George R. Smith
In 1857 and under the leadership of General Smith, ‘Sedville’ was born to attract the Pacific Railroad which was being constructed from St. Louis to Kansas City. In 1860 the city’s name was changed to Sedalia. Construction of the railroad halted at Sedalia during much of the Civil War thus positioning Sedalia as an early regional market center.
Sedalia’s economy was dependent upon the railroad for jobs, for support industries such as telegraph schools, and for the businesses providing 99% of products needed by the railroads. Shortline branches ran northwest to Lexington and southwest to Warsaw. The east/west Pacific Railroad arrived in 1861.
In 1904 Mo Pac shops were constructed for the manufacture and rebuild of steam locomotives. In the late 1980’s the shops were closed following a decline in employment since the arrival of the diesel locomotive. The MoPac Mainline is now operated by the Union Pacific Railroad providing Amtrak passenger service and UP freight service.