Boyce Ditto Public Library - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[A Group of men at Inspiration Point]

Description: A group of businessmen and ranchers are shown at Inspiration Point in the 1920's. From left, they are (unknown); Mr. Henry Penix; Mr. Bowman; Mssrs. Henry and Charlie Fowler. Note the spurs on the boots of the Fowlers, and the cigars in the hands of Mssrs. Penix and Bowman. Inspiration Point, overlooking the Brazos in Southeast Palo Pinto County about ten miles south of Mineral Wells, commands a vast panoramic view of the rugged river valley stretching for miles below the viewer. It was a noted scenic attraction during the heyday of one of America's most popular health resorts. Inspiration Point is not available to the general public at this time, as it is located on private property.
Date: 1930?/1939?

[The Crazy Hotel Pavilion]

Description: A handwritten note on the back of the picture identifies this as "Crazy Hotel Pavilion 1940 Cigar Stand and Shine Stand." Please notice Leon Cross, the "Shoe-shine boy", who operated the stand for years, in the white shirt to the left of the Shine Stand. This pavilion is off the hotel lobby, behind and west of the elevators of the second Crazy Hotel. A fire started March 15, 1925, in the drugstore next to the bath house of the first Crazy Hotel which adjoined the Crazy Flats (second Crazy Pavilion). The fire destroyed all the businesses in this city block. The second Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and incorporated all of the previous enterprises into one building covering the entire city block. The drinking bar, from which Boyce Ditto served mineral water for many years, is at the opposite end of the pavilion, left of the shoe-shine and Cigar Stand, with its striped awning. In its heyday during the health-spa era of the "City built on Water," the bar served four different strengths of mineral water. The bar is still in existence today although inactive. The mezzanine around the drinking pavilion was lined with offices, primarily those of doctors.
Date: 1940

[The Hexagon Hotel]

Description: The Hexagon Hotel was built in 1895 by David G. Galbraith, the inventor of the paper clip (not the familiar one, but another one very much like it) , and co-developer of acetate synthetic fiber. According to Ellen Puerzer ("The Octagon House Inventory", Eight-Square Publishing, copyright 2011), the building was twelve-sided, clad with clapboard, built on a stone foundation. Two English stonemasons did all stonework, presumably also the work on the DC generating plant next to the hotel. The rooms within were hexagon-shaped, with a bath being shared between every two rooms. The well-ventilated "honeycomb" structure (a master-stroke in the days before air-conditioning)opened in December 1897. The stone building behind and left of the Hotel is the plant for generating electricity used for light and fans (for a fee) in every room in the hotel. It also contained a steam laundry and an ice house on the first floor. The second floor was given over to a dining room for the hotel guests.
Date: 1897/1924

[Inside the Electric & Ice Plant]

Description: A"Major J[ohn] D[avis] Beardsley (who had fought for Maine in the Civil War) had been granted a 99-year franchise by the City of Mineral Wells for the generation and sale of electricity. Major Beardsley is also credited (By the Abilene "Daily Reporter of 1905) of being the moving authority behind a railroad that was planned to run from Abilene to the Texas Central Line. The panic of 1907 (and probably a grand conflagration in Mineral Wells, whose losses were estimared to have been $100,000) brought ruination to Mr. Beardsley's enterprise; and in 1910, a syndicate bought out Beardsley's plant and Galbraith's DC plant as well. The Mineral Wells Electric Company was organized in 1913. In 1925, the Texas Power and Light Company bought the Mineral Wells Electric Company. It continued to operate under the original Beardsley franchise. The old Electric and Ice Plant was once located on SW 1st Avenue. This photograph was taken around 1908. Pictured is D. L. Austin, father of Myrtle Butler. It is featured in "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" on page 83, in reversed form.
Date: unknown

[Trolley Tracks]

Description: The Mineral Wells Electric System (apparently a brainchild of a Major Beardsley, who started the whole operation) ran two trolleys from 1907 to 1913. Their tracks are shown here being laid along Hubbard Street, at the corner of Oak Avenue and looking east in about 1906. The electric street cars ran (1) on Hubbard Street from Northeast 17th Avenue to Southwest 6th Avenue; and (2) on Oak Street (now Northwest 2nd Avenue) from Northeast 17th Street to Southeast 11th Street, thence to Elmhurst Park. Pollard creek was dammed up to form a lake around which a casino, dance pavilion, race track for horses, and playground were built. Elmhurst Park, as it was called, was abandoned when the trolley ceased operations in 1913. The panic of 1907 (along with a great conflagration in Mineral Wells whose losses were estimated at about $100,000) apparently brought ruination to Mr. Beardsley's dream of an interurban trolley line to Weatherford and thence to Ft. Worth. Numerous lawsuits were subsequently brought against him and his trustee, lawsuits which continued beyond his death in 1911. It remains a mystery [in 2017] why the rival line planned by a Git Turner of Weatherford was not built, either
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Governor John Connally]

