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[The Interior of a Grocery Store]

Description: A legend on the back of the photograph reads: "D.M. Howard Grocery Simon Gilbert on Left Great Uncle of Estes Gilbert" A different hand has written "2nd is D. M. Howard himself" Please notice the moustaches on nearly all the gentlemen pictured. Please notice also that all of the men but two are wearing jackets. The store shows no sign of electric lighting. There may be a gas fixture at the left edge of the picture, which, along with the appearance of the men, may serve to indicate that the photograph was taken in the early part of the twentieth century, but definite information on this issue is lacking. The picture is featured in "Time Once was in Mineral Wells" on page 123.
Date: unknown

[In Front of the Schoolhouse, ca. 1885]

Description: The back of this photograph shows three notes: 1: "Taken in front of school house about 1885." (This photograph appears to be of the students and teachers of Mineral Wells' first public school, the "Little Rock Schoolhouse," built in 1884.) 2: "Donated by James H. Perry", and 3: "Some are dead. Some are married, and we are all scattered, never to meet on earth again."
Date: 1885

[Lake Mineral Wells, 4 of 4: The Spillway]

Description: Shown here is the lower end of the spillway from Lake Mineral Wells after the flood in March 1976. The dam is barely visible at the upper end of the spillway in the middle of the picture. The road directly below the dam is under water, and is not visible in any other pictures of this flood. It suffered such severe damage that it had to be rebuilt.
Date: April 1976

[The Ladies Civic League Fountain]

Description: The Ladies Civic League Fountain, shown in this photograph, is now [2009] located in the "Towne Common" (behind the Mineral Wells Office Supply), surrounded by "Memorial Bricks." It was originally located at the corner of SE 2nd Street and SE 1st Avenue as a watering trough for horses. It was moved in 1911 to the back part of the Gibson Well Park in the 700 block NW 2nd Avenue. (It may have been moved to facilitate the flow of the expected traffic around "the old Post Office", construction of which started in May the following year, 1912.) The fountain was relocated in October of 1972 (the time of the photograph) to West City Park on W. Hubbard Street (Highway 180 W), and placed at its present location in 2007.
Date: unknown

[Ladies Holding Flowers]

Description: This photograph presents a mystery. Ten ladies, dressed in 1920's-style fashion, stand on the steps of the Baker Hotel, holding bouquets of chrysanthemums; one lady has roses; a basket of flowers with a tulle ribbon stands in foreground. The occasion for this display is entirely unknown. A legend on back reads: "For Q from L Mrs Joe Young." The identities of the people mentioned are entirely unknown.
Date: unknown

Hotel Damron, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This picture shows a post-card view of the Damron Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was built in 1906 as The Colonial Hotel by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife, because she would not live in the country. The hotel was traded around 1917 to Agnew and Bessie Damron in exchange for a ranch. The hotel burned completely in 1978.
Date: 1918~

[Leon Cross, Shoe Shine Boy in 1975]

Description: Leon Cross was the only "shine boy" left in Mineral Wells in 1975. He worked in the first Crazy Hotel just before it burned; and has been with the Crazy Hotel ever since, working in different departments of the Hotel. He is the Shine Boy today [2003] in the Crazy Barber Shop, located in the Crazy Hotel. This photograph appears in A.F. Weaver's book "Time Was in Mineral Wells."
Date: unknown

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?

[A Man and a Woman on Donkeys]

Description: Shown here is a rocky, bosky hillside. A man and a woman are both on donkeys; he leans over with a hand on her donkey; five photographers, under veils, catch the scene with cameras. Note that the photographers all wear vests. The clothing of the woman suggests early 20th century. No more is known about this picture.
Date: unknown

Welcome Sign & Lookout Tower: 1929

Description: The WELCOME sign was donated to the city of Mineral Wells in 1922 by George Holmgren, President of the Texas Rotary Club, in appreciation for the hospitality extended the Rotary Club at its State Convention in Mineral Wells that year. The caption on the photograph reads: "Reputed to be the largest Non-commercial electric sign in U.S." East Mountain was a popular place for viewing the city, especially for photographers. The lookout tower atop West Mountain (above the WELCOME sign) was destroyed by a tornado in 1930. The Welcome Sign was built by Holmgren in his San Antonio Iron Works in 1922. He gave the sign to the people of Mineral Wells with the understanding that they would maintain the sign and the many light bulbs required to light it. The Mineral Wells Jaycees later replaced the light bulbs with lower-maintenance red neon lights. A Warrant Officer Club Company from Fort Wolters moved the sign from East Mountain in 1972 to the east side of Bald Mountain, where it remains today [2008], lighted with flood lights at its base. It is reported that this sign inspired D.W. Griffith, to promote possibly the most recognizable landmark in the United States, the HOLLYWOOD sign in California, following his visit to Mineral Wells in 1928. Griffith, Producer/Director of the early movie classic, "Birth of a Nation," also produced the "Keystone Kops" comedies. The house in the foreground (an example of Queen Anne architecture, spindle-work sub-type) was the home of druggist Dr. C.F. Yeager. Also in the picture, about half-way up the mountain, is the water tower supplying mineral water to the then new Baker Hotel. The object in the upper-left-hand corner of the picture invites speculation.
Date: 1929

