The Sedalia Katy Depot

Sedalia Missouri's  Visitor Center and Year-Round Historic Railroad 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 Stop 2007 - 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

Ted Jones - 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

Special Project Sponsors

John Meehan

Doug & Connie Kiburz 

Special Thanks

Thanks to Jeff Smith who provided funding for the "All Aboard" exhibit banners displayed 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.