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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

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?

A July Crowd

Description: This photograph,labeled "A July Crowd", shows a ladies' gathering about 1920. The photograph shows what is possibly a tea party or a ladies' club meeting. Some of the ladies shown were members of prominent Mineral Wells families. Identified in a typed note - and graph - accompanying the photograph are: (starting at back left) the 4th lady is Mrs. D. G. Galbraith [wife of the owner of the Hexagon House], the 8th is Mrs. E. F. Yeager [wife of Dr. E.F. Yeager, Pharmacist/ Owner of the Lion Drug Store), 16th is Mrs. J.H. McCracken [wife Dr. J.H. McCracken, president of the Texas Medical Association], 17th may be Mrs. Raines (Mrs. McCracken's mother); (middle row, starting in front of Mrs. Yeager) the second from left is Mrs. Dr. Beeler; (first row from left) the 3rd lady may be Mrs. Coon, the 6th lady is Mrs. Paul Bock, the 8th is Mrs. Reba Williams. The children in front are Langdon Bock on the left and Elizabeth Galbraith on the right. There were forty people in total.
Date: 1900~

[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

Description: A number of the early mineral water wells bottled their product and sold it nationwide for its reputed health benefits. The name of this particular well, associated with this turn-of-the-20th-century endeavor, is not identified. It may well have been the inventor of the bottled water industry. This photograph shows what has been tentatively identified as a threshing machine, driven by a steam-powered tractor, parked outside the plant. This bottling plant also produced "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1906. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. The photograph dates from 1912. This bottling company also bottled "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1912. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. Later development of a crystallizing process eliminated the substantial cost of shipping water, and adversely affected the bottled water industry. The concentrated crystals greatly expanded the distribution of beneficial minerals said to be inherent in the water, and created an industry of its own. However, it led to legal problems occasioned by the limited supply of crystals, and attempts to satisfy a voracious market. What appears to be a scar across the photograph indicates that the original picture was probably damaged, and was repaired by Mr. Weaver for the making of a duplicate photograph.
Date: 1900?

[West Ward School]

Description: This photograph appears to have been given to A. W. Weaver with the following information on the back of it: "Wasn't it Whittier who said 'Still stately stands the old school house, beside the babbling brook'?--well this one no longer stands. It was a firm & strong old building when they tore it down 4 years ago. I thought you would cherish this picture as a fond recollection of yours, mine & Hugh's school days & days of happy childhood, where, as we romped & played barefoot in the soft sands & green grass, we were not as yet familiar with the hidden stones & thorns that one encounters down the highway of life. "All the sheet metal contained in the top of this building including the tin roof was made & fabricated by Papa in Grandpa's store. The metal work consists of the ornamental cornice fittings, the steeples at each corner of the building, metal banisters on the roof top, pinnacles around cupolas, flag pole with large metal ball on top & all drain piping and roof ventilators. "The barren oak trees in the yard are very familiar. Far to the right, not shown in the picture were several mesquite trees, whose limbs were platted & tied in knots when they were saplings, by Grandpa Caylor. The trees grew in the fantastic shapes. All school boys were mystified at the strange shape of the trees and Grandpa was amused." The school was located at 205 Northwest 5th Avenue. It is both interesting and amazing how much of our history is not evident in the pictures that preserve such a vital part of it.
Date: 1909?

[The First Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, 1902]

Description: A note on back of this photograph states, "1902, 1st Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, organized by Frank Creighton (L) met in old Sangcura Sprudel Well Pavilion." The picture was taken in front of Green's Transfer Building. This photograph possibly shows the youth division of a local lodge, probably Shriners. Please note that the boys shown in the picture are shouldering real rifles. The uniforms depicted look more like Zouaves (down to the fezzes that the boys are shown wearing) than Boy Scouts, while the adult frowning on the extreme left has a sword in his hand. This historic photograph captures a precursor to the Boy Scout movement, that started six years later in England. It spread to America in 1910 to generate an interest in outdoor and educational activities among teen-age boys.
Date: 1902

