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WOOTAN WELLS, ROBERTSON COUNTY, TEXAS


This webpage contains the history, biographies and photos of early-day Wootan Wells Texas residents. Wootan Wells is now just a memory on the prarie of Texas in Robertson County Texas.

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Wootan Wells Bulletin Board.

Got the following email from Carol lynch (carollynch@sbcglobal.net):
My grandmother (Alice Gray Wooten, Klinglesmith), always told us stories f how her father was the founder of "Wooten Wells". I know she had a brother named Snell Wooten, she had pictures and told us he was killed in the war. She was born on August 24, 1882. She married John E. Klinglesmith, I'm not sure what year. I would love to have any information you might have on my grandparents. I'm makeing a family history book for my children. My name is Helen Carol Lynch, my mothers name was Mattie Lou Gene Klinglesmith, born in Wanette, OK in 1925. I would love any information, Thank You,

Carol Lynch

History of Wootan Wells, Robertson County, Texas.


The area that eventually became known as Wootan Wells was initially home to a handful of hardy settlers who braved Indian-held territory to establish log homes in the early 1800's. The area continued to grow with the arrival of large numbers of Polish emmigrants that settled nearby Bremond and spilled over to the Wootan Wells area.



FIRST WOOTAN WELL DUG IN 1878

Francis Marion Wootan moved to Texas from Alabama in 1873. Wootan bought 51.5 acres of the Hugh Davlin League land and part of the Robert Moffit Survey. In 1878, he dug a seventy-five-foot well to supply his farmstead with water, which subsequently turned his plates yellow and his clothes red.

Photo of Francis Marion Wootan, founder of Wootan Wells Photo of Martha Francis Wootan, wife of founder of Wootan Wells

Wootan's wife refused to live with that undrinkable water so they rented the place out to an indigent family for one bale of cotton per year and moved.

However, folks in the area began to notice a major improvement in the appearance of the indigent's family. Their kids became clear-eyed and rosy cheeks and were enjoying robust health. Word spread like wildfire that the bad tasting waters possessed powerful healing properties.Soon people came from everywhere to draw buckets of water from the Wootan well.

Francis Wootan soon realized he was sitting on top of a goldmine and by year's end, moved back into his original homestead.

Wootan then contracted with United States Navy chemist, Dr. W. Mew, to analyze the water. After learning of the water's high mineral content, Wootan advertised the water as curative in the Bremond newspaper.

For the next year water was distributed freely and demand for land around the well grew.



WOOTAN WELLS GETS A POST OFFICE (1883)

In 1883, with financial help from a group of Waco businessmen, Francis Wootan constructed a first class resort complete with fine hotels, cottages and bathhouses. Word spread far and wide and even the Governor of Texas, Governor James Hogg and his daughters came to the resort. Rates at the hotels were $2.00 per day for room and board while the Wootan, a two-store frame hotel only charged a dollar a day. The elegant dance pavillion was the heart of the resort featuring a Mexican stringed guitar band.

A coca cola soda water plant also set up in Wootan Wells and my aunt, Willie Snider Storemski recalls that when walking home from the Bremond schools, the soda water company gave the girls free drinks on their hot walk home.



In 1883, Wootan Wells was a robust community and got it's own post office named after Francis Marion Wootan. The Wootan Wells post office continued to operate until after the Wootan Wells fires took their toll in 1915. The post office was officially closed in 1919 becoming a rural route of Bremond.

Photo of early day resident of Wootan Wells Photo of early day resident of Wootan Wells

Photo of early day resident of Wootan Wells Photo of early day resident of Wootan Wells

Photo of early day resident of Wootan WellsPhoto of early day resident of Wootan Wells




Great Old Postcard of Early-Day Wootan Wells
from my mother,Connie Snider Kubiak,
who born in Wootan Wells in 1915.

Photo of early day Wootan Wells
Great old magazine article, "The Swan Song of Wootan Wells" published in the Old West Magazine has a wealth of photos and information about the Wootan Wells resort including a facinating letter written for family back home describing the activities at the resort.

Wade, the Old Wootan Wells Company manager, also built a mule-drawn train and a short rail line to transport visitors and the bottled water between the resort and the Houston and Texas Central depot south of Bremond.

