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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[The Gibson Well- - Souvenir Photograph]

Description: This picture appears to be a souvenir photograph of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion and park, one of the earliest mineral water supply spots in Mineral Wells. It grew into one of the larger parks and pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed here every quarter-hour (from 1905 to 1909) on their journey to and from Lake Pinto. The Crazy Industries had acquired the property by 1938, and it became known as Crazy Park, a beautiful botanical park. The mineral water industry became a victim of the FDA and the wartime activities during World War II. As a result, the mineral water pavilions, along with other parts of the local health industry, died a slow death. The First Christian Church now occupies the site of the Gibson pavilion.
Date: 1910?

Gibson Well

Description: The discovery of mineral water, and its reported healing powers, sparked an influx of health-seeking visitors in 1881-82. A flurry of drilling activity resulted in incorporation of the city of Mineral Wells in 1882, as water was sought to satisfy the booming market; so much so that no one remembers the order in which the wells were drilled. The Gibson well, however, was one of the early ones. Located at 705 NW 2nd Avenue, it grew into one of the largest parks and drinking pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed by it every quarter-hour, from 1905 to 1909, on their journeys to and from Lake Pinto. The Gibson property was acquired by the Crazy. It was known as the Crazy Park in 1938, and it was made into a beautiful botanical garden. It is currently the site of the First Christian Church.
Date: 1910?

Oak Street , Looking South

Description: We have here a picture of Oak Street, looking South. The Poston Company and the Palace Saloon are easily visible in photograph. The wording "Fishburn Dallas" appears on the photograph. The unpaved street, several horses and wagons in picture date the picture to an era before 1914, when the street was paved.
Date: 1910?

Standard Park

Description: The Standard Park not only had a swimming pool, but a movie theater and dancing pavilion, as well, for the entertainment of health-seekers. A trolley to it operated at 600 North Oak Street from 1907 to 1913. (Note the Kingsley Hotel above and left of the Standard, built into the side of East Mountain--later destroyed by fire.) First known as the Vichy Well and Natatorium, then later as the Beach, the Standard was torn down in World War II; and a USO Club was built here for soldiers at Camp Wolters. The USO building was given to the city after the war, and renamed the North Oak Community Center. The Crazy Water Festival Committee is currently [2003] attempting to restore the Community Center.
Date: 1913?

Mineral Wells High School

Description: We have here a view from the south of Mineral Wells' High School, built in 1915 at 101 NW 5th Avenue. This side of the building faces W. Hubbard Street. The tower atop the West Ward School can be seen below the skyline, and to the left, above the high school. (The West Ward school was torn down in 1930.)
Date: 1915?/1930?

Pat-Ike

Description: An inscription at the bottom of the photograph reads "Pat--Ike." The "Ike" presumably refers to Ike Zablosky, who came from Russia to Philadelphia in 1890. He and his wife, Fanny Jaffee, later moved to Mineral Wells for health reasons where he became involved in the fur-and-hide business. Zablosky once described the northwest part of Palo Pinto County as a "'Possum kingdom"; hence the first flood-control lake on the Brazos River was named Possum Kingdom Lake. (The story is that it was named that by president Franklin Roosevelt himself.) Zabloski sponsored a local baseball team. He bought a Texas League franchise, when it became available, after he moved to Dallas. It was to become Dallas' first professional baseball team. He pioneered the founding of city farm teams, and acted as umpire and coach. The last name of the "Pat" in the photograph is unknown. He was associated with a team known as the White Sox, which held spring training in Mineral Wells in 1911 and again from 1915-1917. This picture is dated 1917.
Date: 1917

[The Crazy Hotel Lobby]

Description: This picture shows the First Crazy Hotel Lobby in 1913. The first Crazy Hotel was built in two sections; the first section, which contained this lobby, was built in 1912. The second section was added in 1914, and joined to the first with the two sections sharing this same sky-lighted lobby. A fire on March 15, 1925 destroyed the first Crazy Hotel along with all the other businesses in this block. The second Crazy Hotel, covering the entire city block, opened in 1927. It is now [2008] a retirement home. It was shut down--after much contention--in 2010.
Date: 1913

Hotel Damron, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: 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 for his second wife, because she would not live in the country. The hotel was traded around 1917 to Agnew and Bessie Damron in exchange for a ranch. The hotel burned completely in 1978.
Date: 1918~