Description: Photograph of Governor of Texas John Connally. Mr. Connally is wearing a dark suit and tie, and a window with Venetian blinds is visible in the out-of-focus background. On the back of the photograph are a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library address and handwritten notes, including one that identifies the photo's subject.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Retired General Hamilton H. Howze]

Description: Photograph of retired US Army General and Vice President of product planning at Bell Helicopter Company, Hamilton H. Howze. Mr. Howze is wearing a dark suit and tie, and is in front of a light-colored backdrop. On the back of the photograph, there is a handwritten note identifying the photo's subject and a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Walter Cronkite]

Description: Head-shot of CBS newsman Walter Cronkite. Mr. Cronkite is wearing a suit with a striped tie, and is sitting in front of a light-colored background. On the back of the photograph are a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address and handwritten notes, including one identifying the photo's subject.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of L. J. Varnell, Jr., Mayor of Mineral Wells]

Description: Photograph of L. J. Varnell, Jr., Mayor of Mineral Wells. Mr. Varnell is wearing a dark suit and tie and standing or sitting against a light backdrop. On the back of the photograph are a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library address and handwritten notes, including one that identifies the photo's subject, and a stamp with the photographer's information.
Date: unknown
Creator: Weaver, A. F.

[Photograph of Senator John G. Tower]

Description: Head-shot of US Senator John G. Tower, against a light-colored background. The Senator is wearing a light-colored suit and a patterned tie. On the back of the photograph are a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library address and handwritten notes, including one identifying the photo's subject.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Eric Sevareid]

Description: Head-shot of CBS newsman Eric Sevareid. Mr. Sevareid is wearing a suit with a dark tie and a dark pocket-square. He is sitting in front of a light-colored background. On the back of the photograph are a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address and handwritten notes, including one that identifies the photo's subject.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Chet Huntley]

Description: Photograph of Chet Huntley from NBC News, wearing a light-colored suit and a dark, striped tie. The photograph is signed by Mr. Huntley, in the bottom left corner. On the back of the photograph are handwritten notes and a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Igor I. Siorsky]

Description: Photograph of Igor I. Sikorsky. Mr. Sikorsky is wearing a suit with an ID name clip hanging from his left-breast pocket. He's holding a model airplane in his right hand (his left arm is out of shot), and there are out-of-focus frames on the wall behind him. On the back of the photograph is a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library address, handwritten notes, and a sticker identifying the photo's subject.
Date: unknown

[Photograph of Senator Tom Creighton]

Description: Head-shot of Texas Senator Tom Creighton. Mr. Creighton is wearing a dark suit and tie, and half of his face is partially shadowed. The backdrop is dark and out-of-focus. On the back of the photograph are handwritten notes and two stamps: one giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address and the other giving the photo printer's information.
Date: unknown
Creator: Christianson Leberman House of Portraits

[Photograph of Chet Huntley]

Description: Photograph of Chet Huntley from NBC News, wearing a light-colored suit and a dark, striped tie. The photograph is signed by Mr. Huntley, in the bottom left corner. On the back of the photograph is a handwritten note reading, "70%," a stamp giving the Boyce-Ditto Public Library's address, and a circular yellow stain. There's also a portion of typewritten text on the stain, but the rest of the text has been torn off.
Date: unknown

[Bathing Beauties]

Description: 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.
Date: unknown

[The Birch McClendon Food Store]

Description: The only information about this picture comes from a legend on the back of it: Mrs. Vernon Hill father & n of [sic] Chester Claywell Mr. Lord. grocery [illegible] Specialty Shop [written vertically] DW Griffith It is featured in "Time was in Mineral Wells" on page 128 as "Birch McClendon Food Store, located at 211 Southeast 1st Street."
Date: unknown

[A Brazos River Scene]

Description: This 1925 photograph shows individuals, in clothing of the period, at the Brazos River. It appears to be a holiday outing. Some of the people sitting and standing are in full dress, and not wearing swim suits. The flat and sandy shore is reminiscent of the Village Bend area of the Brazos River in the vicinity of Oaks Crossing (the early Brazos ford on the main road from Palo Pinto to Weatherford) some 6 miles southeast of Palo Pinto. The opposite shoreline in the photograph is rocky, with heavy vegetation and high banks. The photograph comes from a Knights of Pythias Album.
Date: unknown

[The Brewer Home]

Description: The Brewer home on East Mountain is shown here, from a picture taken April 4, 1976. It is visible from most of North Oak Avenue. Originally the Murphy Home, the building underwent many renovations during the period of Mr. Murphy's residence. Mr. Murphy was a contractor who built many buildings in Mineral Wells, including the Mineral Wells High School (1914) and the third First Baptist Church. It is a good example of Neo-classical architecture.
Date: April 4, 1976