Water Company Boosts Texas Town's Heritage

Legendary in the early 1900s for its rumored powers to cure a host of ailments, this tiny Texas community's mineral baths and well water once attracted tens of thousands of tourists, including the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Clark Gable and a future president, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Mineral Wells was thriving in the 1920s-40s, with about a dozen water companies and several hotels providing mineral baths to treat everything from arthritis to mental illnesses. One company even named its product Crazy Water after an elderly woman's "mania" allegedly was cured after she drank from a well in the late 1800s.

Then everything began to change after World War II. Such remedies became less popular as penicillin and other antibiotics became readily available. People stopped coming and most hotels closed. The town's namesake lost its relevance as Mineral Wells began focusing on manufacturing and aviation industries.

More than a half century later, a water company that survived the town's economic facelift has boosted sales of Crazy Water to several states and is again offering mineral baths -- helping revive Mineral Wells' long-dormant roots across Texas and beyond.

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