[The Woodmen of the World Convention at the Chautauqua]

Description: The caption of this picture, shown on page 50 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, states: "Part of the Woodmen of the World convention men gathered in front of the Chautauqua [building] for this picture in 1911. Many thousand attended." Note the men perched in two of the trees to the right (and left) of the observer, and also those sitting on top of the sign at the left of the picture. The building itself was demolished, probably during the following year, 1912.
Date: 1911

[Mesquite Street, Looking South]

Description: Shown here is a view of Mesquite Street (Now [2008] NE First Avenue) from its upper end at Coke Street (now NE 2nd Street). Horse-drawn vehicles are present. The building at the left middle of the picture with the "DRUGS" sign and the stone lion statue on its roof is the Yeager Building, home of what was popularly called "The Lion Drug Store." The first building on right, 205 NE First Street (with arched windows) was H. M. Coleman's clothing store for men, which even at this early date, appears to be undergoing renovation.
Date: 1912?

[A Horse-Drawn Fire Wagon]

Description: Mineral Wells had an early horse-drawn fire wagon, pulled by two white horses (named Joe and Frank) and driven by a man named Cogdell. This picture is included on page 189 of the Second Edition of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...", by A. F. Weaver. The city's first fire station was located at 202 N. Oak Avenue, but the horses had difficulty responding to emergency calls from this fire station because the fire wagon's wheels tended to get trapped in the street car tracks that ran down the center of Oak Avenue, which was not paved at that time. This fire was in the central business district (note the roofs of two multistory buildings, visible at the upper left edge of the picture.) Fire hoses laid along the street are being used by two men in the left middle background to furnish water to fight the fire. The location of this particular fire is not specified, but is probably the Delaware Hotel (formerly the St. Nicholas.) Mineral Wells has experienced several disastrous fires in the past; one in 1914, two blocks west of the Delaware' location, destroyed six city blocks.
Date: 1912?

[Looking South on Mesquite Street]

Description: A photograph that looks south on Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue)is shown here. It was taken after 1914, as the pavement indicates. Several automobiles and a horse-drawn buggy share the street. Note the water fountain between cars in right-center foreground. This water fountain was later moved to Mineral Wells' West City Park, and is now in the "Towne Common", located in the 100 block of SW 1st Avenue. The picture may be found on page 79 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS . . . " Mini Edition, 2004.
Date: 1915?

[Photograph of View from West Mountain]

Description: Photograph taken after the Chautauqua was demolished (that is, about 1912). The foundation can be seen in the upper right quadrant. The Post Office, completed in 1913, is visible to the right of the Chautauqua ruins. The old viewing tower on the top of the hill, destroyed by a tornado in 1930, is just barely visible in the trees on top of the hill. The first Crazy Hotel and Crazy Flats drinking pavilion, which burned in 1925, are seen one block northwest of the Post Office. The Murphy home is on top of the hill in the middle of the photograph. The Hexagon Hotel (torn down in 1959) is just above and left of the center. The Vichy Well is just to the right of the Hexagon House, and is now the location of the North Oak Community Center. In the the next block north (left) of the Hexagon House, facing west, is the Fairfield Inn with a ground-level entrance on each floor. Note the city's water tower at left center.
Date: 1914?

[A Love Story of Mineral Wells]

Description: This photograph appears to be a fragment of the cover of an advertising booklet that includes the fiction "A Love Story of Mineral Wells", by Mamie Wynn Cox. Her fiction was first published in 1911. Four libraries worldwide claim possession of a copy of it. The complete booklet is available by flipping through the page by selecting "next" above the photographs. The cover shows a lady holding a handful of dominoes, which was probably meant to establish a connection to Mineral Wells, Dominoes once being a popular pastime in the city. The game of 42 (named after the number of points that could be scored in a game) was invented in Garner, seven miles east of Mineral Wells. For readers interested in obtaining a copy of the fiction, the Dewey Number of it is 833; the Library of Congress Call Number is PS 3505.O97
Date: 1915?

