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Bronze sculpture of a wagon train leader sculpted by Gus Shafer. It is one of several monuments in the Kansas City area that commemorate the region's connections to the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails during the mid-19th century.


  • "The Wagon Master." Photo by Cynthia Prescott.
  • "The Wagon Master" dedication plaque. Photo by Cynthia Prescott.
  • Battle of Westport interpretive plaque. Photo by Cynthia Prescott.
  • Santa Fe Trail interpretive plaque. Photo by Cynthia Prescott.

This statue sculpted by L. E. “Gus” Shafer is a larger-than-life depiction of a wagon train leader. It is one of several monuments in the Kansas City area that commemorate the region's connections to the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails during the mid-19th century.

The artist used his own face as a model for this sculpture. The bronze statue stands on a large limestone rock. It was a gift from Catherine and Miller Nichols, their four daughters, and the artist.  It was dedicated on September 8, 1973.

A plaque accompanying the statue reads:

"God slumbers in the rock
He breaths in the plant
He dreams in the animal
He awakens in man.
– An Indian proverb."

Other nearby bronze plaques recount the history of the Santa Fe Trail and the Civil War Battle of Westport that happened nearby.

The City of Fountains Foundation. "The Wagon Master." https://www.kcfountains.com/single-post/2016/10/26/The-Wagon-Master

Prescott, Cynthia Culver. Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory. University of Oklahoma Press, 2019.