Notes from the past…


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Dr. Kennedy and the “Great Health Resort of Texas”… or, just what the doctor ordered!

There is a most interesting article in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram, discussing the mineral water baths of Mineral Wells, Texas:

Carol Elder is bringing back something that’s been missing from this North Texas city for more than 40 years — mineral baths.

In a sparsely furnished 8-foot-by-11-foot room, customers of the Famous Water Co. can sink into a 69-inch pedestal tub filled with “Crazy Water” for a sensation that hasn’t been available since the historic Baker Hotel closed in 1972, Elder said.

The first mineral baths opened about the time Mineral Wells incorporated in 1882, Elder said. The baths were reputed to heal skin conditions such as eczema, and worse.

Why Crazy Water? According to legend, one of the wells became famous when what was described as a “demented elderly lady” was cured after drinking the water. The town named the well the “Crazy Woman Well,” later shortened to “Crazy Well.”

The mineral waters were reputed to cure all sorts of ailments. Snake oil, you say?

Maybe not, according to my 3rd great-grandfather Dr Nathan Blunt Kennedy of Hillsboro, Texas. Read his ringing endorsement below:

I discovered this pamphlet, created about 1895 (I’m guessing at the date, as Dr Kennedy died in 1897), at The Portal To Texas History web site about 3 years ago. I was researching the Good Doctor’s medical career at the time and was happily surprised to find him mentioned here!


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52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #3- Free Online Genealogy Tools

Besides the very obvious choices of RootsWeb, FamilySearch and the Bureau of Land Management website, have you checked out:

Wyoming Newspaper Project- “Discover the stories that formed Wyoming, through the Wyoming Newspaper Project. For the sheer volume of information they contain, newspapers are the single most important printed record of human activity. Historians, genealogists, and other scholars rely on them to provide a first-hand and sometimes the only account of local news. Available through this website are all the newspapers printed in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922, in an easily searchable format.” An example: 2GGA Albert Bennett’s granddaughter Wylda Bennett was accidentally poisoned in 1921:

Wylda Bennett poisoned

Chronicling America- from the Library of Congress, “Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.” An example: here is the marriage announcement for my 2nd great-grandparents Crist Hayes Carrico and Hattie Lee Kennedy, from 1893:

Google Books- thousands of out-of-copyright and public domain publications, an excellent source of original data for your ancestors living in the 19th-20th centuries. I have found oodles of info concerning numerous ancestors! An example: this is what I found for 2GGU Dr Thomas J Bennett, from 1921:

Thomas Joshua Bennett, MDThomas Joshua Bennett, MD biography

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52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.