Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 16, 2014

Reflections on the Woman's Club of Mineral Wells

Mineral Wells Index

Ok, ok, I know some of you fellows were rather amused by my column a while back - the one telling you not to read. Well, while this column is about women, I hope you will read it and be encouraged by it to assist in the preservation of one of the few grand old ladies left in our town.


I know we're all excited about the distinct possibility that the Baker Hotel will be brought back to its original glory, but I am interested in other historic buildings and groups here, as well.


One of the most interesting is the grand old lady, the Old Post Office, which now houses the Woman's Club of Mineral Wells. Many of you remember, as kids, that was the Post Office we went to to get mail and send packages, and there are many great photos of the old days there. One is from the A.F. Weaver collection and was taken in 1930. You can see these photos on Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu.  


This building a one of several that need the support of the community if it is to continue to be preserved.  It's a beautiful building, and it's an interesting historical feature for our town.


Do you know how this great dame came to be preserved? If not, here goes.


Early in 1975 a group of local women decided that something needed to be done 

about the Old Post Office and, as well, our town needed a woman's organization for all the gals in town. Thanks to the forming Board of Trustees, the Mineral Wells Woman's Club was organized. These women were Mrs. Mitch (Jean) Bumgardner, Mrs. D. C. (Beatrice) Harris, Mrs. Bill F. (Nancy) Rivers, Mrs. Fay Stewart, Mrs. T.J. (Edna Mae) Honea, and Mrs. James L. (Louanne) Irwin.


You see, this building had been a United States Post Office from 1912 until 1959 when a new facility was built. From 1959 until 1975 the building housed the Boys Club and served as a Civil Defense Shelter, as well as a meeting place for many local groups.


A small group of women with very little money but lots of willingness began dedicating time to polishing brass, scrubbing marble floors, repairing plaster, and painting the building known as the Old Post Office.  This caught the eye of the Mineral Wells Index which began reporting weekly on the restoration project.


Clubs and civic organizations and supportive husbands began to join the bandwagon, fundraisers were held, and slowly but surely the grand old lady was beautified and reopened as the "Bride's Room."


The first function, a Valentine's Day tea, was held on Feb. 20, 1975, and soon groups were scheduling the building for lots of different events. The place was a hit!


The Woman's Club, itself, was officially organized on Feb. 3, 1976, and the group continued to endeavor to stimulate community interest in the preservation of the building, both because of its history and because of its beauty and architecture. When the first officers were installed, over 100 people attended the meeting.


In 1986 a Texas Historical Marker was placed in front of the building.


Today, the 102-year-old building is still looking for support, encouragement and dedication.


The Woman's Club of Mineral Wells meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. One of the projects of the club, to ensure the continuation of the building, is printing a cookbook with recipes by the members. (I'm going so share a recipe next week!) The cost is $15 for each book. If you would like to help by purchasing a cookbook, or if you would like to donate to the preservation of the building, send a check to Mineral Wells Woman's Club, PO Box 413, Mineral Wells, Texas, 76067.


Or, if you like to play bridge, you can do that while helping with preservation. A bridge luncheon will be held Friday, March 28, at 10 a.m. at the Woman's Club. The entry fee is $20. Send your check and information to Wanda Reddell, 609 Northwest 15th St., Mineral Wells TX 76067. Do it ASAP, as the fees are due by March 21!


So, ok, Mineral Wells, let's support the historic preservation of a grand lady. What do you say?