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[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

[Trolley Tracks]

Description: Tracks for electric trolley are shown here, in about 1906, being laid along Hubbard Street, at the corner of Oak Avenue and looking east. The trolley system ran south to Elmhurst Park. The cross-line, being shown here, ran to Elmwood cemetery. 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 . The panic of 1907 apparently brought ruination to Mr. Beardsley's other operations. Numerous lawsuits were brought against him, and his trustee, lawsuits which continued beyond his death in 1911.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph