Attempts to bring rail service to Lamar County began in the mid-1800s, but a line did not reach the city of Paris until one was built to the south side of town in 1875. Residents raised money to entice the St. Louis & San Francisco (Frisco) to extend its line to Paris from the north, and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe to extend from Galveston from the southeast. The lines met here in 1887. By 1912, five lines served Paris: The Texas & Pacific, the Santa Fe, the Frisco, the Texas Midland, and the Paris & Mount Pleasant. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
In addition to small depots serving individual railroads, the city had a wooden Union Station by the early 1900s at this site. In 1910, construction on the present Union Station began, and it opened for business in 1912 serving Frisco, Santa Fe and Texas Midland passenger trains. Segregated waiting rooms served patrons, and the railway express agency occupied the south wing. The architect is unknown, but the Prairie and Italianate style design is similar to others on the Frisco rail line. The building's dark-colored brick is complemented by lighter stone sills and lintels. The tiled, hipped roof features dormers and deep, overhanging eaves with brackets. The 77-foot tower resembles an Italian campanile, or watch tower.
Rail passenger numbers in Paris peaked during World War II due to nearby Camp Maxey, but as automobile usage increased, passenger rail travel declined. The Santa Fe ended service in 1954 and the final Frisco passenger train left Union Station in 1956, but the depot continued to serve freight operations until the late 20th century. In 1997, the Kiamichi Railroad acquired Frisco
and Santa Fe interests and donated the depot for restoration to the city of Paris.