Military Escort Wagon. Idaho Freight Wagons. Stages of Life. Arabia's Buried Treasure. The Pride of St. Out of the Woods. A Ticket to Tomorrow. The Making of the Newton Wagon Company. Additional information on the Mitchell wagon company can be found from a number of sources. Throughout it's history, Mitchell has often been referred to as the oldest wagon company in America. While the roots of the company do trace back tothere were other companies in the east with even earlier dates of establishment.

Like other firms, Mitchell suffered its own series of financial hardships and growing pains in the early years, but ultimately triumphed into a major western vehicle competitor.

wagons of the old west story

Mitchell built a broad line of vehicles including farm, freight, stage, and spring wagons as well as buckboards, delivery wagons, hitch wagons and buggies. They even had their own line of wagon grease. Mitchell's history not only covers the majority of the development of the old west, but it also played a significant role in the transition from horse drawn vehicles to electrics and gasoline engines in the early 's.

Mitchell was purchased by the John Deere company in and marketed for several more decades before ceasing operations. As we continue to celebrate the legendary wheels of the old west, we'll be showcasing even more vintage western vehicles on a regular basis. In the meantime, if you know of a particularly nice set of wheels or interesting western vehicle story you'd like to see here, feel free to drop us a line at info wheelsthatwonthewest.

M itchell. It's a name well known among western vehicle fans. As our current "Featured Vehicle," this near-pristine Mitchell brand farm wagon is a rarity today, still boasting the majority of its original paint, pin striping, and selling dealer signage. With high, 52" rear wheels, a 38" wide box, and original brake, it's currently undergoing a transformation into a competitive chuckwagon by Kathy Christensen of Midwest Buggy in Lockney, Texas.

According to Christensen, "Mitchell has a great western history and strong reputation. Combined with the excellent condition and originality of this wagon, we're looking forward to a great season of chuckwagon competitions. Multiple judges evaluate the vehicles as well as the prepared food from each wagon to determine the winning contender.

It's a highly competitive series of events surrounded by a spirit of camaraderie unmatched by most other contests. For more information on chuckwagon cookoffs, visit www. Photo courtesy of Kathy Christensen Additional information on the Mitchell wagon company can be found from a number of sources. Sneed All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form by any means.

Site Navigation.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Farm wagons and freight wagons were the backbone of the western transportation in the 's, hauling produce and merchandise to frontier towns. Referred to as a buckboard wagon by many, the farm wagon had higher sides than a buckboard and a heavier running gear.

We begin with careful research and documentation, use authentic materials and construction; then add finishes that define the art of the original maker. Shop our inventory of horse-drawn vehicles for sale. We are continually adding to our selection of antique or pre-owned wagons, carriages and stagecoaches.

Items 1 to 18 of 27 total Show 6 12 18 per page. Page: 1 2 Next. Sort By Position Name Price. Original John Deere Wagon on Moline high wheel running gear. Traditional buckboard design with all the quality craftsmanship. This rugged and beautiful wagon will make a welcoming statement on your property. Use this western icon as a display piece for yard or business. This early period wagon exhibits many characteristics of the Conestoga construction.

Shop Wagon Inventory Shop our inventory of horse-drawn vehicles for sale.Wonderful historical document "Brief practical advice to the emagrant or traveller". Thank you. Great article! I appreciate historians whose focus is on the Western Wagon trains.

wagons of the old west story

I have also found that some of the more religious people sang hymns late into the night. I am trying to find out what specific songs would have been famous during the 's. Can you lead me in the right direction, for both popular songs of that era and popular hymns? Thank you so much for taking time to blog this article! Jeremiah MayBee. I find your little story interesting, but I'm trying to find a passenger list of people that went west from Duluth, Minn to either Moorhead, Wis.

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My great great uncle went out the about that time, I do know that they wintered in Missioula in - 81 cause his sister died and was buried there. I'm now lead to believe that they left Duluth and either went to Moorhead and then north to Winnipeg and crossed Canada to about Calgary and then dropped south, or continued west across the U.

William Taylor. I enjoyed reading this page -- especially the original guide. I'm researching this era with the hopes of doing some historical fiction writing.

This information was all very useful. Thanks so much!! Great read, as usual! I noted that the two areas in Nebraska and Kansas where some of my family settled, just happened to be near where the Oregon Trail passed through.

Now, why they chose those areas, which today are fairly out of the way, makes much more sense. Thanks Tom! Thank you for your comment. By ship you went all the way around the horn of South America and up the West coast until you were in San Francisco. It was a long hard trip. And even today, the trip around Cape Horn is not one that many want to take.

Of course there were wagon trains. The jump off point was St. Louis, Missouri. That's why St. Louis is still called "The Gateway to the West. This was a group of covered wagons, and usually around or more wagons. And yes, wagon trains were very well controlled and organized by those putting them together. Along with everything else, there was a strict order for placement of the wagons on the trail and at the camp at night.

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It's no fun when all you're doing is eating dust as the cows move along.Navajo Rugs, Native Baskets. Credit for inventing the chuck wagon is given to legendary ranchman and trail driver Charles Chuck Goodnight who invented the chuckwagon in for use by his crews. Charles Goodnight, Inventer of the Chuckwagon. McCoy, a young cattle shipper from Springfield, Illinois came up with the idea of a shipping point along the railroad that was steadily moving west.

