The Katy Depot

Sedalia's Welcome Center and Year-Round Destination

William Gentry

Outstanding Pettis County stockman
President of the Agricultural and Mechanic
al Assoc
Son named 1st superintendent of the Missouri State Fair


Fairs were designed to advance a rural society.  They served as a way to communicate to massive amounts of people in bringing information to farmers.  They were a primary venue for businesses to conduct marketing research and further develop their products. So important were fairs to America’s agricultural history that they are credited with serving as the catalyst of two agricultural revolutions.  The first occurring between 1862 and 1875 with the evolution of hand power to horse power and the second occurring in the 1940’s was the evolution from horse power to machine power.   County fairs were hosted as early as 1857 on the farm of William Gentry.  In 1872, the Fair Association purchased 50 acres of land in west Sedalia for the purpose of a county fairgrounds that featured a racetrack and amphitheater.

The first Missouri State Fair was held Sept 1901. As a showcase of Missouri agriculture, it is at the State Fair that many families have shown livestock for generations.  Families gather.  Parents and grand- parents come to offer assistance as their children and grandchildren prepare for competition.   These families bond with other families and create a camaraderie that lasts a lifetime. The fair for these families is like a family reunion, a community.
 
The fairgrounds has further evolved into a year round facilty for camping rallies, livestock show, sporting events, trade shows, and private venues thus providing a multi million dollar annual local economic impact.