The Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railway Company (KCM&O) built this depot in 1909-10. 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. San Angelo won a bitter contest over Sweetwater to become a major station on Stilwell's international rail system. This was the largest of the company's depots, and it also served as headquarters for their state offices.
The KCM&O Engineering Department designed the depot; most drawings bear the name or initials of Albert T. Camfield. The depot is a large, two-story rectangular plan structure with a bell-hipped tile roof, deep overhangs, and dormers on the street fa?ade. Red brick walls are accented by cast stone detailing. Square posts support a one-story hipped-roof canopy and covered entrance on three sides. A square projecting tower with pyramidal roof on the track side 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.
Although the KCM&O struggled in early years, the discovery of oil in west Texas in the early 1920s led to higher company profits and capital improvements. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company purchased the KCM&O in 1928. By 1989, the Santa Fe announced plans to raze the freight and passenger depots. Citizens initiated a successful campaign to preserve and rehabilitate the buildings as a senior services center and railroad museum.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark