Mineral Wells, Texas
|Counties||Palo Pinto, Parker|
|• City Council||Mayor Regan Wallace Johnson |
Beth Henary Watson
|• City Manager||Randy Criswell|
|• Total||21.16 sq mi (54.79 km2)|
|• Land||20.40 sq mi (52.83 km2)|
|• Water||0.76 sq mi (1.96 km2)|
|Elevation||883 ft (269 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||745.77/sq mi (287.95/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−06:00 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−05:00 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1341714|
Mineral Wells is a city in Palo Pinto and Parker Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 16,788 at the 2010 census (14,644 in Palo Pinto and 2144 in Parker). The city is named for mineral wells in the area, which were highly popular in the early 1900s.
In 1919, Mineral Wells hosted the spring training camp for the Chicago White Sox, the year of the famous "Black Sox" scandal involving "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Mineral Wells also hosted spring training for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in the 1910s and early 1920s. The baseball field was located in the center of town where a shopping center now sits.
In 1952, Mineral Wells was the host of the Republican state convention in which delegates divided between presidential candidates Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senator Robert A. Taft. Though state chairman Orville Bullington of Wichita Falls led the Taft forces, the convention vote ultimately went 33-5 in favor of Eisenhower, who was thereafter nominated and elected.
Mineral Wells military history dates back to 1916 with the organization of Company 1, 4th Texas Infantry. By January 1925, the War Department approved the site that would become Camp Wolters, the training ground for the 56th Cavalry Brigade of the Texas National Guard.
In 1956, the base began operations as the Primary Helicopter Center of the United States Army that would provide basic training and primary flight training for all rotary-wing aviators. The Vietnam War created an increased need for pilots. To meet the demand, Fort Wolters increased operations to become the training site for helicopter pilots for the Marine Corp in 1968 and the Air Force in 1970. Nearly every helicopter pilot that flew in Vietnam was trained at Fort Wolters. https://www.nationalvnwarmuseum.org
Fort Wolters was deactivated in 1973. The 8,500 acres was then parsed out to the city of Mineral Wells, private businessmen, Weatherford College, and Lake Mineral Wells State Park.
The famous water company is the last remaining bottler of Crazy Water. A naturally alkaline water folks drive from all over to fill up their jugs to enjoy the benefits. The Famous Water company also features " the largest bottle of laxative" from days gone by since the water does have certain properties especially as the number increases from 1-4.
The "Crazy Well" was so named after the symptoms of a woman with mental illness were observed to improve after drinking the water for an extended period. Cures for a variety of other illnesses have been attributed to the "Crazy Water", but not supported by scientific evidence. One medical historian noted that lithium is present in trace amounts in many Texas wells, and is also currently used as a treatment for depression.
The Crazy Water Festival is the 2nd weekend in October https://crazywaterfestival.org
Mineral Wells is very well known for the state park which features fishing, camping, horse, biking, hiking trails and the like plus some fabulous rock climbing. Even if you aren't an avid climber it is worth the hike down to penitentiary hollow to see the rocks and enjoy the views. https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lake-mineral-wells
Prison Break Season 2 episode 8 "Dead Fall" set in "Arizona" is actually various locations in and around Mineral Wells. In an opening aerial shot showing downtown Hwy 281 Northbound, Crazy Water banners can be seen on the light poles.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.2 square miles (54.9 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.0 km2) of it are land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km2) of it (3.45%) is covered by water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 16,946 people, 5,707 households, and 3,857 were families residing in the city. The population density was 828.6 people per square mile (319.9/km2). The 6,386 housing units averaged 312.2 per square mile (120.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.69% White, 8.77% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 10.51% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 19.27% of the population.
Of the 5,707 households, 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were not families. About 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56, and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the age distribution was 24.1% under 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 120.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 123.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,233, and for a family was $33,765. Males had a median income of $29,074 versus $18,633 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,336. About 16.6% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.2% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen climate classification describes the weather as humid subtropical, and uses the code Cfa.
|Climate data for Mineral Wells, Texas|
|Average high °F (°C)||57
|Average low °F (°C)||33
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.6
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Mineral Wells District Parole Office in Mineral Wells. The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) operated the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility in the Fort Wolters Industrial Park on behalf of the TDCJ. It closed in August 2013. The correctional facility, which had been operated by CCA since 1995, is located on the property of the former Fort Wolters in Palo Pinto County and in Mineral Wells. It can house up to 2,100 prisoners. As of March 2013, its annual payroll was $11.7 million, and it was among the largest employers in Mineral Wells, with about 300 employees. On Monday March 4, 2013, the Texas Senate Senate Finance Committee voted 11-4 to close the correctional facility. Mike Allen, the mayor of Mineral Wells, criticized the closure, saying, "We'll lose right at over 300 jobs, and 300 jobs in a community of 17,000 ... is devastating. This means a lot to this community." John Whitmire, the head of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said, "We're sitting on about 12,000 empty [prison] beds, so it just makes good business sense ... that we not operate it, and we take those savings and plow them back into additional public-safety programs."
Mineral Wells is served by the Mineral Wells Independent School District, and by the Community Christian School https://ccsmw.org .
Weatherford College operates a branch campus on the old Fort Wolters facility.
Site of historic Famous Mineral Water Company
Crazy Water Retirement Hotel
Postcard showing a pile of crutches stacked against a wheelchair, with the caption, "we lost our job at Mineral Wells, Texas."