Pioneer Mother Memorial - Kansas City
This sculpture, known as the “Pioneer Mother Memorial,” is located in Kansas City’s Penn Valley Park.
Although it's less well-known than “The Scout” and other some sculptures in the KC area, it strikes me as a particularly melancholy and moving piece of public art that deserves greater attention.
It was designed by Alexander Phimister Proctor (1860-1950), a famous artist who specialized in scenes associated with the American frontier. “Pioneer Mother Memorial” was dedicated and placed in the park in 1927.
Kansas City is certainly an appropriate place for this statue. It is located near the points where the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails originated. Its subject is also worthy of a memorial, as many of the brave women who embarked on such journeys endured considerable hardship.
Indeed, as the statue’s plaque reads, the sculpture was “presented to the people of Kansas City by Howard Van Derslice to commemorate the pioneer mother who with unfaltering trust in God suffered the hardship of the unknown West to prepare for us a homeland of peace and plenty.”