Madonna of the Trail
Springerville, Arizona

Marker:
Madonna of the Trail Monument 

Location:
182 E Main Street
Springerville, Apache County, Arizona
34.133223, -109.285209

Historical Significance: 
In 1909, a group of women in Missouri formed a committee to locate the Old Santa Fe Trail in Missouri and secured appropriation from the state to mark the trail with suitable boulders or monuments. The idea further developed into plans for a highway to be designated as the National Old Trails Road by an act of Congress, and the work was carried out by the National Old Trails Road Association.
 
In 1911, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution established Old Trails Road as a National Memorial Highway. 

In 1912, the Old Trails Road Association stated in its bylaws: “The object of the Association shall be to assist the Daughters of the American Revolution in marking old trails and to promote the construction as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway.” Missouri Judge Harry S Truman became the Association’s president. 

The monument depicts a pioneer woman clasping her baby with her young son clinging to her skirts. The DAR wanted to capture the spirit of the pioneering women who boldly left the comforts of eastern hearth and home to trek into the western wilderness. The seventh of twelve monuments, this Madonna of the Trail monument was placed where the National Road intersects the Coronado Trail. Honored speakers in 1928 were Arizona Governor George W. P. Hunt and Harry S. Truman, then a judge in Missouri and President of the National Old Trails Road Association.
 
The monument was moved from the post office property to its present location in 1987 and rededicated in 1988 by Virginia Cline Hinrichs, State Regent. In 1998 it was rededicated by the Arizona State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (ASDAR) with Elizabeth Hansen Bugbee, State Regent, to celebrate its 70 years. After an extensive restoration, the monument was rededicated by the Arizona State Society DAR on September 23, 2006. On August 19, 2017, the DAR insignia was placed on the front base of the monument in memory of June Cromer Turner; dignitaries included Arizona State Regent Terri Mott and her brother, Randall Turner, children of June Cromer Turner.

On September 30, 2023, a Madonna of the Trail 95th Anniversary Celebration was held in Springerville by the Sallie Lovorn Administration. The celebration included a wreath‑laying in the Springerville Cemetery at the grave of Eliza Catherine Mann Rudd, who unveiled the monument in 1928.

Dedicated:
September 29, 1928 

Sponsor: 
Arizona State Society DAR

Rededicated:
1988

Sponsor:
Arizona State Society DAR

Rededicated:
1998

Sponsor:
Arizona State Society DAR

Rededicated:
September 23, 2006

Sponsor:
Arizona State Society DAR

Rededicated:
August 19, 2017

Sponsor:
Arizona State Society DAR

A snapshot of a statue of a woman holding a baby with a young child clinging to her skirts, a Madonna of the Trail.
Madonna of the Trail Monument, Springerville, Arizona, March 2019.
Statue base, front, reads, “NSDAR Memorial to the Pioneer Mothers of the Covered Wagon Days.”
Monument base, front, undated image.
Statue base, side two, reads, “Coronado passed here in 1540. He came to seek gold but found fame.”
Monument base, side two, undated image.
Statue base, side three, reads, “The National Old Trails Road.”
Monument base, side three, undated image.
Statue base, side four, reads, “A tribute to the pioneers of Arizona and the Southwest who trod this ground and braved the dangers of the Apaches and other warrior tribes.”
Monument base, side four, undated image.
Snapshot of the Madonna of the Trail statue with the DAR insignia added.
Dedication of the DAR Insignia, State Regent Terri Mott and Randall Turner, August 19, 2017.
An aerial photograph of the Madonna of the Trail statue with a group of about fifty people gathered in front and smiling at the camera.
Madonna of the Trail 95th Anniversary Celebration, September 30, 2023.

  

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Unless otherwise noted, images are courtesy of Arizona State Society DAR Daughters.

 

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