OLD WINFIELD LANDMARKS - Panel One Winfield Public Library Exhibit

Santa Fe Depot

Thousands of servicemen, many heading for the East coast after basic training in Texas, passed through Winfield on the AT&SF during World War II. The Rev. L. Fred Houston, associate pastor of Winfield’s First United Methodist Church, vividly recalls the old Fourteenth Street station as the point of his arrival to visit his home in Cedar Vale. He said that at the end of his leave, he boarded the train at that station for the long ride to Chicago and he recalls that there were so many soldiers aboard all the cars that he had to stand most of the way. He also recalled that a sandwich "with a very thin slide of pressed ham and a slice of cheese" cost him $2.00 and that’s all he had to eat between Winfield and Chicago.

In recalling his days as a Railway Express agent, Loren Wade said the imposing Santa Fe depot was just east of the then double tracks and on the southeast corner of Fourteenth St. The Railway Express building was just south of it and across the street from the depot was a hotel mainly for section hands. Loren says that in the late 1930s 12 trains a day passed through - Santa Fe, Frisco, Missouri Pacific and Midland Valley, a shortline branch of the Sata Fe which ran between Wellington and Independence. All the trains carried passengers, mail, baggage and express, Loren said.

Howard Buffum April, 2000