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  • How did it get the name KATY?
    Katy is the nickname that evolved due to the original name of the rail line, the Kansas-Texas, (or K-T), Railroad. Though Missouri was eventually added to its title, K.T. had already stuck in the minds of people and inevitable transformed into the name Katy. The "Katy Lady" was even used in the company's advertising for decades.
  • What is the Katy Depot?
    The modern-day Katy Depot is the original, restored passenger depot for the Sedalia Division of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway Company. In functioned not only as a passenger depot but also as the division headquarters for staff of the M-K-T, and for a short while as the headquarters for the entire MKT railroading enterprise.
  • How old is the building?
    It was built in 1896 and celebrated its 125th year in 2021. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Is it located on the original site?
    Yes, the Depot remains at its original location on East Third Street, although earlier in its history, the M-K-T shared a station with the Mo-Pac at other locations.
  • Do trains still travel through Sedalia?
    Yes and No. The MKT Railway ceased to exist in 1988 when it was taken over by the Missouri-Pacific, which was in turn taken over by the Union Pacific. The original Katy route from St Charles to Clinton was converted to the hiking and biking trail that exists today - 238 miles worth. The Union Pacific RR and Amtrak do still travel on the original Missouri-Pacific tracks that flow east and west through Sedalia.
  • Where is "downtown" now?
    Today, the historic heart of downtown Sedalia are the blocks surrounding Ohio Street north of Broadway (50 Hwy) to just south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on Main Street. Ohio Street is six blocks west of the Katy Depot.
  • Is the Sedalia Katy Depot where the Katy Trail State Park starts?
    No. The trail actually begins (or ends, depending on which way you're traveling) in the east at Machens and finishes 238 miles to the southwest at Clinton. The Sedalia Katy Depot is one of several trailheads along the way.
  • Why is it located in such an out-of-the-way location?
    The Katy Depot used to be at the heart of historic town-the very midpoint, in fact. There were M-K-T railroad repair shops and the only M-K-T hospital for the entire line directly to the south and southeast of the Depot, as was the original location of the M-K-T livestock pens; a roundhouse and turntable to the north for the storage and servicing of its fleet of locomotives; just to the northeast and directly south of the Missouri-Pacific tracks were originally located all the Mo-Pac shops; sic blocks to both the east and west of the depot were flourishing commercial districts; residential neighborhoods for railroad employees spread to the east, north and south. A local creamery stood just across the street as did a beer distributor. the equivalent of the modern Fed Ex clearing house stood directly south of the Depot and went by the name of the Railway Express Agency, Inc., Eight sets of tracks paralleled the Katy Depot itself, and the city's electric street car service ran north of the building, dropping off and whisking away travelers from all directions.
  • Did anyone famous ever travel on the Katy?
    The "Katy" line out of Texas likely delivered the most famous of Sedalia'a residents to her doorstep sometime in the 1890s. Scott Joplin, formerly of Texarkana, Texas moved to Sedalia to attend the George R. Smith College for Negros as well as ply his trade as an itinerant musician. But Joplin, the son of slaves and himself born only shortly after the Civil War ended, was more than just a talented musician. He was an extraordinary composer of some of the most original and authentically American music called "Ragtime." He was in effect, the premier composer of America's first classical music. During his lifetime, Joplin wrote two operas, a ragtime ballet and 44 original ragtime pieces, including two of the first nationally popular tunes of early twentieth century, The "Maple Leaf Rag," and "The Entertainer." The "Maple Leaf Rag" was composed and published in 1899 during Joplin's residence in Sedalia and set him on the path as a professional composer. Today, Sedalia continues to host the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival annually in June in honor of this great early-American composer.
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