On December 24, 1872, a Missouri, Kansas & Texas (Katy) Railroad train carrying 100 passengers arrived here in the newly established railroad town of Denison. Its arrival marked the culmination of years of effort by the Katy to construct a rail line from the border of Kansas and the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) south to the Red River and into Texas. The Katy earned this lucrative right-of-way by being first in a national competition to construct a rail line from St. Louis south to the Indian Territory. Several months later the unheralded connection of the nation's first north-to-south rail service west of the Mississippi River was established here when a Texas Central Railroad train pulled into Denison from the south on March 10, 1873.
In a brief ceremony to commemorate the occasion Denison Mayor L. S. Owings addressed a small crowd by reading the contents of a telegram he had dispatched to Galveston, Houston, New York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco proclaiming his town's new role as a key link in the nation's network of rail lines.
With this connection passengers and shippers could depend on continuous rail passage from the Texas Gulf Coast, where the Texas Central originated, through Denison to St. Louis where rail linkages extended north to Chicago, east to New York, and west to San Francisco.