The Katy Depot

Sedalia's Welcome Center and Year-Round Destination

Working on the Railroad - 2012 Feature Exhibit

Working on the Railroad is the next in the series of exhibits designed to provide people with a connection to people and to their stories of Sedalia’s heritage.  Most everyone visiting the Katy Depot seems to have a story of a family member or friend that worked for the railroad.  They proudly recall the person , their job and the respective railroad with which they worked.  Yet there is a disconnect with the specific responsibilities, the tools they may have used, and the relative importance their work played to the success of the railroad.



Historic Landmark                       - Whistle Stop 2001

Originally constructed in 1896 at a cost of $40,000, the Sedalia Katy Depot served as a train passenger depot until 1958 when the Katy ceased passenger service in the State of Missouri.  The first-floor floor plan included a women’s waiting room, a men’s waiting room, an all night lunch room for railroad employees, a kitchen, a formal dining room for the public, and a baggage room. The second floor housed offices of division point employees including resident engineers and telegraphers.

Sedalia & The Railroad                       - Whistle Stop 2003


A 10 minute DVD summarizes the impact which the two main line and two short line railroads had upon this community.  Scale model exhibit buildings replicate actual structures and provide a sense of community the created for and by the railroads.  They include the home of a community leader, a home of a railroad worker, the railroad shops, a commercial building with a brothel entrance, a church, a school and a passenger depot.

The Katy Complex                       - Whistle Stop 2005


Window panels describe the Katy Railroad Complex and its location at the center of Sedalia.  Each panel include photographs and Sandborn maps of a specific structure.  They describe the Katy Roundhouse, Shops, Employee Hospital, Passenger Depot, Freight Depots and the relevance of the multiple tracks running on both sides of the Depot.

People of Destiny             - Whistle Stops 2007 through 2011

Storyboard exhibits onsite and on line provide an introduction to the people who shaped Sedalia’s destiny.

Souviner interactive ‘Souvenir ticket’ contains biographical info to engage visitors through search and find techniques. Visitors are introduced to thirteen individuals and how their lives impacted Sedalia.

George R Smith           Sedalia is a product of the railroad - Sedalia’s economy was dependent upon the railroad.

George Duffield           Sedalia’s link and legend to the TV Series Rawhide.

Robert Stevens     Building the Katy Railroad that connected 33 Missouri Communities to the emerging markets of the Southwest.

Lizzie Cook          The soiled doves of Sedalia’s infamous Red Light District entered the market place as business 

women and tried to adopt capitalist attitudes and behaviors while attempting to adopt middle 

class culture.


Bradford Gilbert  All across America, depots were places of human drama, commerce and communication.           

Nellie Stark            Ragtime ... the man, the music, the place.

William Gentry           Missouri State Fair ... Ambitions, Traditions, Transitions

Louis Monsees           Limestone Valley Farm’s World Famous Mules                                                   

Anna               Orphan trains and their riders

Mrs Whiteman         Anywhere, Anytime  ... the namesake of Whiteman Air Force Base













 Acquisition of the Katy Railroad right of way and the Development of the Katy Trail

Miss Katy            Transformation of the Katy Depot and it’s current use


Working on the Railroad               - Whistle Stop 2012

Individual exhibit cases feature specific categories of railroad employees who worked to build the railroad; to build and service the trains, to connect passengers, mail and freight to their destinations; to serve train passengers; to maintain the right of way; and to care for injured railroad employees.  Specific introductions include the railroad baron, general manager, architect, stockholder, gandy dander, draftsman, signal shop, sign shop, upholster, engineer, porter, cook, detectives station agent, ticket gent, baggage handler, Katy girl, district engineer, division superintendent, train master, dispatcher, physician and the Katy Bear.


2012 Exhibit Artifact Donors:

     Chris Cruz         Robert Stevens James Smith Family

     James Hamilton Jack Shoemaker Doug Rhoads

     Perry Smith  Shirley Ploegger Perry & Linda Anderby

     Kathleen Boswell  Betty Jett Maxine Lyon Henty

     Barbara Ilges George Diotte Mark Zimmerchied

     Derek Cohn William Copas Melody Chapman

     H L Overmier Family Willia Brunhurst CLyde Brownfield

     Greg Harrell A C Heckenliable Edmund Boillot

     Nancy Sanders Charlotte Phillips Robert HIldebrand

     Bob Jones Jim Keck O J Smith Family

     Charles BEnnette / Kathy Sietrich

     Kathleen Phillips Bunch / Norma Bunch Glenn / John Mark Bunch


Exhibit References

   Missouri State Historical Society Missouri State Archives

Pettis County Historical Society William Claycomb

Katy Railroad Historical Society Working on the Railroad

All Aboard! The Golden Age of American Rail Travel

The Twilight of Steam Locomotives Fairwell to Steam

Train Wrecks Portrait of the Rails 




 Exhibit Sponsors

Joe Fischer Consulting

 Bryant Motors

State Fair Community College

Bothwell Regional Health Center 

  SHF & Associates


  Art & Graphics 

  Forrest Park Landscape & Irrigation

  Robert Treuner Masonry


   Sedalia Lion's Club




Thanks to Jeff Smith who provided funding for the "All Aboard" exhibit banners currently on display at the Katy Depot.  The red white and blue design was courtesy of Myrna Ragar and compliments the patriotic theme of banners throughout the community. 

Jeff's dad, E B Smith moved to Sedalia in the 1940's and remained here until his death in 2007.  He was an accountant by profession, served on the City Council, served as Lions Club District Governor for three terms, and held other business community leadership positions.










Special Project Sponsors

John Meehan

Doug & Connie Kiburz