By TODD GLASSCOCK
History repeats itself in the strangest ways.
That's what Troy Stone, president of the Mineral Wells Heritage Association, has discovered as he's researched the history of the Baker Hotel.
The hotel was built because the citizens of Mineral Wells banded together to get it built, in the same way they are banding together to see it restored, he told members of the association during a recent meeting. He and his uncle, Gerald Warfield, presented a program that mixed history from early newspaper accounts with readings of poetry about the Baker's past, present and future.
Before the hotel was built, people rallied to raise funds for its development, he said, because of concerns Mineral Wells was losing out to profits on sales and use of the community's namesake mineral water. They sought out Texas hotel magnate Theodore Brasher Baker, known for the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth and the Baker Hotel in Dallas, to build the hotel, which would be based on Arlington Hotel, known for its water and baths, in Hot Springs, Ark.
The people of Mineral Wells were steadfast in their vision and pursuit of a grand hotel for the city, as a poem by W.S. Genaro that ran in the Mineral Index on Nov. 20. 1929, makes quite clear. The poem, read by Warfield, reads:
“Psychologists tell us our dreams will come true,
If we hold to a pattern and steadfastly do,
Those things that will tend towards making them real,
That is, catch the spirit–then act as we feel.
“If you've tried this, you know that the theory is sound
And everywhere proof of its workings are found.
One wondrous example of which I might tell;
The Magnificent Mineral Wells Baker Hotel.”
What was once a vision of the city's people had its grand opening Nov. 9, 1929, all 14 stories and 450 rooms, Stone said.