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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[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

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

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

[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

[The Arch] "Welcome Ye Editors"

Description: This picture of the arch, erected to welcome the members of the Texas Press Association (who held a meeting in the nearby Chautauqua auditorium--visible in the background), was taken from East Hubbard Street, looking North on Mesquite Street. The Texas Press Association held its meeting on May 21-23, 1908. A note with the photograph states "The group of people were attending the Odd Fellows Convention and/or Press Convention." The note also states that "Bill Cameron (Who was an editor of the Mineral Wells Newspaper. He was about 21 at this time) has an Odd Fellows Apron [sic] on." Aprons, however, are not in evidence in the picture. The men are shown assembled under the standard of a lodge (on the right-hand side, whose legend is barely legible), and they are wearing variously-decorated tippets (except, of course, for the man in the center, who is wearing a sash, and the men at the ends, three of whom wear sashes; and the others, who are wearing uniforms, bandoleers and plumed fore-and-aft hats). The organization has been tentatively identified as the Eagles, whose lodge was said to be organized in Mineral Wells in 1906.
Date: 1908
Item Type: Photograph

[An Aerial View of Mineral Wells (1 of 2)]

Description: A view from West Mountain looking ESE, contains the following landmarks: The Hexagon Hotel (1895-1959) in the upper middle of the picture, and the Chautauqua (1905-1912) in the upper right. One block right (south) and one block this side (west) of the Chautauqua is Crazy Flats Drinking Pavilion (burned in 1925). The Sangura- Sprudel Well and Drinking Pavilion is below and left (one block north and one block west) of The Hexagon. The Fairfield Inn is one block plus north and east (left) of the Hexagon and about half way up East Mountain. The Vichy Well (Later known as The Beach and still later as the Standard Well) is on the right, and across the street from the Hexagon. It was later the location of the USO building in World War II, and is now [2006] the North Oak Community Center.
Date: 1909?/1912?
Creator: A. F. Weaver
Item Type: Photograph

Sancura Sprudel Water

Description: A pamphlet advertising "Sangcura Sprudel Water," describing the various uses of the mineral water and the salts derived by evaporating the water is shown here.
Date: 1900
Item Type: Pamphlet

[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?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Carlsbad Well: First Building]

Description: The first Carlsbad Well drinking pavilion was built about 1895. The Carlsbad (also known as the Texas Carlsbad Well), one of the early drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife/ Makes a wife love HER [sic] 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 pavilion was prominent in several pictures around the turn of the century; this picture--labeled "Sept. 19/07" in ink--was from an advertisement by the Yeager Drug Company. This early pavilion had been demolished by 1911, and replaced by a larger brick structure.
Date: September 19, 1907
Item Type: Photograph

Carlsbad Well

Description: This picture, dated September 19, 1907, shows the Carlsbad Well at 415 NW 1st Avenue, and west of the Crazy Well drinking pavilion. It was one of the first drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, and boasted that the water "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife, makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ and pepper into plodders."
Date: September 19, 1907
Item Type: Photograph

"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?
Item Type: Photograph

[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
Item Type: Photograph

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: A note on the back of this picture identifies it as the Foster House. It was located at 202 NW 6th Street (given in Polk's Directory for 1909 as "202 West Moore", two blocks north of the Crazy Well) and facing 6th Street. It was one block west of the Hexagon House, and within two blocks of other wells. The style of the building appears to be Queen Anne, spindle-work sub-type, with paired gables. The number "2231" is written on the photograph. A railroad ran a main trunk line on the other side of the hotel's block. It was built before 1904 but further history of this early hotel is not known at this time [2008]. Another picture (The Foster Hotel: Second Photograph, which please see) supplies a few more details.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[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 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
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph

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?
Item Type: Photograph