Photo of early day mule train of Wootan Wells
Mule-Drawn Train used to transport visitors from Bremond to Wooten Wells

In addition to the rail transportation, large caravans of covered wagons made the journey to Wootan Wells and folks camped out of the wagons cooking their meals around campfires. Wootan Wells was the place to be in the 1880's!

The area surrounding the actual site of Wootan Wells was rich farming land much of it owned by the Cambell family who rented the land to sharecroppers, including my grandparents Mike Snider and Louis Kubiak and great Grandfather, Tom Suchowiak Snider and his brother Jacob Suchowiak Snider and their respective families.

In 1883 the company reorganized to include R. H. Wade and William McKinney. They built two rows of cottages, a dance pavilion, and bathhouses. During peak periods, several thousand guests could be seen strolling the grounds, drinking the waters and bathing in the spas. The local farmers would drive past the Wootan Wells settlement on their way to Bremond.


Great Old Postcard of Early-Day Wootan Wells
from my mother,Connie Snider Kubiak,
who born in Wootan Wells in 1915.

Photo of early day bottling works of Wootan Wells
Wooten Wells Bottling Works established after drilling Well Number 4.



WOOTAN WELLS WAS BOOMING IN THE GAY 90's

By 1890 Wootan Wells had over 200 permanent residents and upwards of 2,000 summer residents.

For entertainment, there was the local Billiard's hall, crocket was popular out on the lawns, and polka bands frequented the pavilian. In 1898,Buffalo Bill Cody met George Washington Holland in a shooting match out on the Wootan Wells grounds. The Bremond Roberts Rifles (Company E of the Second Texas Infantry, Texas National Guard) also camped here on numerous occasions.

A fifth well was drilled, but it was closed because of traces of oil. The company feared the oil to be a fire hazard.

By 1900, Wootan Wells had more than thirty businesses, including six physicians' offices, a school (Sam Hornbeck, later president of Trinity University, was principal), an opera house, a two-story billiard hall, a wagonmaker, a blacksmith, a dairy, a gristmill, a cotton gin, two general stores, three churches, a bottling company, pottery works, and Western Union and Wells Fargo stations.

Some of the early day pottery and bottles produced in Wootan Wells are shown in the following photographs curtesy of stoneware and bottle collector, David Wallace" (dlwallace@suddenlink.net):




THE DECLINE AND FALL OF WOOTAN WELLS

With the discovery of mineral water in Marlin, the Wootan Wells industry declined severly. The never-ending flow of guests to soaked in the healing waters of Wootan Wells were being diverted to Marlin and many of the businesses of Wootan Wells closed their doors. By 1914, Wootan Wells only one operating hotel, two vacant hotels, five or six cottages, a bottling works, and a grocery store.

FIRE OF 1915

With the town already in severe decline, the crushing blow was struck in the summer of 1915 when a hotel clerk attempted to burn out a wasp's nest. This started a fire which quickly spread to the adjoining cottages fanned by the strong southerly breezes. After the smoke cleared, Wootan Wells was left with only one hotel and the bottling works. The bottling works continued to operate until it burned in 1921. That fire also took out the last remaining hotel.

In 1969 a historical marker was dedicated at the origal site of Wootan Wells (intersection of HW6 and the Bremond road) by a son of early-day Wootan Wells residents, Representative Dan Kubiak of Rockdale.

Today, only the Wootan Wells Texas Historical Marker and green pastures remain where once a thriving tourist attaction existed for some 35 years.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. W. 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," True West, February 1967. Richard Denny Parker, Historical Recollections of Robertson County, Texas (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1955).

Texas historic marker: "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)

This web page honors those earlier residents of Wootan Wells by attempting to identify all former residents, provide brief biographical sketches, photos and other interesting stuff about the folks that once lived in Wootan Wells. Over time, photos of scenes from early-day Wootan Wells will also be posted to this webpage. page.
Once word of this site gets out, I anticipate we'll get lots of contributions to keep the site growing!

If you have more information about any resident (photos, etc.), please send me an email.

Thanks...

Leonard Kubiak (decendant of early-day Wootan Wells families).





