The Old Kansas City Southern Railroad Station

category : Railroad History
The Old Kansas City Southern Railroad Station "On a day in the fall of 1996, I took my camera to take a nostalgic photograph of a landmark that has been familiar to me all my life - the old Kansas City Southern Railroad Station. On a quiet afternoon or early morning, if one listens carefully and allows his imagination to go back in time, the whistles might be heard announcing the twice-daily approaches of the Flying Crow or the Southern Belle passenger trains."
- Resident, Betty Starr Barker.

The Kansas City Southern Railroad dis-continued is passenger service in the early 70s and soon after closed the depot. It was given to the city of Stilwell. Through the years, it has been occupied by various groups, and its current fate is in jeopardy because of the Highway 59 bypass. The Depot Committee has been formed to study the possibility of saving the building, however, a large part of the funding will have to be used first just to relocate the building.


The first move to build a railroad from Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico had its beginning when Mr. E.L. Martin, a former mayor of Kansas City, held a franchise for building a belt line railroad around Kansas City. He involved Arthur E. Stilwell who assisted in securing capital from Philadelphia investors.

With completion of the Kansas City Suburban Belt Line, Stilwell and his associates soon laid plans fro a new railroad - the long-awaited direct line to the Gulf - and were the only ones that carried the project to completion.

The line was built by creating various construction companies to build various sections of the line and by buying and/or leading small existing railroads that could readily be incorporated into the system. On December 3, 1892, the directors approved the name change of the railroad to the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railway. Two more lines were acquired by the KCP&G in 1893 and 1894. In order for the KCP&G to build from Sulphur Springs, the railroad had to cross Indian Territory. Permission to construct across Indian lands was approved February 27, 1893.

In late 1898, the line's financial problems were so severe that it was necessary to seek support from eastern interests. These new stockholders sought to gain control of the company for themselves. On April 1, 1899, the road was forced into receivership. On May 19, 1900, the Kansas City Southern Railway Company was incorporated to acquire the Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Gulf, its subsidiaries, the Kansas City Terminal lines and the control of the Port Arthur facilities.

Subsequent events and presidents have caused the Kansas City Southern to grow, expand, and prosper. It has increased its mileage, capacity, and operating efficiency to a point that today, it is one of the most viable enterprises in the railroad industry. The KCS has contributed to or caused not only the development of major resources in these states, but it has helped to assure the utilization of the region's vast resources and development of new industries.

Come visit us in Stilwell, Oklahoma

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Veteran's Memorial

In 1992, this patriotic memorial to the veteran's of all wars was dedicated on the front lawn of the Adair County Courthouse. "Lest We Forget" those men who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the peace and security of their fellow man.

Stilwell, OK Memorials

Eagle Theater

Movies. The name conjures up an era of innocence watered by cold soda pop and fertilized by the smell of hot, buttered popcorn. It recalls the excitement of a well-shaven hero, a beautiful virtuous heroine, and the happy memories of yesteryear.

Stilwell, OK Historic Theatres

Adair County Courthouse

After Governor Charles N. Haskell's declaration on May 6, 1910, that Stilwell was the permanent county seat of Adair County, the county records were moved from Westville to Stilwell for the last time. A two-story frame school building, erected in 1902, was used until 1908

Stilwell, OK Historic Courthouses

Fairfield Mission Monument

"Established among the western Cherokees by Dr. Marcus Palmer in 1829 under the auspices of Boston based American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. First located in Pope County, Arkansas Territory, and known as Mulberry Mission.

Stilwell, OK Monuments

Things to do Railroad History near Stilwell, OK