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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[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
Item Type: Photograph

[The W.O.W. (Woodmen on the World) Drill Team]

Description: This picture shows the Woodmen of the World Drill Team, taken on June 19, 1947. A caption on the back of the photograph reads: WOW DRILL TEAM 6-19-47---- Herman Tolbert, Capt.--LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Walter Carter, Gene Lee, Jimmy Brandenburg, Charlie Davis, Bill Teichman, Idys Cox, Jr., Boyce Harvey, Billy Brooks. Back Row: Melton Brewton, Walter Moore, Hayden Hughes, Bazil Brewton, Unknown [heavily underlined, with small lacuna, also underlined, following] Roy Alderson, Roy Brewton and Eldred Fryer. A further caption, rotated 90 degrees to the first reads: "Picture taken in Convention Hall." On the front of the photograph is handwritten: "phillips [sic] photog-aphic [sic] Service Abilene, Texas" in white ink. The photograph appears in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" on page 165.
Date: June 1947
Item Type: Photograph

[W. W. Howard's Hardware Store]

Description: The Howard Hardware store was once located at 101 E. Hubbard Street. The hanging electric lights, the tea table to the left, the double row of "air-tight" stoves ranks down the center aisle all strongly suggest that the photograph was taken in the early twentieth century. The dimness of the store makes discerning further items on sale difficult. Persons identified in picture are: Helin Howard, Flora Howard, A. L. Howard and one unidentified person.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[The Wagley Bath House]

Description: The Wagley Mineral Baths, formerly known as the Bimini Bath House, was located at 114 NW 4th Street, the N.E. corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 4th Street. It was constructed by Goodrum, Murphy and Croft. It was still standing in 1974, when A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells" was first published. An early picture of the building appears on page 129 of "Time Was in Mineral Wells." It was demolished in the late 1980's or early 1990's.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Wagley Bath House and Annex

Description: The Wagley Bath House and Annex (originally called "The Bimini") was located at 114 NW 4th Street. Dr. Wagley also owned and operated a pharmacy in Mineral Wells. He died in 1953, at the age of 68, from a stroke of apoplexy.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[Walker's Grocery and Market]

Description: Shown here is the J.J. Walker Grocery & Market, once located at 614 Southeast 6th Avenue. The picture is featured in "Time Was in Mineral Wells" on page 176. The identities of the three people pictured is not known at this [2015] time. Note, however, the hand-operated gasoline pumps, the oil pumps in the background, and a sign that advertises Texaco gasoline at 18 cents per gallon!
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

We lost our job at Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This is a picture that was found in Mr. Weaver's collection, and captioned "We lost our job at Mineral Wells, Texas." This type of advertising was used by most of the drinking pavilions in this popular health resort to tout the beneficial effects of Mineral Wells' waters. There were numerous testimonials attesting the truth of such claims. When the Food and Drug Administration began to enforce the nation's drug laws vigorously in the mid- 1930's, however, there were no rigorous scientific test data to document such claims or to warn of possible side effects that taking the mineral water might bring about. Consequently, this sort of advertising was banned after the 1930's.
Date: 1920?/1930?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Northwestern Railroad Depot]

Description: The Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Northwestern (WMW&NW) Railroad began operations October 1,1891. The Texas & Pacific Railway bought out the WMW&NW in 1902, and shortly thereafter built this depot to replace a former wooden structure that had been destroyed by fire. The rail line had a colorful history, operating through World War II and into the 1990's. Construction of an extension of the line to the city of Oran was completed in 1907, and on to Graford the following January. In 1912 two McKeen motor coaches (called "Doodlebugs" by the locals)were added. These were self-contained, 200 Horsepower, 70-foot long, gasoline-powered, 80-passenger coaches which provided service between Mineral Wells, Weatherford, Fort Worth and Dallas. A round trip took less than six hours, and two "Doodlebugs" provided service in each direction every three hours. In 1913, the Gulf Texas and Western Railroad, building south from Seymour, Texas, began operations over the WMW&NW line from Salesville to Mineral Wells, thus connecting the cities of Seymour, Olney, Jacksboro, Graford, Oran, Salesville, Mineral Wells, and Weatherford with daily round-trip service to Dallas. In 1928, passenger traffic had declined to a point that passenger service was discontinued, and did not resume until the nation began mobilizing for World War II in 1940. Nearly a half million troops (429,966) passed through the depot during the war years in transit to and from Ft. Wolters training base. The City of Mineral Wells bought the 22.8 miles of track to Weatherford October 1, 1989. It was the last operator, and kept the road open for freight traffic, for the benefit of local businesses. The passenger depot was restored after the trains ceased operations, and it is now [2008] the offices of the Elliott Waldren Abstract Company, and lawyer George Gault. The right-of-way from Mineral Wells to Weatherford was converted ...
Date: 1990?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Welcome Sign]

