Children of the Trails sculpture
Backstory and Context
This bronze sculpture is dedicated to all of the children whose lives were lost due to the harsh conditions on the overland journeys westward. A pioneer boy, a girl and their dog run through an arch. A rainbow floats above them and doves fly overhead. Rocks in the fountain beneath them represent the streams that children crossed on the overland trail. The sculpture was dedicated on Old Settlers Day, September 7, 2000, by the Johnson County Old Settlers Association.This work was was sculpted by Kansas City artist Kwan Wu. Sculptor Kwan Wu was born and trained in China, but since immigrating to the United States and settling in the Kansas City area he has sculpted two major works depicting the western trails for Olathe, Kansas. The other is "Going West on the Old Santa Fe Trail."
Dedication plaque text:
Perhaps the greatest test of the pioneers’ spirit was the loss of children like Asa Smith to the harsh and unforgiving elements of the frontier. His tiny marker stands today at the intersection of K-10 and K-7 Highways. It is joined by this sculpture created in loving memory of every child lost along the trails as families faced the unknown, blazing our nation’s westward growth.