[Mineral Wells' Municipal Airport]

Description: An aerial View of Mineral Wells Municipal Airport and Downing (named after Colonel Wayne Downing, who was killed in a stateside accident) Heliport is shown here. In 1946, the City of Mineral Wells obtained use of the airport, although the Department of Defense retained an "Emergency-use" provision until 1966--after which year it was not renewed. In April 1966, the Department of Defense leased 970 acres from the City of Mineral Wells to build a heliport ("To improve helicopter training", it was stated) that was due to be completed by September of that year. The Fort Wolters "Trumpet" reported the progress of the construction of the heliport in detail in its subsequent numbers.
Date: unknown

[D. W. Griffith]

Description: D. W. Griffith is shown standing on the roof of the new Crazy Hotel, which opened in 1927; and replaced the First Crazy Hotel, which had burned in 1925. Mr. Griffith, who produced silent movies including the "Keystone Kops" comedies, and the classic film "Birth of a Nation", was a guest at the Crazy Hotel while visiting Mineral Wells in 1929. A commemorative postage stamp was issued in his honor on May 27, 1975. Local folklore has it that Mr. Griffith was impressed by the "WELCOME" sign on East Mountain (the world's largest non-commercial, electrically-lighted sign at the time). He developed the "HOLLYWOOD HILLS" addition with other partners when he returned to California, and he erected what is probably the most recognizable landmark in America: The HOLLYWOOD sign now graces Los Angeles. Both signs have survived similar difficult times in their histories. This picture appears on page 19 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", second edition, 1974.
Date: 1929

[Two Old-Time Stores]

Description: This picture appears to show two stores that stand cheek-by-jowl. A saddlery on the far left shares space with a furniture storethat also sold cofins. The sign over the stores combines their functions in a way that would--under other circumstances--seem comical. The building itself was located at the corner of SE 1st, and South Oak Streets. A note on the photograph states that it was south of the MARTIN BUILDING. It was once the McBrayer-Armstrong Grocery, then later the Nash Hardware store. The location of Lattner eventually became the Buy-Rite store [116 South Oak Avenue, at the corner of SE 1st Street, until some time in the early 1980's]. The road is unpaved, there is no evidence of lighting--except for the lamp mounted on a post at the front of the building. The horse-drawn hearse (without its horse or plumes) suggests that although it was in front of the stores, it was not at the time in use. The picture, therefore, dates from the end of the 19th century--or the earliest 20th century.
Date: unknown

[Unloading Grain From Box Cars]

Description: This picture depicts men unloading grain from box cars at the Mineral Wells railroad yards into horse-drawn wagons. During the days if the Great Depression years of the 1930's, grain and cotton were the principal cash crops of farmers around Mineral Wells, and the WMW&NW (Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwest) Railroad was a prime shipper of the crops to market. This photograph is featured on page 92 of A.F. Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells," second edition.
Date: unknown

[The Thompson House, at 215 NE 2nd Street]

Description: Shown here is a photograph of the front of the Thompson House (later the "Cunningham House"), a two-story, Queen Anne-style home located at 215 NE 2nd Street in Mineral Wells, Texas, just north of the Baker Hotel. Architectural elements include decorative woodwork around the eaves in the gable ends and across the front porch, and cutaway bays on the left of the photograph. A cupola serves in place of the tower that is characteristic of Queen Anne styles.
Date: February 1974
Location Info:

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?

[A Tamale Vendor on Oak and Hubbard]

Description: Fred Estrada "The Mineral Wells Hot Tamale Man" sold "The Best Tamales Anywhere", at 75 cents a dozen, at the corner of Hubbard Street and Oak Avenue for many years. Automobiles, dating from the early-to-mid-twentieth century, and a U.S. Mailbox, may also be seen in the picture. The picture occurs on page 182 of "TIME WAS...", second edition.
Date: unknown

[A String and Drum Band]

Description: This picture shows 18 people, 2 of whom appear to be adults. Visible are a snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, violins, lutes, bass viol and viola--and an anvil. The background appears to be painted. Further information about this band might have been presently [2012 ]lacking.
Date: unknown

[The Una McLaughlin Home]

Description: The "Una McLaughlin" home is located on NW 23rd Street. This photograph was taken in July, 1975. Built in 1927 by J.C. Cunningham, an oil operator, the home was sold in 1931 to Judge E.B. Ritchie. It was purchased in 1973 by Una McLaughlin. It has since changed hands several times. It is presently [2014] vacant. The tile in the living room fireplace is the same as used in the Baker Hotel. The tile, stained glass in the breakfast room, and the light fixtures are in the Art Deco style. The architectural style of the house is Italian Renaissance. It shows signs of being remodeled.
Date: unknown

[The Woodmen of the World Convention at the Chautauqua]

Description: The caption of this picture, shown on page 50 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, states: "Part of the Woodmen of the World convention men gathered in front of the Chautauqua [building] for this picture in 1911. Many thousand attended." Note the men perched in two of the trees to the right (and left) of the observer, and also those sitting on top of the sign at the left of the picture. The building itself was demolished, probably during the following year, 1912.
Date: 1911