Nearly A Century of Kerrville History

The San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway was incorporated in 1884. As president of the railway, Uriah Lott had his eye on a northwest expansion, Captain Charles Schreiner made sure that Kerrville (with a population of approximately 300) was chosen over Fredericksburg.

At 11:45, October 6th, 1887, the first iron horse arrived with over 500 passengers on board. A seven gun salute, Mexican band and barbecue started up as the whole town celebrated. Kerrville was the last stop on the SA&AP Railway with a roundhouse built to turn the trains. The original depot was a typical wooden structure that burned down in 1913.


The San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad made Kerrville the last stop on the line in 1888. Captain Schreiner and others made sure the railroad did not choose Fredericksburg which also wanted that honor. Frank J. Beitel owned lumberyards in San Antonio and came to buy land along the tracks which ran down North Street.

The next year he established his lumberyard at 425 Clay Street. When the original passenger depot burned down in 1912, Mr. Beitel sold a piece of his land to the SA&AP to build the new masonry building in 1914 which is now Rail’s… a Café at the Depot. In exchange he also received, on his land, a spur of the narrow gauge rail tracks long enough for three cars to load and unload materials. Beitel built two long buildings for retail space and lumber bins to line the tracks.