Description: The "Ben Hur" motor car is shown on Mesquite Street (the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue), Mineral Wells, Texas. This new and larger gasoline-powered car joined two "Dinky Cars" (Esther and Susie--named for the daughters of the railroad's co-owner, banker Cicero Smith) on the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park and Scenic Railway in 1908. The railway ceased operation in 1909, a year after the larger car was added to the fleet. Mineral Wells was probably one of the few cities in the United States which had gasoline-powered street cars. It has been reasonably conjectured that the Dinky Carsd had been developed fromk gasoline-powered inspection cars that the railroad used to maintain its tracks. One of the boys shown standing beside it is Mr. Whatley of local automobile fame. This photograph is shown on page 74 of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", Second Edition. The Scenic Railway, on which the "Dinky Cars" operated, was owned by banker Cicero Smith; and Ed Dismuke, owner of the Famous Water Company. It carried passengers every quarter-hour from Mineral Wells around the south flank of West Mountain to the recreation area of Lake Pinto. A 'round trip fare was fifteen cents. Dismuke's Famous Mineral Water wells were located around Lake Pinto, and water was pumped over the mountain to the Famous Water Company and its drinking pavilion. The building on the left edge of the picture with the arched windows was M.H. Coleman's Clothing and Shoes for gentlemen. It was later occupied by Wallace Distributing Company. The building still stands diagonally northwest across NE 1st. Avenue from the Baker Hotel.
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