1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sedalia

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SEDALIA, a city and the county-seat of Pettis county, Missouri, U.S.A., a little W. of the centre of the state. Pop. (1900) 15,231; (1725 negroes; 972 foreign-born); (1910) 17,822. Sedalia is served by the Missouri Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway systems, and is a transportation centre with good facilities. The city has a high and pleasant site (about 990 ft. above sea-level) on a rolling prairie, and is laid out as an exact square. Among the public buildings much the handsomest are the court house, built of Warrensburg blue sandstone (1884), and the Public Library (1900), given by Andrew Carnegie. Sedalia is the seat of the George R. Smith College (M. E., founded in 1894) for negroes. Liberty Park (60 acres), in the W. part of the city, is owned by the municipality. Broadway, the principal residence street, is 120 ft. wide, and is parked on either side. The State Board of Agriculture established fair grounds (now 210 acres) adjoining the city on the S.W. in 1900, and the annual state fair attracts many visitors. The water supply is derived from a storage lake on Flat Creek, 3 m. from the city, settling basins being used to clarify the water. There are a city hospital and the Maywood, a private hospital; and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, railway maintains here a hospital for all parts of its system. The surrounding country is a magnificent livestock and farming region, and in the immediate vicinity are valuable deposits of coal, of limestone, of shale suitable for sewer pipe and of ire clays. The city has important horse and mule yards. The Missouri Pacific, three of whose operating divisions end at Sedalia and thus make the city its central division point, in 1904 established large shops (129 acres) in a suburb E. of the city. These shops and those of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway, of which Sedalia is the central division point on the N. end of its system, add greatly to the industrial importance of the city. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $1,691,727, showing an increase of 31.8% since 1900.

Sedalia was established as a station on the Missouri Pacific railroad in 1857. In 1864 it was chartered as a town and was made the county-seat, succeeding Georgetown (then a flourishing town, which speedily fell into decay), the transfer of the offices taking place in 1865. Sedalia was a Union military post throughout the Civil War; on the 15th of October 1864 a detachment from Sterling Price's raiding column dislodged a small Union force that was occupying the town, but the Confederate occupation lasted only one day. Sedalia was chartered as a city in 1889. In 1896 a constitutional amendment to remove the state capital from Jefferson City to Sedalia was defeated by popular vote.