Description: The WELCOME Sign (shown here) was built in 1922 by George Holmgren, the Texas Rotary Club's Governor,in his San Antonio iron works following the State Rotary Club's Convention in Mineral Wells. He gave the sign to the people of Mineral Wells with the understanding that they would maintain what was, at the time, the world's largest non-commercial lighted sign. The original incandescent bulbs were later replaced with lower-maintenance red neon lights by the Mineral Wells Jaycees. A Warrant Officer Company from Fort Wolters moved the sign from its original site on East Mountain to the east side of Bald Mountain (now called Welcome Mountain), overlooking Elmwood Cemetery, in 1972. It remains there today [2008], lighted at its base with flood lights, to greet visitors coming from the east. This is a picture, taken in 1972, of the restored sign.
Date: 1972
Item Type: Photograph

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
Item Type: Photograph

The Welcome Sign on East Mountain, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This picture is taken from a postcard claiming that the "Welcome" sign on East Mountain is "reputed to be the largest non-commercial electric sign in U.S." It has been claimed that the "Hollywood" sign was inspired by the "Welcome" sign, but this is likely a folk legend. (The preceding picture is a black and white original of this tinted picture. A more complete description may be found there.)
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

[The Wells Hotel]

Description: This is a picture of the Wells Hotel, in the W. E. Mayes Building, once located on the northwest corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 3rd Street. This photograph appears on page 105 of the "Time Was", Second Edition. Please note the complete lack of automobiles in the picture. Although it is not apparent from the photograph, the street is not likely to have been paved. The picture was most likely taken in the early years of the twentieth century.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[The West Texas Chamber of Commerce Parade, 1925]

Description: The West Texas Chamber of Commerce Parade, moving west on NE 2nd Street in Mineral Wells is shown here. The parade was staged to welcome the 1925 Convention. Businesses include R. O. Norman and Company, Dry Cleaners; the Whatley-Maddox Motor Co (Ford and Lincoln); the Mineral Wells Sanitarium; and the United States Post Office.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[The West Ward School]

Description: The West Ward School is shown with "Dinky Car" tracks in foreground. The picture was taken around 1909. The first Mineral Wells School with a graduating class, built in 1902, it was located just north of Little Rock School on NW 5th Avenue. Mineral Wells' first High School graduation class, consisted of four students in 1903, as evinced by a photograph in "Time Was...", page 189. It was later named "Houston School" in 1915. The West Ward School was subsequently torn down. Another school, constructed on SW 4th Avenue, was then named "Houston School."
Date: 1909?
Item Type: Photograph

[West Ward School]

Description: This photograph appears to have been given to A. W. Weaver with the following information on the back of it: "Wasn't it Whittier who said 'Still stately stands the old school house, beside the babbling brook'?--well this one no longer stands. It was a firm & strong old building when they tore it down 4 years ago. I thought you would cherish this picture as a fond recollection of yours, mine & Hugh's school days & days of happy childhood, where, as we romped & played barefoot in the soft sands & green grass, we were not as yet familiar with the hidden stones & thorns that one encounters down the highway of life. "All the sheet metal contained in the top of this building including the tin roof was made & fabricated by Papa in Grandpa's store. The metal work consists of the ornamental cornice fittings, the steeples at each corner of the building, metal banisters on the roof top, pinnacles around cupolas, flag pole with large metal ball on top & all drain piping and roof ventilators. "The barren oak trees in the yard are very familiar. Far to the right, not shown in the picture were several mesquite trees, whose limbs were platted & tied in knots when they were saplings, by Grandpa Caylor. The trees grew in the fantastic shapes. All school boys were mystified at the strange shape of the trees and Grandpa was amused." The school was located at 205 NW 5th Ave. It is both interesting and amazing how much of our history is not evident in the pictures that preserve such a vital part of it.
Date: 1909?
Item Type: Photograph