Seth Ward and Mary Wesley Shaunfield Brantner. Seth married Mary Wesley Shaunfield on June 3, 1934. He died on February 24, 1988.

Mary Wesley was born February 29, 1908, in Reagan to E. Wesley Shaunfield and Tem Duke Shaunfield. She graduated from Reagan High School in 1926 and from college at S. W. C (now TWU) at Denton. On June 3, 1934 she married Seth Ward Brantner. Seth and Mary resided in Bremond and the Wootan Wells community until moving to Reagan in 1984. He preceded her in death on February 24, 1988.

Mrs. Brantner taught grade school for 31 years and also worked at the cotton gin in Bremond. She retired from teaching at the Bremond ISD. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Walter Lynn Shaunfield and Jack Shaunfield, and one nephew, E.W. Shaunfield.

Mary Wesley Brantner died at the age of 89 in Reagan on December 12, 1997, after a brief illness. Graveside services were held at the Waite Cemetery in Reagan.



Sam Hornbeck



William Robert Hudson, born 1-3-1844, died 3-29-1901, married Susan Conley, born 1851; died 11-15-1882 at Age 31 years. William Robert (W.R.)Hudson was born in MO and served in the confederate army. He was wounded in the civil war at the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Dec. 31, 1862. His enlistment was recorded on Aug 20, 1861 at Vicksburg. He was captured at Jonesboro Ga. Sept. 2, 1864 and paroled April 26, 1865 at Greensboro, N.C.

Children:
Robert (Duke) Hudson, b. 1880 at WOOTAN WELLS. Became a Texas Ranger and later Sheriff of Grimes Co, Texas 1925-29.
Theodocia Anna (Hudson) Stoneham, b. 1872.

W. R. Hudson, Susan Conley (his wife), Docia (Theodocia A. Hudson), and H. B. Stoneham (Docia's husband) are all buried at POWERS CHAPEL CEMETERY, Loop 235, Rosebud, Texas. The tombstones read:
(Double Stone)
HUDSON, William Robert, b. 1-3-1844, d. 3-29-1901
HUDSON, Susan I. (Conley) --Wife of William Robert Hudson, b. 1851; d. 11-15-1882 at Age 31 years
HUDSON, FOUR (4) INFANTS OF W. R. & S. I. Hudson - No Dates
Information curtesy of Ken Hudson , great grandson of William Robert Hudson.
Hello, my name is Linda Himes Guyan. I am very interested in your Wootan Wells web site. My mother, Iva Lee Reaves, was born in Wootan Wells November 8, 1908. Although she always spelled Wootan with an "e." Her parents were John Ishom and Nancy Lucindy Reaves. Her birth mother was Lucy Viola Clayton (later Coates, then Hendrix). They lived most of their lives at a place called Woods Lodge in Prairie Creek (near Beaver Dam I think). I remember her saying she went to Prarie Creek School and she also talked a lot about Rogers, Ark. My mother married Odus Leonard Himes from Arlington Texas and they later moved to California which is where I live. My father died in 1974 and my mother in 1996. My mother never talked much about her life or her birth in Wootan Wells. And so I am left with many questions about her life and where she was born and raised. It is my hope that maybe you or someone you may know would recognize some of these names and be able to give me some information. I know so little about my mother's life. It would be so wonderful to know more.


Mr. and Mrs. Kirkpatrick
Children: Marshall




Mary Virginia Holloway Kirkpatrick
Mary Virginia Holloway taught in the West End Wootan Wells schools in the mid 1920's








John T, and Connie (Snider)Kubiak
Children:Daniel Eugene (dan)
Leonard Paul
L.B.
Jean
Richard
Shirley Ann




John T. and Connie Snider Kubiak




William McKinney



John Ishom and Nancy Lucindy Reaves
Daughter: Iva Lee Reaves, born in Wootan Wells November 8, 1908. Her birth mother was Lucy Viola Clayton (later Coates, then Hendrix).

