Sedalia Missouri Liberty Park

Sicher Park

Joseph D. and Frank E. Sicher, brothers, created Sedalia's first public recreation park. The Sicher family came from Austria and migrated to St. Louis, Missouri, when Joseph was ten years old. In 1872 the family moved to Sedalia and began building a street railroad that ran from Third Street to the Missouri Pacific shops. In 1879 the Sicher Brothers purchased about fifty acres of land at South Park Ave., Liberty Park Blvd., and W. 3rd Street owned by Cyrus Newkirk and Col. A.D. Jaynes, who were sharing the land with the Fair Association for the old fairgrounds. The brothers purchased the land to continue the development of the street railroad and desired to build a resort driving park for residents. Joseph and Frank decided to renew the contract with the Fair Association. New buildings and other amenities were erected on the grounds, including a building containing a dining and dancing room, fountains, and public walkways. A pagoda was located in the middle of the half-mile driving track. The land was also lined with several Maple trees and other vegetation. The elaborate Park Hotel was constructed in the middle of the park and was also used for special events. Its dining room seated up to 500 people. A lake of five acres was installed for fishing, boating, or skating, along with an island.

On July 3, 1880, Sicher Park had a grand opening and celebrated the Fourth of July with a number of events that culminated with an elaborate fireworks display. There was horse racing and a grandstand that seated about 5,000 people. A baseball field and stand were also constructed.

In September several Sedalia clubs organized and participated in the community's first annual public exhibition fair, which was held in the park. The exhibition featured agricultural competitions and to accommodate these competitions 250 sheep pens, 150 covered stalls, and 120 open stalls for cattle were constructed. Pavilions and other buildings displayed the city’s agricultural and machinery equipment and products. A floral hall, food and beverage stand, and and a pagoda, where bands performed, complimented the park.

Between 1881 and the 1890s Sicher Park was an ideal place for Sedalians and people abroad to spend their leisure time attending events or socializing at celebrations. Many political, labor, cultural and social clubs, fraternal organizations, women's societies, and baseball clubs utilized the grounds. In 1898, the popularity and funds for the park began to decline. The City Council had an election and approved an initiative that allowed the city to purchase Sicher Park on March 22. An ordinance was passed and the land received the new title of Liberty Park. By 1901, Joseph D. Sicher had filed for bankruptcy and his liabilities amounted to $104,000.

In 1911 the city built the Convention Hall. In 1940 the Works Progress Administration opened the Liberty Park Pool for summertime swimming. Today, the Parks and Recreation Office is located in the Convention Hall. It houses an auditorium for recreation programs, dance programs and meeting rooms upstairs, and includes restroom facilities. Liberty Park still remains a functional recreation park for many events, celebrations, and leisure activities.



1200 W. 3rd St., Sedalia, MO 65301 ~ Entrance at 1200 W. 3rd St. and S. Park Ave., Sedalia, Expands to 1200-1800 W. 3rd St. Also, located at 1224 Liberty Park Blvd.