream of healing elixir that splashes into the lowermost center of the brochure. Decorative scrolls reminiscent of wrought iron sculpture decorate the advertisement. Stars, both in the advertisement and on the lady's tiara, hint that Mineral Wells is the City of Light. What appears to be a coffee stain shows at the upper left. Someone has penciled "1905" in the upper right corner.
Date: 1906

[The Cumberland Presbyterian Church]

Description: Shown here is a picture of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On the back of picture is written "901 N.Oak [.] Sold to Church of Christ [.] Demolished and rebuilt." The streetcar tracks, which ran from 1907 to 1913 are visible on N. Oak in front of the church. The denomination takes its name from Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. A sub-sect of Presbyterianism--based on an Arminian interpretation of Calvinism--was begun at the church there. A Cumberland Presbyterian church is advertised as being in Newberry at the present [2014] time. The picture was taken before North Oak Avenue was paved in 1914. The Church of Christ still [2008] occupies this location on N. Oak Avenue.
Date: 1907/1913?

"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"

Description: 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.
Date: 1905?

[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

Description: A caption, taken from "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, on page 116 states: "Pictured in 1908 is Frank Richards, owner of the first motorcycle bought in Mineral Wells. D. C. Harris owned the second motorcycle." Frank Richards was the manager of the Star Well during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular health spa, and the boy on the motorbike with him has been identified as his son, Robert Frank Richards. D. C. Harris was the postmaster, and served as Mayor of the city at one time.
Date: 1908

Looking south on Mesquite Street

Description: A street scene, identified as Mesquite Street (now NE 1st Avenue)and looking south, taken at the turn of the twentieth century, shows businesses that antedate the coming of the automobile. On the right, in the middle of the picture, the Yeager Building is shown with a stone lion mounted on its roof. Many historians now refer to this building as the Lion Drug Store. However, current Yeager descendants now living in Mineral Wells do not remember the store as ever being named anything but The Yeager Drug Store. The third building on the left (with the spire on top) was the Star Well whose manager, Frank Richards was an active participant in Mineral Wells' early business and social activities. At the end of the street is Mineral Wells depot built in 1902. Absence of the "Dinky Car" tracks in the middle of the street indicates that the picture was taken prior to the building of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway in 1905.
Date: 1902-05?

Lithia Wells

Description: The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current [2008]location of the Crazy Retirement Home). The second Crazy Well Pavilion is the large building the upper left of the photograph. Note the three burros next to the horse. Riding burros up a trail on East Mountain was a popular tourist pastime, in addition to drinking and bathing in the mineral waters. The Mineral Wells Public Library was located in the Lithia Pavilion at one time. See also the preceding picture.
Date: 1908?

Vichy Well Natatorium

Description: An off-season (Winter?) picture of the Vichy Well Natatorium, once located in the 600 block of North Oak Avenue, where North Oak Community Center now [2008] stands is illustrated here. The picture is dated the time around 1900. The Vichy well featured a swimming pool, which it labelled a "Natatorium." Later improvements, when the name was changed to The Standard Well, included a motion-picture theater and a pavilion for dancing. (Note the Dr. A.W. Thompson residence and the Mineral Wells Sanitarium on the right skyline.) A USO was built on this location In World War II for white servicemen at Camp Wolters. The USO building was turned over to the city at the end of the war, and became known as the North Oak Community Center. Preservation efforts are underway [in 2008] to restore the Community Center.
Date: 1900?

Exchange Hotel

Description: [The] Exchange Hotel (also known as [The]Plateau in 1909, and later as the Hospital) was built on the site of the Cliff House, which was destroyed by fire. The house to the right was built in 1896 by Dr. A. W. Thompson as a wedding present for his second wife. The Mineral Wells Post Office was built on the vacant lot at the left of the hotel in 1912. The Hotel presents something of a conundrum. An annotation without date states that the Exchange Hotel was destroyed by fire and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. A notation of 1902 states that the Plateau Hotel was the only brick hotel. A 1907 map shows the Hotel as being at 207 East Coke (Now NE 2nd Avenue) Street. In 1909, a St. Paul Sanitarium was listed at 118 NE 7th Street. .A map of 1912 shows the Plateau Hotel as still being in existence. The city directory of 1920 shows no building in the 200 block--except for the Post Office. A Mineral Wells City Directory of 1924 listed the former Exchange/Plateau building as the Mineral Wells Sanatorium. Dr. A.W. Thompson was still living in the house to the right at the time. In 1924, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed as being at 211 NE 2nd Street, and a Hotel Wilson (with no room for a third building) at 211 NE 2nd Street. In 1928, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed at 211 NE 2nd Street. By 1937, there was no listing in the City Directory. It is presumed that the Hotel/Hospital was finally demolished.
Date: 1900?