[Mineral Wells' First Police Department]

Description: Mineral Wells' first Police Department is shown on horseback here. On the far left is Jim Barrett, Chief, and in the middle is Paul Granbury. The man on the right remains unknown. This photograph comes from A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", page 153. The picture appears to have been taken at the photographer's souvenir picture stand on the donkey trail about halfway up East Mountain. J. C. McClure, an early photographer, first owned the donkeys for the trail; but he was killed while riding a wild stallion on Oak Avenue. J. L. Young and his wife took over the photographer's stand. They built a rock house, here as a background, for souvenir pictures. In 1895, a policeman (C.M. Harris) was appointed as City Marshall." A night watchman (A. Scott) was also appointed. Their respective duties were primarily fire prevention and keeping livestock from roaming the streets; and seeing to it that businesses were properly locked up. Boys under the age of 17 were forbidden from roaming the streets at night (under pain of a $10 fine). C.M. Harris was elected to his position in 1896, at a salary of $60 per month. In 1889, upon the sudden death of Frank Johnson, Harris was appointed Interim Marshall to "Inspect and supervise all premises and places of business." J.I. Johnson became night watchmen at the salary of $12.50, and he was charged with roaming the streets at nights to be on the lookout for fire. The City Marshall was expected to corral any stray dogs--and kill them if they were unclaimed. He was to remove the carcasses from the city limits afterwards. in 19001, an ordinance was passed forbidding the possession of pigeons in the city--the control of which fell to the City Marshall. [Note: Several kinds of dove ...
Date: 1910?

[The Texas Carlsbad Well Slogan]

Description: A picture of the slogan posted in the Texas Carlsbad Well pavilion with "proof" that a Cadillac, with its radiator filled with mineral water, was rejuvenated with enough "pep" to pass a Chevrolet. Please note: The first Cadillac V-8 engine was introduced in 1914 as the 'Type 51' engine, so this photograph may be dated to 1914 or thereafter. The "Over" section is not illustrated. It probably contained more braggadocio.
Date: 1914?

[Two Women in Wylie Park]

Description: Two women (one using an umbrella as a parasol) are pictured strolling in Wylie Park. Notes on back of the photograph read: "Corner of N. Oak and N.E. 1st Street, the West side of Wylie Park, a popular place for strolling." North Oak Avenue is in background, with North to the right in the picture. Hazelwood Drugs is on the west side of Oak Ave, opposite the park. Mineral Wells. The streets of Mineral Wells were paved in the summer of 1914. A wagon can be seen traveling north on Oak Avenue. What appears to be a work crew may be seen at the corner indicates that the finishing touches may have been in the process of being applied to the paving as the picture was taken.
Date: 1914?

[The "Doodle Bug" Interior]

Description: This photograph illustrates the interior of a McKeen motor car, known locally as a "Doodle Bug", with its dust-proof round windows. This one, owned by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway, was an 81-passenger, 70-foot-long, 200-horsepower, gasoline-powered, motor coach. It traveled from Graford through Oran and Salesville to Mineral Wells, thence on to Dallas. It made a round trip daily from 1912 to 1929. A turntable at Graford turned the coaches around. There were two "Doodle Bugs" on the WMW&NW. The third similar coach, owned by the Gulf, Texas and Western Railroad (GT&W), traveled from Seymour through Guthrie, and Jacksboro to Salesville beginning in 1913. It proceeded thence over the WMW&NW track to Mineral Wells, and on to Dallas. The McKeen Motor Car Company was run by one William B. McKeen, who was both red-haired and described as "Flamboyant." He painted his demonstration cars bright red, and reproduced an image of them on his letterhead. He has been described as a "Hard-sell artist in an industry more accustomed to polite suggestion." He "Bombarded railroad presidents, big and small, with volley after volley of rapid-fire sales letters and telegrams, often following them up with personal visits." He was also characterized as being "Stubborn, strong-willed and very forceful." His motor-cars--with porthole windows and with a knife-front (which he felt would lessen air resistance, an idea that was vindicated much later)--were characteristic. His motor-cars were called a "Glorious failure" (even though 152 of them had been built) for the reason that McKeen was unfamiliar with the internal combustion engine (as were practically all of the railroad people of his time)--and he relied too heavily upon the crude models that were in fashion in his time. The light rails and branch lines that they were to run on became the occasion of many ...
Date: 1911/1935

Standard Park [and Amusement Park]

Description: A Trolley went by Standard Park and Standard Pavilion before 1913. A popular place,the Standard had a swimming pool, amphitheater, dancing and playgrounds. The North Oak Community is now at this location. Information was taken from A.F Weaver's "Time Was" second edition.
Date: 1913?