He chose the village of Abilene, Kansas for his enterprise. In the space of a few months he talked the Kansas Pacific Railroad into furnishing stock cars.

He built shipping pens and a hotel in Abilene, and then he sent word to Texas that he had the facilities to ship all the cattle they could bring to him. The great trail drives up the Chisholm trail began in Not all the cattle were sold for beef. Thousands of longhorns were used to stock new ranches throughout the Great Plains states and territories. They spread from the Dakotas to Utah, and from Texas to Canada. Cowboy Shortage Led to Development of the Chuckwagon By the 's, dozens of cattle drives were moving millions of cattle from Texas to markets in the midwest.

As a result, there was a shortage of cowboys and there was tremendous competition in recruiting good cowboys. To gain the recruiting advantage, Goodnight decided to improve on the quality of meals served along the trail. What he needed was a good cook and a mobile kitchen. To that end, Colonel Charles Goodnight purchased a sturdy war-surplus munitions wagon strong enough to make the journey of more than a thousand miles along difficult trails under all kinds of weather.

Goodnight outfitted the wagon with a kitchen on the back of the military wagon and with the help of his cook, developed an efficient layout that was soon adopted by all trail drovers across the west and named the chuckwagon after founder Chuck Goodnight.

The chuckwagon was used to transport food and supplies for trail crews and cattle drives and served as the cowboy cook's home on long trail drives. The chuckwagon also carried provisions for the trail hands, especially water, plus bedrolls, shovels, axes, rope, and even a few personal items. Typical Crew for a Trail Drive A man crew could manage a herd of 2, to 3, head.

Operation of the Chuckwagon During the long trail drives, the chuck wagon was the headquarters of every cattle outfit on the range.

wagons of the old west story

The cowboys ate their meals there and it was their social center and recreational spot, a natural gathering place for exchanging "windies," or tall tales, listening to music if their happened to be a musician in the group, or just recounting the experiences of the day. The chuck wagon cook was the king.

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He ruled the wagon with an absolute hand. Even the wagon boss walked softly in the vicinity of the chuck wagon cook.

Wagon cooks as a group had the reputation of being ill-tempered, and no wonder. Their working conditions usually left a lot to be desired. When the outfit was on the move, he had to be at the next appointed camp and have a hot meal ready on time.

He was often short of fuel or water. In addition to preparing meals, Cookie also was expected to act as barber, doctor, banker, and sometimes as mediator or referee if a disturbance among the cowboys arose. He was keeper of the home fires, such as they were, out on the range.

The atmosphere around a chuck wagon has been described as pleasantly barbaric, as might be expected with a group of men far from home who were doing rough, dirty work under sometimes brutal conditions. The language was colorful and often profane. There were, however, definite rules of behavior around the chuck. Most were unwritten laws understood by all but the greenest of cowhands. For example, riders approaching the campsite always stayed downwind from the chuck wagon so that they didn't cause dust to blow into the food.

No horse could be tied to the chuck wagon wheel or hobbled too close to camp. There was no scuffling about of kicking up billows of dust around the chuck wagon while meals were being prepared. The cowboys never used the cooks worktable as a dining table; they sat on the ground and used their laps instead. It was against the rules for a cowboy to take the last piece of anything unless he was sure the rest of the group was through eating.It all started when James W.

Bullock died of cancer in and was buried on Sheep Mountain, now called Mount Roosevelt. His legacy still lives on today, as his law-enforcing character is portrayed in the HBO series Deadwood.

She would go on to marry Frank Butler a year after the competition. Oakley died in at the age of Jesse James was no stranger to violence and the outlaw lifestyle. Initially a guerrilla fighter for the Confederates during the Civil War, James would move on to become a notorious gangster in the Wild West. James, together with his brother Frank, became leaders of the famous James-Younger gang, where they carried out bank, train, and stage coach robberies.

InJames was murdered in an act of betrayal by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang who received a reward for the killing. Geronimo was born in and died in As the Native American leader of the fierce Apache tribe, Geronimo became famous for leading raids against the more-advanced American and Mexican militaries. Perhaps these powers were the reason it took nearly a quarter of US forces to hunt him down and capture him in Pearl Hart was a Canadian-born outlaw known for attempting one of the last stagecoach robberies of the Old West in When her husband left to fight in the Spanish-American War, she teamed up with a gambler named Joe Boot and planned a robbery.

Her plans of returning to Canada following the robbery to see her dying mother were cut short after she was captured and imprisoned. Hart served just 2 years of a 5-year sentence, after being pardoned by the governor due to her pregnancy.

Bat Masterson, a Canadian-born American hero, earned a living as a gambler, U.

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Army scout, hunter, Sheriff, U. Marshal, Journalist, and Gunfighter. Masterson met Wyatt Earp in Dodge City and the two formed an alliance as lawmen. Earp became famous for a gunfight at the OK Corral, which started a back-and-forth war against a gang of outlaws who would later take revenge on Earp, killing one of his brothers and maiming another.