Mosquito Street, Looking North, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a postcard, reading "Mosquito Street [actually Mesquite Street], Looking North, Mineral Wells, Texas." Please note the Chautauqua Theater (1905-1912) at the end of the street. This picture was taken before street car tracks were installed in 1907. Also note the the absence of cars on the street--only horses and buggies.
Date: 1905/1906

[Mineral Wells Firemen , about 1907]

Description: An undated, hand-written note, in what appears to be Mr. Weaver's writing, and attached to the print says that it is "Sam Smith's Picture." In another person's handwriting, a second note states, "MW [Mineral Wells] firemen at McLendon and Burch Feed Store--where Brookshire Furniture store now is (213 SE 1st Street). Burned out between 1907 and 1915. Front Row: Guy Croft, Henry Russell, J W (Buck) Thomas, Jube Warren, Holland Cogdell, Bill Deck (mask on), Bob Bozzell, Oscar Bish -Chief- , John Moore. Top Row - John Gill, Ben McGowen, D.E. Odell, Henry Briley, Arthur Ford, Arthur Howard, C.H. Alexander, Henry Hester, J.W. Birdwell, Ernest Wallace, Reginald Cogdell (driver). 18 are known to be deceased." Then, in Mr. Weaver's handwriting again, "All but three deceased." There is another note subtracting 1907 from 1973, with 66 as the result. The photograph possibly dates from 1907, and Mr. Weaver's notes to 1973.
Date: 1907?

Texas Carlsbad Well [3 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, was one of the early mineral water wells in Mineral Wells. It was located directly across the street, and west of the first Crazy Water Well drinking pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS wife, Makes a wife love HER husband, Robs the divorce court of its business, Takes the temper out of red-headed people, Puts ginger into ginks and pepper into plodders." The Carlsbad Pavilion is prominent in several pictures taken in 1908, but this structure was demolished and replaced with a brick structure in 1911. This picture is slightly cropped but it is slightly sharper in certain areas than the previous two pictures.
Date: 1905?

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is an early picture of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion, located in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue. Note the horse and buggy. Note also the condition of the (unpaved) street. Finally, please note the "Dinky Car" track in the lower right corner of the picture. The gasoline-powered motor cars traveled at fifteen-minute intervals between the city and Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1909. The tracks remained in place some years after. The Gibson Well pavilion was expanded and a park was added on its west. The Christian Church (built of limestone rocks from the historic cattle pens on Dillingham Prairie) now occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was formerly located.
Date: 1908?

Texas Carlsbad Well

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well, 415 N.W. 1st Avenue is illustrated, this picture taken about around 1908. This first Carlsbad pavilion was directly across N.W. 1st Avenue, west of the second Crazy well pavilion. The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway ran down N.W. 1st Avenue between the two pavilions from 1905 to 1909 providing service each 1/4 hour to Lake Pinto. The "Ben Hur" gasoline-powered motor cars were the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars" in service on the tracks that are visible in this picture. This picture can be found on page 82 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS ... ", first edition. A second pavilion, a modern brick structure, was added in 1909 and the original wooden building was later removed. The second pavilion was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for its Laundry and Dry Cleaning during World War II.
Date: 1908?

Lower End of Mesquite St.

Description: A view of Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue), taken in 1910, and looking south-east. The scene shows horse-drawn wagons loaded with cotton bales. Electrical lines are visible. The building at the northeast corner of East Hubbard Street and South Mesquite Street is the D.M. Howard Block. D. M Howard was the first of five Howard brothers to come to Mineral Wells and establish businesses. There was a Dry Goods store on the left end of the building, a millinery shop above it, and a grocery store was in the building to the right. Later the J.M. Belcher Furniture occupied the building; and still later, R&W Furniture. Demolition of the building began March 17 of 1975 to make room for the Savings and Loan Building and a parking lot. The First State Bank now [2007] occupies this entire block.
Date: 1900-05?

[Newspaper Clipping of Mineral Wells School, Texas]

Description: A newspaper clipping with a photograph of a Mineral Wells School. This clipping had been mounted in a scrapbook, and the legible portion of the caption says, "Mineral Wells School, Texas." The whole caption read: Mineral Wells College. [sic]--A School for Both Sexes The building, which the Weatherford Democrat of September 12, 1895 says would be built in Mineral Wells (It would have been in Romanesque architecture), was to offer "Classical, Scientific, English, Music, Elocution, and Art Courses" . Professor J. McCracken was the head of the school. The building was never built, because the state provided education up to (but not including) college. A need for further education was not felt. .
Date: 1902?