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Home > Preserve & Improve > Trails End Landmark

Trails End Landmark

About Trails End Landmark

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Our Vision
The Trail's End Committee's vision is to make Sedalia a prime tourist destination. Sedalia will be known worldwide by its iconic symbol the Trail's End sculpture. This sculpture, celebrates Sedalia's historic and colorful past and invites the visitor to share in that past.

Mission Statement
The Trail's End Committee's mission is to construct a monument, in a prominent location, welcoming visitors to Sedalia. This monument to the cattle drive and to towns at the "end of the trail" will feature a one and one-quarter life-size bronze sculpture entitled Trail's End. This beautiful sculpture depicts a cowboy herding longhorn cattle along the Sedalia branch of the Shawnee Trail. It will commemorate the spirit of the cowboy and the can-do attitude associated with our western heritage.

The monument, which the Trail's End sculpture is a key part, also celebrates Sedalia's role as one of the earliest rail-heads at the end-of-the drive. It features full size replicas of a 1870's cattle car, water tower, windmill and locomotive set in a landscape of native prairie grasses and flowers. These elements highlight the role of the railroad in the founding of Sedalia, in the commercial development of the prairies and in the drive to connect our nation as one. It was the building of transcontinental railroads that linked the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans - from sea to shinning sea. This project is a memorial to the enduring, indomitable, freed-loving character of the cowboy and of the railroad men who forged the pathways across the plains.

Following the Civil War, large Texas cattle drives herded longhorns north, up the eastern edge of the Indian Territories to reach the Pacific railheads in Missouri for shipment east to the packinghouses. Maverick cattle worth only two dollars in local Texas markets could be sold for twenty, even forty dollars a head up north at the railheads. Enterprising Texans decided it was worth the risk to round 'em up and head 'em out across 700 to 1,000 miles of wild, often lawless country to the railheads up north. These cattle drives were the confirmation of American exceptionalism and entrepreneurship.

Leave your tracks on the Trail

Many cowhands, trusty steeds, and cattle left their tracks on the “Sedalia Trail”. Those tracks have since been blown away by the wind, and washed away by the rain. You have an opportunity to leave your track on the “Trails End” landmark, permanently. Bricks will be embedded around the walk of the “Trails End” landmark.

Brick size 4”x 8”. Bricks may be etched with 2 lines.
Each line will contain 17 characters including spaces.
Bricks are $50.00 each.

Brick size 8”x 8”. Bricks may be etched with 4 lines.
Each line will contain 17 characters including spaces.
Bricks are $100.00 each


Trails End Prayer Statue

It has inspired photographers, poets, painters, sculptors and artists of many genres. In particular it was the inspiration for one of Missouri’s greatest artists and sculptors, Clay Gant of Cross Timbers whose work can be found around the world. His vision of the “Rawhide” tale is set as a tired but grateful “drover” resting on a hill overlooking Sedalia after driving the herd to where the trail met the rail. Like many wranglers, he is a former Confederate cavalryman whose prospects after the Civil War were limited and the cattle drive was one of the few options for employment for a war survivor and his horse. Having endured the one thousand miles of trail dust, flooded rivers, bushwackers, stampedes, lightning and survived the cholera and anthrax outbreaks he has dismounted on the hill overlooking the Queen City of the Prairie. He has his bible which he carried into battle throughout the war and is resting on a rock in his solitude being thankful for his safe arrival as his steady horse who rests ground tied close at hand. He gives a grateful prayer.

"God, I humbly give thanks for this successful cattle drive and for my steady partner who hung with me day and night over the months and miles of rough trails. I am grateful for you seeing us through and for my trusted companion as we have had each other’s back more times than I care to remember. I’ve come to admire and respect this two legged creature of yours and ask you to watch over us as we ride the west together. Amen"

Trails End was envisioned as a historical, educational, artistic and inspirational project commemorating the American Cowboy, the great railroad expansion, the pioneers and homesteaders of the 19th century.

About the Artist

Clay Gant has ridden and trained and shown and broken horses. He has been bucked off horses-which is why he knows them from “the ground up” and why he has a horsemans AND an artists conception of what a horse is supposed to look like and why his equine sculptures are coveted around the world.

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