June 29, 2012 • NEWCOMERS GUIDE • Page 3
Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County have a deep, colorful history
If you are a new resident, welcome toMineral Wells and Palo Pinto County.You have to come to a place with a color-ful and fascinating past few other citiesand counties can hold a glass to.It’s a story that naturally flows. Let’stap into that story ...Settlers arrived in the area that wouldbecome Palo Pinto County in the mid-19th century. In 1856, the TexasLegislature carved the county out of partsof two other counties: Bosque andNavarro. The following year, white set-tlers began to put down roots in the wildcountry.The area was ranching country, and inthe 1850s and ’60s became home to suchnotable cowmen as Charles Goodnightand Oliver Loving, who served as charac-ter models for Larry McMurtry’sPulitzer-prize-winning novel “LonesomeDove.”Together, Goodnight and Loving pio-neered a cattle trail swinging west thennorth and are considered pivotal in thedevelopment of the Texas cattle industry.Both these men gathered range cattleand lived and ranched in the area.Ranching pioneers like Goodnight andLoving, the Slaughters, Cowdens andCurretons set the rural tone of the coun-ty; but in 1877 a man destined to changethe area forever, wandered into the area. James Alvis Lynch and his family had been living near Denison, Texas, but hadloaded up the wagon and rolled west insearch of a better climate, one less con-ducive to malaria. Most of the Lynch band suffered from this disease.Initially hauling water from the near- by Brazos River, in 1878 Lynch tried todig a well. He ended up with a dry hole.Back to the long haul.Then, in July of 1880, an itinerant welldriller stopped in the valley and Lynchnegotiated a trade: a yoke of oxen for thedriller’s completing the well. This timethe hole was wet, but the water found atthe bottom stunk and tasted foul.At first the Lynch family shied awayfrom the mysterious water. But soon they began to drink the water, first cautiouslythen freely. Their malarial symptoms and
See HISTORY, page 4
The founder of Mineral Wells JamesAlvis Lynch.
For more information, contact:
Bill McGaha, General ManagerHighway 180 EastMineral Wells, Tx. 76067