[The West Ward School, East (Front) View ]

Description: The West Ward School, Mineral Wells' second public School, was built in 1902. It was located north of the old Rock School at 205 NW 5th Avenue. It served as both a High School and Elementary school until the East Ward School was built in 1906, and High School classes were moved there. The West Ward School was renamed the Houston Elementary School when the Mineral Wells High School was built in 1915. The building was torn down after a new Houston Elementary School was built in 1930.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

West Ward School Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This photograph illustrates a view from the east of the West Ward School at the time of its completion in 1902. It was located just north of Mineral Well's first public school, the "Little Rock School", at 205 NW 5th Avenue. West Ward housed first through twelfth grades. Mineral Well's first high school graduating class (four students) graduated from here in 1905. High School classes were moved from here to the East Ward School when it was completed in 1906. Only elementary school classes were taught here at the time West Ward school was torn down, about 1930. The Lilian Peek Cottage, Texas' first free-standing Home Economics building, was built by the W.P.A. in 1937 just to the north of where the West Ward School had been located.
Date: 1902
Item Type: Photograph

[Where the "Doodle Bug" Crossed the "Dinky Car" Tracks]

Description: Illustrated here is the intersection of the "Doodle Bug" and "Dinky Car" tracks at the southwest corner of the Gibson Well property, NW 6th Street and NW 2nd Avenue. There were two "Doodle Bug" gasoline-powered motor coaches. The first one ran from Mineral Wells to Graford on the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMWNW) tracks. It was joined later by a second similar coach that ran from Mineral Wells to Seymour on the Gulf Texas and Western (GT&W) line. Two Dinky Cars, gasoline-powered motor cars on the Lakewood Scenic Railway, made round trips each quarter hour from the Mineral Wells depot to Lake Pinto. The Dinky cars, Esther and Suzie, were named after (banker and co-owner) Cicero Smith's daughters. The cars were joined in 1908 by a larger car--the Ben Hur. In the photograph the narrow-gauge dinky tracks running east-west along 6th Street crossing the wider standard-gauge railroad tracks running north-south (left to right in the picture.) The Gibson Well park and drinking pavilion are also shown in the picture.
Date: unknown
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

[A Window in the "Texas Carlsbad Water"]

Description: This photograph illustrates one of the painted-glass windows that was installed around 1915 at the Texas Carlsbad Water. It shows a bottle of "#3", extolling its efficacy against "Stomach and Liver Disorders. The Texas Carlsbad Water no longer [in 2012] exists. The picture occurs in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...." on page 63.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

--Winter Scene--Shipping Star Well Water-- From Min. Wells Texas--

Description: A legend on the photograph reads: "--Winter Scene-- --Shipping Star Well Water-- --From Min. Wells Texas--" The Star Well was located in the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue, across the street and north of where the Baker Hotel now [2008] stands. It was managed by Frank Richards, who purchased a block of land in the north part of Millsap Valley on which two wells were dug that proved to have an abundant supply of the very strongest mineral water. Mineral water was expensive to ship, so furnaces were built at the new location, pumps installed, and a modern evaporating plant built to produce hundreds of pounds of crystals annually. (The new well became known as the Pike Well.) Signs on the building claim that the water "Cures stomach trouble" as well as constipation, nervousnes [sic], insomnia, rheumatism, and female diseases." This picture can be found in "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", First edition, on page 57.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[The Womanless Theater]

Description: This is apparently the picture of a picture of a fund-raiser performed by the Lion's Club. It consisted of a play in which men all played the roles of women. Identified (in print) are the three "ladies" in front: J. B Courtney (Miss Fortune), Charles Williams, and Noble Glenn (Miss Applied). Also identified (in holograph) is Cecil Young, third from the right, presumably among the standing "ladies."
Date: 1930?/1935
Item Type: Photograph