Madonna of the Trail
Council Grove, KS 66846
Phone: (620) 767-5413
Fax: (620) 767-5553
This is one of 12 "Madonnas" erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to recognize and honor the "Pioneer Mothers of the Covered Wagon Days", the hardy women who made the long and sometimes dangerous trips along the Santa Fe and other National Old Trails Roads.
This idea of honoring the pioneer women began in Missouri in 1909. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) picked up this idea in 1911 and, with help from Congress, the National Old Trails Road Association was formed in 1912. The Association, under guidance of its then president, Judge Harry S. Truman, guaranteed the expense of erecting the 12 monuments.
In 1927, the proposed design, "The Madonna of the Trail" was accepted by the DAR. The statues are of heroic proportions, standing 18 feet tall and weighing more than 17 tons.
The statues were erected in each of the 12 states through which the National Old Trails Road passes. The 12th, and final, statue was erected at Bethesda, Maryland, the week of 19 April 1929.