TXGenWeb Robertson County Books & Master's Theses

W O O T A N   W E L L S   C O L L E C T I O N

WANDA KOTCH RAY [jhray2@yahoo.com] HAS ADOPTED THIS COLLECTION

This collection will record information about Wootan Wells, Robertson County's now vanished turn-of-the-century spa/resort.

Anyone with information about this former spa/resort, families who settled in the area (including dates & places of immigration), businesses & business owners, family bible records, books & articles, immigration & naturalization records, family trees & GEDCOM files, pictures, plats, architectural drawings, etc., is encouraged to contribute whatever they wish.  Churches, civic & fraternal leaders & groups, historians, family griots, & public-spirited individuals are all urged to volunteer to help preserve online information about Wootan Wells.

Resources Descriptions
 
Historic Wootan Wells Photos
Photographs on left & right are from
History Of Robertson County.  Photo above is from an old postcard.
Historical
Marker
31 08 17 N / -96 43 11 W
(Hwy. 6 & FM 1373, 2.5 miles west of Bremond)
TopoZone Map

"Famous early health spa and resort. First well was dug 1878 by landowner Francis Wootan. Water tasted good, but turned dishes yellow and clothes red. Even so, it seemed to possess amazing curative properties. Wootan soon built a hotel and in 1879 a resort town made its debut. He formed a promotion company with T. W. Wade and more hotels, a bottling works, dance pavilion, and school sprang up. Leading socialites came from miles to 'take the waters'. Disaster struck in 1915 when fire swept the town. In 1921 the last buildings also burned."  (#10958/1969)

Landmarks
Article

"Wootan Wells was a mineral water spa community in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s, founded by the Wootan family, primarily Francis Marion Wootan, whose brother Israel was my great-grandfather. I have considerable historical information about Wootan Wells and will be glad to share it. It was written up extensively, with photos, by the Waco newspaper in the 1960s, in a retrospective. The place burned down and finally closed forever around 1920. It had a bottling plant, its own mule-drawn railcar to connect with the main line at Hammond Switch, a few miles south of Bremond on Hwy 6, for bringing in visitors and others who wanted to "take the waters". Only a Texas State Historical Sites sign today marks the spot along Hwy 6. The coordinates are approximate, based on Bremond's. Following are sources that might help the serious researcher. First, there is a lengthy article by Janet Mace Valenza, "Wootan Wells, Texas," in The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 6 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996), 1073-1074. She gives the following bibliography for the site: John Walter Baker, History of Robertson County, Texas (Franklin, Texas: Robertson County Historical Survey Committee, 1970). Dallas Morning News, February 17, 1948. Peggy Joyce Florida, "The Swan Song of Wootan Wells," in True West, February 1967. Richard Denny Parker, Historical Recollections of Robertson County, Texas (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1955)."  Source:  http://www.txgenweb.org/tx/landmarks/robertso.htm.
A History Of
Robertson County
John Walter Baker has a chapter on Wootan Wells in his book.  This chapter contains ten pages (pp. 415 - 425) of information about Wootan Wells, and includes pictures of rent cottage row, mule train, Wootan Hotel, bottling works, and well number 4. 
Historical
Recollections
Of
Robertson
County
This Richard Denny Parker book includes the following paragraph on page 102:  "Wootan Wells, a resort named for F. M. Wootan's mineral wells, flourished in the eighties.  At one time, it had three hotels, bath houses, tourist cottages, a dance pavilion, stores, telegraph and express offices.  A series of fires caused much damage and meantime Marlin attracted the health resort trade and periodic attempts to revive Wootan Wells were unsuccessful."
Other
Print
Materials

The Handbook Of Texas Online has an article about Wootan Wells; it also has an article on Mineral Water Springs & Wells that mentions Wootan Wells.  There is a chapter on Wootan Wells in Ghost Towns Of Robertson County.  Ivory Freeman Carson's master's thesis Early Development Of Robertson County has a short chapter on the short-lived town. 

Websites Leonard Kubiak has information about Bremond (closest town) and Wootan Wells at www.forttumbleweed.com/bremond.html The Bremond Chamber Of Commerce and Bremond Public Library may have additional information about Wootan Wells.  Francis Marion "Frank" Wootan, Wootan Wells' namesake, and other family members are buried at the Bremond Cemetery; additional Wootan burials are at Rhodes Chapel Cemetery.
Wootan Wells Bottle View a Wootan Wells Company glass bottle.
Wootan Wells
Cemetery
Ghost Towns Of Robertson County - Wootan Wells states that there once was a cemetery at Wootan Wells for people who became ill and died while visiting the spa/resort.  No cemetery is apparent today.


Wootan Wells Postmasters

Wootan, Frank Marion, 13 Feb 1883 Lane, Allen S., 20 July 1905
Wade, Newton J., 30 Jan 1888 Dunegan, James O., 28 Feb 1913
Grider, George W., 3 Dec 1892 Pittman, Ellen T., 7 Jan 1916
Lane, Ira W., 16 Sep 1899 (Declined) Erck, Aug. W., 28 Feb 1919
Allen, William O., 26 Dec 1899 Discontinued 31 Dec 1919; mail to Bremond
Lane, Ira W., 5 Feb 1902  

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