History of GM&0 Railroad Depot

Train Depot

Depot in 1909.

The Misselhorn Art Gallery is located in the old Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Depot at 611 West Second Street in Sparta, Illinois. The history of the depot is part of a time, now all but forgotten, when trains carried not only coal and cargo, but people.

GM&0 Railroad was, in the early days, not GM&0 but simply M&0 (Mobile & Ohio). It reached from Montgomery, Alabama to Artesia, Mississippi. From this line, it branched off to Columbus, Mississippi. The north to south line went from Moblie, Alabama to Columbus, Kentucky. That line was later extended to St. Louis, Missouri. When it became GM&0, branch tracks went to Birmingham, Alabama and later crossed over the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Tuscaloosa, Alabama via trackage rights.

The major purpose for GM&0 was to "study the past" in order to gain facts about the Company. The second objective was to examine the collected information in an effort to discover the main factors which were responsible for the growth of the Company in order to determine “its bearing on the living present and its promise for the future.” In a matter of thirty-two years, the Company laid 2,391 of track.

Today, the only parts of the GM&O still in operation are the former main line from Bogalusa north to Wanilla, Mississippi.