Sedalia is a city located approximately 30 miles (48 km) south of the Missouri River and, as the county seat of Pettis County, Missouri, United States, it is the principal city of the Sedalia Micropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 21,387. Sedalia is also the location of the Missouri State Fair and the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. U.S. Routes 50 and 65 intersect in the city.
Until the city was incorporated in 1860 as Sedalia, it had existed only "on paper" from November 30, 1857 to October 16, 1860. According to local lore, the town council changed the name from Sedville to Sedalia in part because "towns that end in -ville don't amount to anything." (Lawrence Ditton Sr.). Here is another account:
In 1856 General Smith bought the land upon which Sedalia now stands, and founded the city. He named it after his daughter Sarah, familiarly known as "Sed". Smith remarked that he had previously named a flatboat for her elder sister Martha. He first chose the name Sedville but changed it to Sedalia, following the suggestion of a friend, Josiah Dent, of St.