History behind the name “American Trotter Trail”:
In the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, Independence, Iowa was a nationally-known horse racing center. It was sometimes referred to as the “Lexington of the North”. This came about as a result of the financial success of Charles W. Williams. Williams purchased two mares in 1885, each of which within a year gave birth to a stallion. These two stallions, named Axtell and Allerton, went on to set world trotting records. Williams’ earnings from these stallions enabled him to publish a racing newspaper titled, “The American Trotter”. He additionally constructed a kite-shaped race track on the west end of Independence, on a large section of land called Rush Park.
Today, the primary location of Williams’ race track is owned by the school district. The school’s American Trotter Trail intersects the original site of the Williams’ race track.