Design and Location
The memorial was erected on property obtained from Union Pacific Railroad, through the City of De Soto, on Fountain City Rd., at the north-end crossing. Histories of the three railroads for which the De Soto community has provided a home, were incorporated into the memorial. This location is easily accessible and provides ample parking.
The design for the memorial evolved as the committee called upon the skills of local artists and craftsmen (present and former), who generously contributed their talents to the project, including, among others, Ed Boyer, Debbie Boyle, Charles Campbell, Bill DeClue, Maxine Jinkerson, and Tom Parker.
Tom Parker and his company BRW Architects, INC, of College Station, Texas, contributed the memorial’s final design and construction plan.
E.A. and Cathy Boyer of E. A. Boyer Design, Inc., and Matt and Betty Eddings constructed the history/picture wall, which portrays a portion of the old roundhouse wall. The historical milestones were compiled by Gwen Lewis and the narrative was a collaboration by Debbie Wilson & Gwen Lewis. The history has been engraved on black granite. Historical pictures are displayed on the opposite side.
The site surrounding the memorial has been enhanced by a Flag Plaza featuring the United States, Missouri and Union Pacific Flags. A historic granite boulder commemorating the first train to stop at De Soto in 1857 has been incorporated into the Memorial and has been adapted to hold a cross-buck with lights. The boulder was given to the community by the American Legion and originally stood at the North/end of the railroad depot. The materials used to construct the flag plaza were donated by the Union Pacific Railroad and the workers at the De Soto Car Shops.
Additional features include:
- A caboose, the likes of which was at one time built at the De Soto Shop
- A 6′ statue of a typical R.R. worker with lunch box in hand
- A handcar that used to carry workers to repair the tracks.