SAN ANGELO, Texas — The San Angelo Railway Museum was featured by the Texas Historical Commission (THC).
The THC went into how the train depot in San Angelo was built in 1909-1910 by the Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railway Company (KCM&O).
“The KCM&O was one of three connecting railroads promoted by mining and railroad entrepreneur Arthur E. Stilwell. The proposed rail system ran 1,600 miles from Kansas City, Missouri, to Topolabampo, Mexico, the Pacific port nearest the U.S. Midwest. However, the route was never fully completed,” said the THC.
Sweetwater and San Angelo competed to become a major station on Stilwell’s international rail system. San Angelo came out victorious and became the largest of the company’s depots, and it also served as headquarters for their state offices.
“The projecting tower room housed the dispatcher. The first floor contained the segregated waiting rooms, ticket office, baggage handling area, gentlemen’s smoking room, and ladies’ parlor. The second floor was devoted to offices,” said the THC.
According to the THC the KCM&O struggled in its early years but with the discovery of oil in West Texas in the early 1920s, the company began to see higher company profits and capital improvements. In 1928 the KCM&O was purchased by The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company, and by 1989, Santa Fe announced plans to raze the freight and passenger depots.
The building is now known as the Railway Museum of San Angelo after local residents at the time initiated a successful campaign to preserve and rehabilitate the building.
The museum is open Thursdays and Fridays 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.