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Lithia Well

Description: The Lithia Well drinking pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the Crazy block at 400 NW 1st Avenue. The roof of the second Crazy Well drinking pavilion can be seen to the left of the Lithia. The Mineral Wells Library maintained its second location in this pavilion. The First Crazy Hotel was built on this location in 1914, but burned in 1925. The rebuilt and expanded Crazy Hotel (Now [2008] a retirement home) replaced the burned hostelry in 1927. See also the following picture.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

Texas Carlsbad Well [1 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street west of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion. This picture appears to be a promotional advertisement for the pavilion. The name of the well was lettered at the top of the building under the large eaves of the roof. The pavilion was replaced with a brick building, the "New Carlsbad Well' around 1909. Stained glass windows were added to the new pavilion showing a picture of Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water. This picture has been cropped, and the second picture of this image shows more of the outer detail.
Date: 1905?
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph

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 rolled into town. With connections through Dallas, the "Katy" sought a portion of that railway passenger traffic.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[A Buggy in front of Presbyterian Church]

Description: A copy of this picture is found in A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", Second Edition", on page 188. The caption states "Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 901 North Oak Avenue." Note the surrey with the fringe on top. The person in the buggy has been identified as Mrs. Flora Howard, daughter of William Winfield Hayworth "Howard", the minister of the church. Howard owned a hardware store, going under the name "W.W. Howard." He is also listed as a member of the I.O.O.F. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church takes its name from Cumberland Street, Pennsylvania, where the sub-denomination was founded. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is currently [2014] in Newberry, Texas. The building was sold to the Church of Christ, torn down and rebuilt. The North Oak Church of Christ still stands [in 2011] at this location, 901 N. Oak Ave. The picture is reliably dated to have been taken in 1912.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[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?
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Carlsbad Well: Second Building]

Description: The original Carlsbad water pavilion, a two-story wooden building at 415 NW 1st Avenue (directly across the street and west of the Crazy pavilion) was built in the mid-1890's. This second pavilion, a red-brick building, replaced the original one at the same location. The Mineral Wells Scenic Railway ran its gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" from 1905 to 1909 each quarter-hour on tracks that led north on N.W. 1st Avenue, and turned west on NW 6th Street. The Ben Hur was the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars". This picture was taken before the stained glass windows were installed in the pavilion, and before the Dinky Car tracks were removed. The pavilion was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for its laundry and dry cleaning in the 1930's after the Carlsbad closed.
Date: 1908?
Item Type: Photograph

[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]

Description: Colonel W. R. Austin came from Kentucky to Palo Pinto County about 1880, and settled on Staggs Prairie. When an infection in his eye responded to mineral water treatment, he established the Austin Well, later operated by his son-in-law, Tom Sims. Blind Nellie was a fixture of the Austin Well for years. She had an interesting history: A cowboy rode her into town one day, and auctioned her off to the highest bidder, J.H. Coleman, who bid a dollar and a half for her. Then Bob Kyle took Coleman's bargain off his hands, but Colonel Austin was the one who profited most from her when he devised a method that used her to "pump" water from his well. This unique method of bringing water to the surface was an added attraction at the Austin. Instead of drawing it up by hand or using a power pump, Blind Nellie was trained to walk around in circles, pulling the water up from below. She would pause long enough for the water to empty and, as if on a hidden cue, would go around again as the receptacle was lowered back into the well, repeating her performance accurately each time. In later years, when she became confused in her ritual, she was allowed to retire. In retirement, however, Blind Nellie selected a place in her pasture, and during the working hours of the day she repeated the ritual of walking her circle in a size corresponding to the one she had walked for so many years at the Austin Well. She died in 1912.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph

Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells

Description: Two contiguous negatives, taken from East Mountain, looking Southwest are shown here. Please note that some landmarks have been numbered in ink on the photographs. On the first [upper] photograph (No. 3), the pavilion with the steeple on the roof,is the Hawthorne well, located at 314 NW 1st Ave. (No. 4), the large two-story structure, is the Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The Lithia Pavilion is the structure between the Hawthorne and Crazy pavilions. Note also the Hawthorn House (No. 5?), located on North Oak. The large livery stable in the left foreground has not been identified by name. Please note the Poston Building on the second [lower] photograph, on North Oak (not numbered, but the three-part building in the middle left of the photograph). Also, please note the two steeples of the first Catholic Church on NW 3rd Street, in the 600 block, on the side of West Mountain. The large two-story frame hotel (No. 2) in the left foreground has not been identified.
Date: 1905?
Item Type: Photograph

Crazy Well at Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is the Crazy Well drinking pavilion, as it appeared around 1908, looking at the North and East (back) sides, after remodeling and the removal of a residence. The house was removed still stands at 715 NW 1st Avenue. The photograph was taken across Oak Avenue. Note the top of the first Texas Carlsbad Well in the background.
Date: 1908
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph

[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 mysteriously 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?
Item Type: Photograph

[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. Confused reports by 1907 had been made that the two enterprises were being merged, but Major Beardsley denied the report. (In August 19067, 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 1911. His extensive properties went to several of his other creditors. The picture appears to come from the "Daily Mineral Wells Index" , which takes two entire pages to sing the praises of "Major" Beardsley, and to announce the start of the trolley line in June of 1902. [The date ...
Date: 1907?/1913?
Item Type: Photograph

Cliff Home

Description: The Cliff Home, an early Mineral Wells hotel, stood on NE 2nd Street (formerly Coke Street) just east of the head of NE 1st Avenue (formerly Mesquite Street), and the site of the 1912 "Old Post Office" (now the Women's Club.) The hotel burned down, and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. That hotel, in time, became The Exchange Hotel. It was later converted to the Mineral Wells Sanitarium (or hospital) before it was finally torn down. The significance of the small "E" between "CLIFF" and "HOME" on the sign painted on the roof is not known. The back of the photograph bears the name "Henry Sikes" (a banker in Graford, and probably the donor of the picture) written in ink, and a business stamp, "S.B. Hall, General Photographer." This picture is found on page 100 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells".
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

Cafe Royal

Description: The caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the NW 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.)
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

The Bimini

Description: The Bimini Mineral Baths, at 112 NW 4th Street, was built by Goodrum, Murphy and Croft, contractors in the early 1900's. The Bimini later became the Wagley Bathhouse. Dr. Wagley was an early pharmacist in Mineral Wells. The El Paso Morning Times in 1909 states that the re-building of the Bimini (the building here illustrated) will cost "...over $35,000." What the equivalent amount could be in modern-das dollars remains unknown. Please note the utter lack of automobiles, and the horse-drawn vehicle in front of the bath house. The meaning of the white-ink number "1861" remains to be determined.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[Barber Lake]

Description: Many property owners in early Mineral Wells had their own water wells, but the city pumped water to a small standpipe on East Mountain for distribution to the city. When the wells became insufficient to supply the city's needs, Barber Lake was built in the Barber Addition--in the northeast part of town--as Mineral Wells' first city water supply lake. Around 1905, Cicero Smith and Ed Dismuke built a dam across Pollard Creek west of the city to form Lake Pinto, the city's next water supply. Barber Lake, the City's first municipal water supply, can still be found southeast of Cullen Grimes School (built in 1920 at 1800 NE 1st. Avenue as Barber School: the name was changed to Cullen Grimes in honor of a long-time principal when it was enlarged in 1942.)
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[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
Item Type: Artwork