"Hello, my name is Linda Himes Guyan. I am very interested in your Wootan Wells web site. My mother, Iva Lee Reaves, was born in Wootan Wells November 8, 1908. Although she always spelled Wootan with an "e." Her parents were John Ishom and Nancy Lucindy Reaves. Her birth mother was Lucy Viola Clayton (later Coates, then Hendrix). They lived most of their lives at a place called Woods Lodge in Prairie Creek (near Beaver Dam I think). I remember her saying she went to Prarie Creek School and she also talked a lot about Rogers, Ark. My mother married Odus Leonard Himes from Arlington Texas and they later moved to California which is where I live. My father died in 1974 and my mother in 1996. My mother never talked much about her life or her birth in Wootan Wells. And so I am left with many questions about her life and where she was born and raised. It is my hope that maybe you or someone you may know would recognize some of these names and be able to give me some information. I know so little about my mother's life. It would be so wonderful to know more.

Thank you,
Linda Himes Guyan"
lhgmax@yahoo.com



Jacob(Suchowiak)and Pauline Kasmirowski Snider

Children:
Stash Snider (B. may 1866, died August 1, 1930; married Stella Storemski; children: Steve, Emma, Frank, Will, Lige, and Sofie
Antone Ben Snider, Born January 1, 1875, Married Kathryn Kubitzke; children Josie, Johnnie, Vicki, Maggi, and Flonny.
Felix Stephen Snider, Born May 20, 1878; Died January 12, 1946; married Juliana Troynowski (1880-1901) and JoAnna Biezenski (second marriage: August 13, 1902). Children: John Frank (b. July 4, 1904), Lula Marie (B. February 14, 1906), Margaret Mary (B. June 10, 1911), Max Joseph (B. November 28, 1913) and Joe (B. August 10, 1915).
Lena Snider, B. May 1883; married Ike Hablinski. Children: Margaret (B. May 8, 1902), Ed Hablinski (died at age 18), and Pauline Hablinski (died at age 3).

Tomas (Suchowiak)and Balbina Snider

Children:
Lige Snider. Married Josie Luchark.
Frank Snider. Married Josie Okonski.
John Snider. Married Anna Markoski.
Josephine Snider. Married Stash Sypnieski
Beulah Snider. Married Buford McKewen.
Henry Snider. Married Valeria Kazmierowski
Mike Snider. Married Veronica Grudziecki. Children: John, Willie, Bill, Connie, Bruno, Christine, Louis and Lee (all born in Wootan Wells).


Mike and Veronica Snider






John and Lula Krysinski Snider.

John Snider, oldest son of Mike and Veronica Snider, was born in Wootan Wells and grew up on the Campbell farm near the Brazos River west of Bremond.

In 1942, John and Lula Snider bought a farm 2 miles west of Reagan where they farmed and raised a big family. In the early 50's, they moved to Bremond where the spent the rest of their lives on a small farm just outside of town. (both deceased)
Family:




Dr. F. W. Stoltje



Kie and Willie Snider Storemski
Children:
Teresa Storemski,
Daniel Storemski,
Louise Storemski

Willie Snider Storemski was born in Wootan Wells on March 10, 1910 to Mike and Veronica Snider. Willie died Jan. 26, 2001 and is buried in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery with her husband, Kie Storemski.

BREMOND - Services for Willie Snider Storemski, 90, of the Reagan community in Falls County, Texas, are set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bremond. Mrs. Storemski died Friday in Marlin.
She was born in Marlin and was a homemaker. She attended Wootan Wells schools and was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and Holy Rosary Society.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Kie Storemski.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Daniel and Alice Storemski of Reagan; two daughters and a son-in-law, Theresa Wisnoski of Houston and Louise and Roy Erwin of Reagan; a brother and sister-in-law, Louis and Natalie Snider of Willis, Texas; a sister and brother-in-law, Christine and Frank Knapik of Bremond; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.



Jacob & Julia Wachel

Children:
Mathew Edward Wachel, born in Wootan Wells in 1894.
Daughter: Mary Wachel Rantzow

Billy and Bonnie Wachel
Children:
Billy Wachel



Received the following email from Steven Wachel:

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 06:17:57 -0800 (PST)
From: "Steven Wachel"
To: lenkubiak.geo@yahoo.com

"I was just browsing the internet when I stumbled upon a little Wooten Wells history. My name is Steven Wachel--son of Bonnie and Billy Wachel. Just wanted to send a thank you for creating a great website. I enjoyed finding out historical information from somewhere I grew up.
I live in New York City and have been for the past six years. Currently I am in Europe doing some traveling. After the new year I plan on getting over to Poland. Very excited to see my ancestor's homeland. Anyway, again thank you for the website. I really enjoyed it.

