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Penn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
Penn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
TitlePenn Valley Park, Santa Fe Trail Marker
DescriptionPostcard of the Santa Fe Trail Marker at Penn Valley Park
Historical ArticleCapt. William Becknell, regarded as the founder of the Santa Fe trade and father of the Santa Fe Trail made the first successful trading trip to Santa Fe in 1821 with 4 companions, carrying their goods in packs upon their backs. They had started out from old Franklin in Howard County with the intention of selling to the Comanche Indians, but fell in with a party of Mexican rangers and were persuaded to go to Santa Fe. There they disposed of their merchandise at a good profit.

The following spring Becknell placed an advertisement in the Missouri Intelligencer, a newspaper of old Franklin, calling for a company of 70 men to go westward for the purpose of trading for horses and mules and catching wild animals of every description.

Thirty men responded and Aug. 4, 1882, the party, with $5,000 worth of merchandise, left Franklin, crossed the Missouri River at Arrow Rock Sept. 1, passed through Jackson County and proceeded in a southwesterly direction, reaching Santa Fe Nov. 16, 1822.

Becknell received enormous prices for his goods in Santa Fe. He sold plain domestic cotton goods for $2 to $3 per yard.

Sen. Thomas H. Benton heard of the wonderful trade possibilities and induced Congress to make an appropriation to survey the Santa Fe Trail and appoint a commission to talk with the Osage tribes of Indians who claimed most of the land through which the trail was to pass. Government commissioners, meeting with representatives of the tribe, were granted concessions for establishment of the Santa Fe Trail at Council Grove, Kan., Aug. 10, 1825.

In 1905 the city council appropriated $20,000 to pay for markers defining the route of the trail through Kansas City.

In Kansas markers were furnished by a $20,000 appropriation by the state and supplemented by the penny contributions of school-children.

Kansas City Star
May 3, 1975

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectPenn Valley Park
Santa Fe Trail
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
RightsReproduction (printing, downloading, or copying) of images from Kansas City Public Library requires permission and payment for the following uses, whether digital or print: publication; reproduction of multiple copies; personal, non-educational purposes; and advertising or commercial purposes. Please order prints or digital files and pay use fees through this website. All images must be properly credited to: "Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri." Images and texts may be reproduced without prior permission only for purposes of temporary, private study, scholarship, or research. Those using these images and texts assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and privacy that may arise.
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