By Frank J. Buchman
The Santa Fe Trail Association Trail Association (SFTA), Larned, has honored those preserving and promoting the trail’s history.
Linda Colle, SFTA awards chairman, said recognition was given at the Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium in La Junta, Colorado.
“The Santa Fe Trail Association is composed of people of all ages and walks of life,” Colle said. “They are bound together by an interest in the trail, and preserving its physical traces and landmarks that still exist.”
In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became America’s first commercial route serving for nearly 60 years in western expansion. U.S. Congress recognized significance of the trail to American history by proclaiming it a National Historic Trail in 1987.
The Award of Merit was presented seven recipients for contributions to preservation, protection and promotion of the Santa Fe Trail.
Bents Fort Chapter Santa Fe Trail Association for efforts hosting the Symposium for the 200th Anniversary of the Historic Trail.
Symphony in the Flint Hills promoted the 200th anniversary with music and nature at its prairie gathering near Council Grove.
Daughters of the American Revolution for anniversary promotion, preserving history and public educational markers demonstrating pioneer patriotism
Dave Kendall, Prairie Hollow Productions, for the documentary: The Road to Santa Fe: Convergence of Cultures – Santa Fe Trail History.
Christina Hayes and the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau honored for work with the Quivira Chapter in anniversary coordination.
Jackie Fleming visited all Santa Fe Trail sites in New Mexico and took photos compiling a YouTube video on Facebook.
The Douglas County Chapter has installed interpretive signs and improved visitor access at Black Jack educational parks near Baldwin City.
The Paul Bentrup Ambassador Award went to Rich Lawson, Warrensburg, Missouri, for preservation and access of the Arrow Rock Landing.
The David Clapsaddle Memorial Chapter Award went to Diane Miller, Inman, for grant work and planning for the 200th activities.
The Pete and Faye Gaines Memorial Heritage Preservation Award was presented to Della Orton, Council Grove, owner of Rock Creek Crossing site.
Two Ralph Hathaway Memorial Heritage Preservation Awards were presented to those helping preserve SFT ruts, remnants, structures, or sites. Dan and Carol Sharp Family, Boise City, Oklahoma, preserved Autograph Rock, a stopping point for those passing through the arid region. Douglas County, Kansas, was honored for creation of public access trails and site for the Black Jack Park.
The Educator Award was presented Troy Mayhew, Kismet, for outstanding teaching about the trail in elementary, secondary or higher education.
The Louise Barry Writing Award was presented to David C. Beyreis for his book Blood in the Borderlands 1821-1920.
The Jack D. Rittenhouse Memorial Stagecoach Award went to Marc Simmons, Albuquerque, New Mexico, dedicated to Santa Fe Trail writing.
Two special Awards of Appreciation were presented. Ashley Wheeler, National Park Service intern, was honored for efforts creating SFTA promotional items. Recognition went Jessica Ostfeld, National Park Service Intern, for the American Solar Challenge, following the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
Special Recognition was given to singer Michael Martin Murphey as honorary chair of the Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary.
Hall of Fame inductees traveled on and/or made a significant contribution to or had impact on Santa Fe Trail history.
Nestor Armijo, 1831-1911, Las Cruces, New Mexico, regularly travelled to Westport, Missouri, returning wagons full of general merchandise. Armijo diversified his operations as a land owner, miner, investor, and lender.
Rankin Scott Kelly, 1826-1913, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was a teamster, carpenter and stonemason. He and others traveled the trail in 1860 with eight ox-drawn wagons and 48 cattle joining another 50-member wagon train.
John Van Deusen DuBois, 1833-1879, Greenport, New York, was detailed with 23 men to escort the mail party on the Santa Fe Trail. He traveled the Cimarron Branch through New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas recording information on the stops.
Martín Amador, 1836-1903, Las Cruces, New Mexico, was an entrepreneur, inventor, community leader, and visionary. He operated the Amador Hotel which still stands today, a general store, and a livery stable. Amador hauled freight from Chihuahua, Mexico, to Santa Fe.
Miguel Antonio Otero, 1829-1882, Las Vegas, New Mexico, was devoted to construction of the transcontinental railroad through New Mexico. He was a strong supporter of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.
Miguel Antonio Otero II, 1859-1944, Santa Fe, New Mexico, grew up traveling with his family across Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. He served as the 16th governor of New Mexico Territory. Receiving numerous commissions including being the Panama Canal marshal, Otero authored several books on Western lore.
Charles Turnbull Hayden, 1825-1900, Tempe, Arizona, saw opportunities in the growing number of migrants moving west. In 1848, he left Independence, Missouri, with merchandise for Santa Fe, where he marketed goods and returned in the fall.
Leo Gamble, 1912-2002, and Mary Gamble, 1914-2002, Springfield, Colorado, were western Kansas natives. Living near the Santa Fe Trail gave them “trail fever” as advocates for preserving trail history. SFTA charter members, they located the Santa Fe Trail and the Aubry Cut-off in Colorado.
Don Cress, 1918-2017, and Doris Cress, 1923-2015, Council Grove, were founding members of the Heart of the SFTA Flint Hills Chapter. They sponsored the National Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium.
Leland Zerbe, 1930-2020, Council Grove, was a volunteer for the SFTA Heart of the Flint Hills Chapter for decades. He participated in trail rides throughout his membership riding on horseback across Kansas into New Mexico.
Mary Catherine Beardsley Prince, 1846-1925, Santa Fe, New Mexico, married Governor Prince, a widower. Mary Catherine suggested marking the old Santa Fe Trail in New Mexico. Twenty-one granite markers were placed costing more than $700.
Davy Mitchell, 1923-2021, Lubbock, Texas, served on the Santa Fe Trail Association board of directors. Davy had an endless pursuit of knowledge about the historic Santa Fe Trail and never missed an opportunity to share his knowledge.
Lou Austin, 1947-2019, Kansas City, was involved with the National Park Service and Mid-America Regional Council retracement project of the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails. The Three-Trails corridor website highlighted trails from Wayne City Landing in Independence to Gardner, Kansas.
Margaret Long, 1873-1957, Denver, Colorado, was a doctor, who contracted tuberculosis and moved to Colorado to recover. Upon retirement Long devoted time to her interest in the West and western trails. She published several books with her best-known work, The Santa Fe Trail.
Richard Carillo, 1945-2014, grew up in La Junta, Colorado, surrounded by the history of the Santa Fe Trail and Bent’s Old Fort. He conducted historical archeological studies throughout the American West. Carillo became recognized as a scholar on history of southeastern Colorado and the Santa Fe Trail.