Sincerely,
Steven


T. W. Wade


Francis Marion Wootan- founder and town namesake. Became the town's first postmaster.




For more information, contact Len Kubiak at:

E-mail: lenkubiak.geo@yahoo.com



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If you have any old stories or photos to post on this website, please contact :Leonard Kubiak, (lenkubiak.geo@yahoo.net). Thanks!






For questions or comments, send me an Email

















LEONARD KUBIAK's ONLINE TEXAS HISTORY WEBPAGES


TEXAS HISTORY

Letters by Early-Day Texas Settlers.
Officers and Men of the Republic of Texas
How Texas Got It's Name.
Officers and Men of the Republic of Texas
Old 300 Anglo Settlers in Texas.

Important Documents of Early-Day Texas
Battle of San Jacinto-Victory for the Republic of Texas Army

Military Forts in Early Day Texas


FALLS COUNTY, TEXAS
History of Busksnort and Marlin, Texas
Eye Witness Accounts of Busksnort and Marlin, Texas
History of Cedar Springs, Wilderville, and Rosebud

Pleasant Grove, Falls County, Tx Webpage
Rosebud, Falls County, Tx Webpage
Highbank Webpage and History
History of Reagan, Texas
History of Reagan Baptist Church
History of the Reagan Methodist Church
Reagan Homecoming Page
Reagan Obituaries
Map of Reagan, Texas
Former Residents of Reagan, Texas
Former Students and Teachers of Reagan, Texas
Fond Memories of Life in Reagan
History of Alto Springs
History of Long Branch
History of Blue Ridge
History of North Blue Ridge (Stranger)

FALLS COUNTY CEMETERY LISTINGS
North Blue Ridge (Stranger)Settlement History and Cemetery
Blueridge History and Cemetery Roll
Mustang Prairie Settlement History and Cemetery Listing
History of Cedar Springs, Pleasant Grove, & Wilderville, and cemetery Listings Waite (Reagan)Cemetery Listing
Blue Ridge (Reagan)Cemetery Listing
Hog Island (Reagan) Cemetery Listing
Johnson (Reagan)Cemetery Listing
Powers/McCaleb(Reagan)Cemetery Listing

LEE COUNTY
History of Tanglewood


LIMESTONE COUNTY
Kosse Cemetery Listings.

MILAM, COUNTY, TEXAS
History of Rockdale, Thorndale, Bushdale
History of Hamilton Chapel, Cemetery Listing
History and Listing of Rockdale IOOF Cemetery


ROBERTSON COUNTY

Bremond and Wootan Wells


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS
Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas Home Page
Prehistoric History of the Liberty Hill Region
Liberty Hill Settlement in the 1850's
History of the Liberty Hill Stage Coach Stop (1852)
Liberty Hill -Then and Now
The Founding of New Liberty Hill (1882)
Historic Liberty Hill Cemetery Listing.
History of Cedar Park

FAMOUS TEXANS AND VISITORS
Governor John Conally
State Representative Daniel James Kubiak
Jean Kubiak Cundieff Memorial Page
Indian Captive Cynthia Ann Parker
Sam Houston-Early-day Texas History
General George Custer
Generals Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant
Famous Sam Bass Outlaw Gang
General Santa Anna
Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the U.S.


HISTORY OF TRANSPORTATION
History of Trains in Texas


INDIAN RELEATED HISTORY
Indian Treaty Signed With the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches in 1867
The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker.
History of the Tarahumara Indians, a primitive tribe living in modern times.

OLD WEST RELATED

Another true life tale of life in Early-Day texas
History of the Cowboy and Cattle Drives in Early-Day texas
History of The Western Stagecoach
Cowboys of the Silver Screen.


MISCELLEANEOUS
History of Thanksgiving.
History of the Hesston Belt Buckle.







For questions or comments, send me an Email at lenkubiak.geo@yahoo.com





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