Nineteenth century railroad developer Arthur Stilwell had a hunch that the Kansas City region had enormous commercial potential.
He was right. By the time he retired in 1912, Stilwell -- entrepreneur, dreamer, and empire builder -- had changed this area's business landscape forever with an ambitious program of railroad construction that would allow Kansas City to enter the 20th century as one of the nation's most vital transportation hubs.
Former railroad executive Landon Rowland looks at Stilwell's contributions in The Role of Railroads in Kansas City's Development on Sunday, March 18, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th.
That Rowland's presentation comes in the centennial year of Stilwell's retirement - a year that will also see the arrival of the Google Fiber network in the Kansas City area - is particularly fitting. It's the right time for a 21st-century look at the importance of transportation and communications networks to the city's economic life.
Landon Rowland is the former president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Southern Railway, chairman emeritus of Janus Capital Group, and serves on the boards of many charitable and civic organizations.
The presentation is part of the Library's Missouri Valley Sundays series. Admission is free. A 1:30 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities