A Sedalia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Blog
By L.C. Melton
After wandering out west, I’ll cyber-saunter down to Sedalia, Kentucky in Graves County, current population 315. It is about 35 miles south of Paduca just a spit and slobber from the Tennessee state line.
This has to be my favorite Sedalia place name story…true or not. It seems Sedalia, KY was established in 1879 just as the beautiful young daughter of one of the founders caught the attention of an eager suitor who was fond of repeating that he was going, “to see Dalia”. That quickly became one word and the new community was christened Sedalia.1 If that’s not true, it ought to be! I only hope the young man’s visitations resulted in a long and happy marriage for Dalia from Sedalia.
The Illinois Central Railroad reached Fulton, KY ten miles away as John Morris was establishing the Sedalia post office in 1879. He served a few months until his death in 1880. He and his lifetime Graves County successor, James Ford may have known of Sedalia, Missouri via the rail road grapevine and appropriated the name. I can’t help wonder though if Julia, the wife of John Morris was called Dalia? Her name is smudged on their wedding record so just maybe…! I have also found on other census records where Dalia has indeed been used for Julia but there was a Delia Harrell in Sedalia at the right time, too.
Far from a ghost town today the tiny community has prospering businesses, a meeting place restaurant, grocery store and a fine new elementary school with of course the ubiquitous Sedalia Baptist Church. And so from Missouri prairie to the East Texas flatland plains to rolling hills in western Kentucky our quest for the origin of Sedalia’s place name proceeds.
1Graves County Kentucky History; http://www.gravescountyky.com/relocation/communities.php