Franklin: Mother of the Santa Fe Trail - New Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 00.746 W 092° 44.273
15S E 522693 N 4318188
The Boone's Lick Trail from St. Charles to Franklin opened the way for the surveying of a trail from Franklin to Santa Fe, NM. This honors all who came this way and pushed west. This trail was blazed by the sons of Daniel Boone.
Waymark Code: WMQR4G
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/22/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member razalas
Views: 3

County of monument: Howard County
Location of monument: MO-5 & Katy Trail intersection, New Franklin
Artist: Harry Weber
Dedicated: August 31, 2013

Plaque Text: There is evidence that around the year 1800, Daniel Boone, or his sons, Daniel Morgan and Nathan, discovered a salt lick in what is now western Howard County. The lick became known as Boone's Lick, and the trail he blazed, believed to be parts of the old Indian trails from St. Charles to Franklin, became known as the Boonslick Trail. Up to that time, U.S. citizens had explored and settled the country as far west as the Mississippi River. The Boonslick Trail would become the route that would allow Franklin and the Boonslick area to be the next major populated area. After Daniel Boone, early visitors to the area included Lewis and Clark, who explored the Louisiana Territory, surveyor Ira P. Nash, and Boone's sons, Nathan and Daniel Morgan, who processed salt at the salt lick. By 1810, the first permanent settlers included Benjamin Cooper and his brothers, Sashall and Braxton, and their families, along with Hannah Cole and Stephen Cole and their families. The Boones, Coopers and Coles all traveled the Boonslick Trail. Settlers trickled into the area until after the War of 1812, when that trickle became a flood. In 1816, Howard County and Franklin were established, and in 1821, Missouri became a sate. By that time, that were 21,300 people living in the Boonslick area and 2,000 in Franklin. The vast majority of those settlers came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Carolinas. They were farmers, carpenters, bricklayers, saddlers, tailors, doctors, lawyers, merchants, and businessmen of all kinds. The explosion in population met with the ultimate Panic of 1819, which left the area extremely short of cash to grow the economy. The problem would soon be solved by one of those businessmen who settled in Franklin and had accumulated a lot of debt. His name was William Becknell.

Becknell came from Amherst County, Virginia. He worked for the Boone Brothers, hauling salt from the lick and floating it down the Missouri River to St. Louis. The same spirit of adventure that brought Becknell and other settlers down the Boonslick Trail soon turned their attention further west. They had heard stories of fortunes to be made by trading with Spaniards in Mexico but knew it was illegal. In 1821, Becknell advertised in the Franklin Intelligencer newspaper for men "for the purpose of trading horses and mules and catching wild animals of every description that might be for the benefit of the company." Becknell and his handful of traders left Franklin on September 1, 1821, heading west. On their trip, they were met by Mexican soldiers with news that Mexico had won independence from Span and that trade with Mexico would be welcomed. Becknell's party headed to Santa Fe, traded their goods, and returned in January 1822 with tremendous profits in silver. Becknell would make two more successful trading trips to Santa Fe. It would be the start of more than fifty years of trade between the United States and Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. More and more traders hauled their goods over the Santa Fe Trail until it became a major trade route. Packhorses and mules gave way to heavy oxen-drawn freight wagons and trading profits soared. In 1855 alone, trading generated $5 million. In 1866, traders carried $40 million in goods, During six months in 1865, 5,197 men, 38,281 oxen, 6,452 mules, and 4,472 wagons traveled the trail. As ever-increasing number of traders endured the dangers of Indian attacks, storms, flooded rivers, deserts, and lack of water and pasture. Goods from the east and goods produced in the Boonslick were exchanged for gold and silver in Santa Fe. The injection of trading profits allowed many towns in the Boonslick to grow and prosper. As trading on the trail increased and the Missouri River started washing Franklin away in 1826, the trailhead started moving west. The population followed. Between 1855 and 1861, the population of the Kansas Territory increased from 8,000 to 143,000. The Santa Fe Trail also gave rise to the Oregon and California tails and allowed settlement of the West all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The Boonslick Trail became the Booslick Road. many years later, Highway 40, and then Interstate 70, were built to closely follow the route of the Boonslick Road. Similarly, the Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, and California Trail eventually turned into the modern roads and highways of the West and Southwest. These highways area big reason the nation's economy became the largest in the world. many of these highways started as their rails that our ancestors blazed. When he left Franklin in 1821, William Becknell probably had no idea he would blaze the greatest highway of commerce of the nineteenth century, commemorated with this monument, "Franklin: Mother of the Santa Fe Trail."

This monument is dedicated to the "Franklin or Bust" group spearheaded by H. Denny Davis, who came up with the idea to honor these early pioneers. Twenty years later, with a collaboration of the South Howard County Historical Society, The City of New Franklin, Boonslick Outdoor Arts and MoDoT, this dream became a reality. Funding for Katy Parkway Phase II provided by Transportation Enhancement Grant and private donations.

Dedicated August 31, 2013

Who placed it?: South Howard County Historical Socity, MoDoT, Boonslick Outdoor Arts, and the City of New Franklin

When was it placed?: August 31, 2013

Who is honored?: The Pioneers who opened the west

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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