June 18, 1965
Almost sixty years ago a ceremony in a roadway field northwest of Durham, Kansas dedicated a monument to the Santa Fe trail.
About three weeks ago that same monument was re-dedicated due to the interest and historic concern of the youngest son of one of Durham's early day families. He is John Borton, a successful contractor and builder now living in Hutchinson.
John's oldest brother, Charley Borton, of Durham well remembers the first dedication of the marker in 1906. In an interview with him last weekend, he said the six-foot monument was carved by a Fred Bresfel of Durham, Kansas now deceased. The elder Borton, then 16, said he played in the band which marched out to the site, and that a platform was erected for the occasion and there was a special speaker, whose name he did not recall.
Through the years the white stone marker stayed as a reminder to passers-by that here was a trail over which thousands of pioneers sought out new lands, homes and opportunities.
The stone became badly weathered and the carving dimmed.
Showing the site, which is located on the Claude Unruh farm adjacent to a county road; Mr. Borton indicated the northeast to southwest sweep of the trail. He also told of a near by "trench" the site of a supposed encounter between trail folks and Indians, where he and another brother had played as children
John Borton, interested in preserving the historic marker, had it sand-blasted and cleaned. He also had made at his own expense two handsome bronze plaques. One reads "Santa Fe Trail' the other "School District No. 57, Durham, Kansas, 1906."
The new plaques were affixed to the marker by the two brothers on Memorial Day about three weeks ago.
As a result of the Bortan's interest in preserving the historic Santa Fe Trail marker, it stands refurbished and renewed to be enjoyed for many years to come.
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
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Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.