The Rufus Buck Gang was a multiracial group of African American and Native American outlaws, notorious for a series of murders, robberies, and assaults. By the gang had been captured, sentenced and hanged for their crimes.

Following their death, speculations arose that Rose was involved in the killing of Newcomb. She denied the accusations and her brothers defended her, stating she had no involvement. As extreme underdogs, the men women and children that joined Chief Joseph in the journey to the Canadian border earned wide-spread praise and admiration from their military opponents and the American public for their efforts in the face of adversity.

Unfortunately, they were stopped just 40 miles shy of their destination in Carson mastered the art of fending for himself on the fringes of society in wild and unsettled territories. As a mountain man, explorer, trader, guide, U. This photo was believed to be taken around Carson lived to the age of 58 and died in Colorado. Tiburcio Vasquez was a hispanic outlaw, active in California from to His career as a criminal began inwhen he was simply present during a fight that killed Monterey Constable William Hardmount.

Vasquez then denied involvement and fled. Two years later he was caught and imprisoned for five years, where lead four separate prison breaks that left 20 convicts dead.Military Escort Wagon.

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Idaho Freight Wagons. Stages of Life. Arabia's Buried Treasure. The Pride of St. Out of the Woods. A Ticket to Tomorrow. The Making of the Newton Wagon Company. The heavy bracing, tires of double thicknesses, reinforced gears undercarriages and oversized wheel construction were typical features of the heaviest vehicles used in the west.

From Santa Fe to the Rockies, St. Louis to the Pacific coast, western freight wagons and their teamsters overcame some of the most rugged and unforgiving terrain. In the process, they created an enduring legacy pointing to the power of sheer will and the endless rewards of opportunity.

Armed with an expansive interstate highway system, express airline services, satellite communications and instant computer-tracking capabilities, the shipping business has become extremely sophisticated and organized.

Goods still have to make it to the manufacturer and marketplace in order for commerce to be successful. Through it all, history has much to share and we - always have more to learn.

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The wagons were often loaded using a calculation of about one ton per animal. These were the Freight Wagons. Built for a single profit-driven purpose, they were designed to take a literal beating while carrying massive amounts of goods, supplies, equipment and raw ore. But, creating these designs was just the first step in a long line of business logistics and challenges. Before the goods and raw materials could arrive at their destinations, they had to overcome the demands of poor and non-existing roads.

Poorly maintained, steep, narrow dirt paths with axle deep mud, washed out chasms, and an endless array of unforeseen problems were matched only by scenic routes with stomach-curdling drop-offs overlooking deep, mountainous ravines. Crossing mile after mile of secluded country, these slow-moving, heavy wagons were constantly twisted, racked, and pounded along the trails.

Adding to the pressure, there were no emergency roadside services to call for help, no regularly-spaced convenience stores to replenish themselves and their teams with food and water, and no protection from bandits and renegades looking to take full advantage of an isolated caravan. It was not an occupation for the faint of heart or the indecisive. Here, strong men with even stronger resolves wore hardened faces and the added savvy of a backcountry survivor. When confronted with cantankerous mules, their vernacular could be explosive and unashamedly colorful.The book was edited and compiled by historian Kenneth L.


It is a remarkable book in that it consists of primary source, unedited diary entries, letters and other correspondence. I read volume two and found it equally compelling. These unedited first person narratives give the reader a genuine sense of who these women really were, what they were seeing, experiencing, and feeling.

They were after all, explorers as well. They are also most effective in relaying their feelings. Take for example this excerpt from Tabitha Brown about her experience traveling west innow left to her own devices as she struggles on with an old, feeble, near death companion who was unable to care for himself or offer her any assistance. I alighted from my horse, flung off my saddle and saddle bags and tied him fast with a lasso rope to a tree….

I covered him as well as I could with blankets…and helped the old gentleman, expecting he would be a corpse by morning. Pause for a moment and consider my situation-worse than alone; in a strange wilderness; without food, without fire; cold and shivering; wolves fighting and howling all around me; darkness of night forbade the stars to shine upon me; solitary- all was solitary as death….

And she continues on towards Oregon. And there are many more narratives like this in the book. I read a lot of these non-fiction pioneer and Native American history books more about these in a latter review as I traveled recently through the west, crossing and re-crossing the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. Sounds like a fascinating book.

wagons of the old west story

I love to read these kind of accounts and being UK rather than US they are new to me. Gonna try and find the book! Thanks for the review. Like Like. I hope you enjoy it! If you are interested in more of this genre, pop back over, and I can give you some more titles. Like Liked by 1 person. Reading this is so interesting because my grandfather and great cgrandfather traveled in a covered wagonin Morgan county indbiana. I loved them so much.

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My mom and I would read them. It was a nice way to learn to read. I think now that I am older, and a girl who wants to write for a job, this book will be a good step to take.

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I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was young too. I wanted to live her constantly moving and adventurous pionner life. She was remarkable.

I would very much like to know what you think when you read the book. And more to the point, I love your blog! You keep on writing Piper. You are a writer. I believe you are absolutely right. These stories are true masterpieces of the way life was during their lifetime.

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