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Old 07-19-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 19,916,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
It makes me very sad to see the hulk of the old Baker Hotel when I pass through Mineral Wells. I remeber it being a beautiful, classy place when I was a child. Now I understand that it's been condemned. It was the centerpiece of the town, so without it there isn't much to look forward to there.
My grandparents honeymooned there...
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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I'm afraid that Mineral Wells' situation is probably analogous to a place like Wink, Texas after the oil boom played out. Wink was a boom town of 30,000 when my dad was growing up there during the Depression (Wink is in Winkler County, the seat of which is Kermit, which I think is also now much in decline - Permian Basin, about 50 miles from Odessa). By the time I was a child, Wink had around 1,200 people I think and was full of ghost town buildings that were cleared out with urban renewal money in the early 1960s, which left the place even more barren, if less ghostly. Wink will never come back to life -- there's just nothing out there; and Mineral Wells' situation isn't much better, although at least the natural environment is much less bleak.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
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Where did you get the idea that Wink, TX, ever reached a population as high as 30,000?

Any sources for that?
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Metromess
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It might have...the little town of Ranger was that big during the oil boom. West Texas is full of little towns that are steadily losing population.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Cathy, my dad lived in Wink from the age of 4 until he graduated HS, and my paternal grandparents continued to live there for many years thereafter. I haven't researched it formally, but this is what I've been told by members of my family. That population level didn't last but a relatively few years. However, the Wink school district was so rich from taxes on oil leases that they had a huge high school and football field that was a legacy of that time. My dad was able to take all sorts of courses that weren't offered in normal Texas high schools of the time outside of large cities. Wink was booming from the mid-1920s into the 1930s -- this is when my dad was growing up there. I can tell you that my own memories of the town from the late 1950s and very early '60s was that it had a big downtown area of abandoned buidlings. Those all seemed to be built of frame or maybe stucco over frame. They were all torn down with federal urban renewal monies in the Kennedy or Johnson administrations. It was a boom town and most things weren't really built to last. My grandparents lived in one of the little oil company houses that had subsequently been sold off to them when the big companies were closing out operations there. My father and uncles used to tell stories of delivering newspapers to the local brothels and running errands for the ladies there. Wink actually had a full-fledged red light district during the boom heyday (I guess my dad would have been 8 or 10 at the time, so around 1930-32). Mineral Wells, of course, had a less ephemeral economy for half a century, but in a somewhat analogous fashion it has almost all played out. Both places - and of course MW is obviously bigger - will hang on but will never return to their lost glory days.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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OK, so at the risk of disturbing the PTB with this tangent (but I promise it's my last post on the subject, unless someone wants to start a Wink thread), here is the Wikapedia article on Wink: Wink, Texas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The article points out a discrepancy between the official reported population and what may have been the actual population, and gives the actual upward limit as 25,000. That would be consistent with my father's reports. The article, interestingly, points out that there was a great deal of organised crime, prostitution, etc operating there during the boom years. The number of medical facilities and businesses seems telling, with regard to the population question. It also mentions the urban renewal monies that the town got in 1960. It appears that things had played out by the onset of WWII and for years the town's population remained stable but greatly diminished at less than 2000 persons. By the last census, however, it had only 900 souls.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
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Interesting story--I knew that Wink, McCamey, Girvin (and even the old ghost town of Stiles) and other wide spots in the road were once quite a bit bigger than they are now. It's amazing how fast they are all drying up, and will continue to do so.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
It might have...the little town of Ranger was that big during the oil boom. West Texas is full of little towns that are steadily losing population.
Yes. And some have gone to 6-man football in recent years. One of these days I'm going to go actually watch a game to see the difference!
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I'd like to see a 6-man football game too! It sounds like it would be fun to watch. Lots of scoring!

Itasca, a little town about 50 miles south of Fort Worth, has a huge downtown square surrounded by businesses, 90% of which are boarded up. It obviously has seen better times, like many small towns.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Mineral Wells! A sad and hideous place. I lived a few years there and the local fauna is quite interesting but also sad. tales of murder, betrayal, drugs, prostitution, child molestation, hopeless stories. The town is since years in a downward spiral, the latest stories of kidnapping, murder and missing girls is just the tip of the iceberg. This town is full of welfare recipients, alcoholics and drug addicts. Sadly enough the economy ist destroyed and Walmarts the only place to go. A prison in Fort Walters. Really a shame since there is a potential for tourism and there are some important companies in airplane industry.

Last edited by Eurodawg; 08-29-2010 at 01:09 PM.. Reason: Typo
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