Newspaper Article About the Origin of 42 in Mineral Wells

Garner, Texas is the most publicized origin of 42. The Garner story was first published in a Dallas newspaper in 1927. A 1985 Fort Worth newspaper article cited the Dallas article. The story is at

Forty-two (42) was also played in Mineral Wells, Texas, seven miles west of Garner. The discussion on 42 in Mineral Wells is at

A 1915 newspaper article (text below) indicates the game of 42 originated in Mineral Wells.

The Game of 42
(Wills Point Chronicle, 15 July 1915)
PDF of original article

Few people of Temple, or Texas, for that matter, know that the originator of the game of "forty-two" was a resident of Temple at the time the game began sweeping the whole United States, especially the southern part. Nearly everybody knows how to play the game but few know it was the brains of a resident of Temple, a brakeman on the Sante Fe system running between this city and San Angelo, that created the game.

His name is Giescke, a full blooded passenger brakeman. He didn't invent the game for money, neither did he have in mind the interest of others when he put on his thinking cap and figured out the game in a Mineral Wells hotel one warm summer day.

Giescke had been in poor health quite a while. He was permitted by the Sante Fe officials to take a vacation and the place which the brakeman went for his health was Mineral Wells. Feeling blue and lonesome, too probably, Giescke, while in one of the water pavilions of the Texas resort, played with a set of dominoes for probably an hour or more. He noticed that the counters, that is the five and tens, totaled thirty-five.

"Then" Giescke reasoned "if the counters make thirty-five why can't a game be invented to be called thirty-five.

He began arranging the fives together and the sixes and the threes, etc., and one discovery of the characteristics of a set of dominoes lead to another. His final disclosure was that there were seven tricks in a set.

"If there are thirty-five counters in total and seven tricks, what's the matter with adding the two together and making forty-two?" Giescke reasoned. And so he did. He established the game with his companions in the hotel and brought it back to Temple, drummers and travelers in general spread the game from one corner of the state to the other, until now it is all over Texas and in many parts of other states of the Union.

-Temple Telegram

Wills Point is located about 50 miles east of Dallas, in Van Zandt County. Thanks to Lawrence Greer for sharing the information on the Mineral Wells article above. If anyone else has additional information, please send email. -PP

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