Above, the engine painted on the north wall of the Katy Depot.
The year was 1912. The railroad had just come to Vici, Oklahoma. Close your eyes and imagine the sounds of the Missouri-Texas-Kansas MKT (Katy) Depot. Steam hisses from an engine. A train whistles. A bell clangs. A Model T engine, only in its 4th year of production, cranks. It’s possible a horses nicker or clip clop of hooves could still be heard.
The Katy’s first freight and passenger agent was W.H. Herren, cousin of Walter W. Roan. Roan was agent at Vici for forty years, from January 1931 through January 1971. Earl Cramer was the agent at the time of closing in 1971.
For many years after 1931 there were two passenger trains through Vici each day, handling US Mail and Railway Express. There were two local freight trains running each direction each day hauling carload and LCL freight plus extra freight trains. These local trains moved refrigerated cars three days per week moving fresh meat and cream directly to buyers.
The Katy Depot closed in 1971 but still stands on Houser Street between 7th and 8th Streets.
In 1998 a group of people, including Dewayne Brown, made a museum of the depot. Charter members of the Katy Historical Site included Joe Krows, Everett Hutchens, Pam Hughen, Don Mann, Al Jones, Mick Young, Niles Young, Dewayne Brown, Gayle Hunter, Charles Shaw, Sherrill White, Lavertta Kinney, Charlene White (Belew), Jettie McIntosh (Belew), Arnold Sweet, Leslie White, Illa Gregory, George Harbison, Pat Kelley Baker, David Clem, Margaret Pickering, Alta M Evans, Nevin D Westenhaver, Jan Trimble, Virginia (Speck) Roundtree, Zak & Bill Key, Sherman Pierson, Marvin & Nelda Tebow, Bruce Seidel, and Rob Ritchie.
Locals were invited to house historic artifacts inside the depot for the enjoyment of residents and visitors to the Town of Vici. On a recent visit, I spotted a wooden wall telephone, local livestock brands, MKT stove, railroad lanterns, an adding machine, piano, Chet Spake’s (local telephone company owner) pole spikes, and old MKT desk, a train painted on the wall inside the depot and many, many more items.
Artifacts can be found outside as well, including horse drawn farm equipment, a caboose, and other items.
Interest in the depot has ebbed and flowed over the years. However, the preservation of the depot and the artifacts inside are in dire need of interest. Interest to preserve the structure, interest to preserve the artifacts, interest to preserve the very history of this Town of Vici.
Contact Dewayne Brown at (580) 995-4758 if you would like to help. The need for help includes cleaning, structural repairs, and more.
Do you have a memory from the Katy Depot or from other times throughout Vici’s history? The Vici Vision would like to hear from you. Contact us by phone at (580)995-3425, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at PO Box 2, Vici OK 73859.
Here are a couple of depot memories relayed to me by my own family.
My grandpa, Delbert Vaughan, along with Dychie Dewayne Turner and Arthur Fasauer boarded the train at Katy Depot when they left for World War II.
My grandparents, Delbert and Evelynn Vaughan, boarded the train at Katy Depot in Vici and traveled to Wichita Falls, TX on their honeymoon in August 1945.