Elmhurst Park

Description: This illustration is numbered "30". It appears to be a picture postcard of the entrance to Elmhurst Park, an amusement park on Pollard Creek, about five miles southwest of Mineral Wells. The park operated from 1907 to 1913, and was a major attraction in "The nation's most popular health spa" at that time.
Date: 1907/1913

The Hawthorn Well

Description: The Hawthorn Well drinking pavilion, located at 314 NW 1st Avenue, was owned and operated by William O'Brien. The Hawthorn not only had mineral water and a drinking pavilion, but also catered to the pleasure-seeking public with a bowling alley. Dances were also held in the pavilion both afternoon and nights during the "Season." The picture shows advertising on the roof for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. The "Katy" built a north-south railway across Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) at about this time. Its Texas office and shops were located in Dennison. Hotels in Mineral Wells were sending hacks and buggies to Millsap to transport passengers to "The Nation's Greatest Health Resort" in such numbers that by January 1, 1891, the first train of the Weatherford Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMWNW) rolled into town. With connections through Dallas, the "Katy" sought a portion of that railway passenger traffic.
Date: 1900?

[A Trolley Car of the] Mineral Wells Electric System

Description: A Major J. D. Beardsley (1837-1911)--a Canadian who fought for the Union in the Civil war--built an electric trolley line that ran from North Oak, south to the train depot, west to Pecan Street (NW 4th Avenue), south on Pecan Street, to the ridge in the Lowe Place Addition, west to Pollard Creek, where Mr. Beardsley laid out Elmhurst Park (q.v.). A cross-line on Hubbard street ran east to Elmwood Cemetery. By the end of 1906, Beardsley owned sixteen cars, running on approximately ten miles of tracks. It was reported that an interurban line to run to Millsap, Weatherford, and thence to Fort Worth was planned. In fact, speculation had been made that an interurban trolley system had been Major Beardsley's ambition right from the start. The route for this interurban was laid out by Major Beardsley. A man named Gid R.Turner proposed a rival line. A Weatherford newspaper of 1906 reported that an interurban line from Mineral Wells to Fort Worth was gleefully endorsed. If the interurban was not built from Weatherford, then it was asserted that it would go through Springtown, instead. A person from Mineral Wells had pledged $1,000 of the $50,000 required. Confused reports by 1907 had been made that the two enterprises were being merged, but Major Beardsley denied the report. (In August 1907, Turner was required by Weatherford to tell his intentions. He made no answer.) Neither line was ever built, perhaps due to the Panic of 1907, because by December of 1907, the Beardsley enterprise was declared "Dead.". Portions of the tracks were removed near the water wells dug by Mr. Ed Dismuke (q.v., in the description field.), by a syndicate of Beardsley's creditors, including D. T. Bomar, (who bought the railway and assorted properties at auction for $75,000) and Morgan Jones in ...
Date: 1907?/1913?

[A Mineral Wells Electric System Trolley Car]

Description: A Major Beardsley, a Canadian who fought for Maine in the Civil War, (And reported by the Abilene "Daily Reporter" of 1905 to be of Gibstown, Iowa) was granted a franchise to construct a railway street system in 1906. He was also granted a 99-year franchise for the generation and sale of electricity in Mineral Wells. He also bought about 600 acres of land, and established three additions: Lowe Place addition, Lawn Place, Lawn Terrace, and Elmhurst Park, which came to sport a dance pavilion and a Casino. The Beardsley enterprise ended with the notice that the workers for his interurban (from Mineral Wells, Peaster, Millsap, and Weatherford) had not been paid. Beasley himself was in New Orleans at the time. Beardsley's trustee, a Mr. W.B. Smith,and the City of Mineral Wells, sued Beardsley's creditors. A judgment awarded Smith the sum of $15,000, and gave the City of Mineral Wells some sixty acres--which included Elmhurst Park. The legal battle continued beyond 1917, when the decision was reversed and remanded by the Court of Civil appeals for Texas. Number 23 trolley car is illustrated here.
Date: 1907?/1913?