Covered Wagon Trip Involves The Daltons

On trip into Oklahoma Territory, woman recalls experiences in the covered wagon involving the Daltons, a train robbery and a broken wagon tongue.

| Good Old Days

When my father decided to pioneer in the Oklahoma Territory, he was a farmer in Nebraska. He sold his farm and started on the long trek to the new land with his family of nine children. I specifically remember two experiences on that trip in the covered wagon. One involved the Daltons and the other a broken wagon tongue.

When we arrived at Caldwell, Kansas, we heard that the government had ordered all cattle taken out of the Cherokee Strip, and the flies – deprived of the cattle to feed on – were simply eating the horses alive. Mother took her bed sheets and made covers for the horses, and then Father drove them right into the swarms of starving flies.

The horses couldn't be held back. They went at a fast trot and couldn't stand still long enough to drink water. Father kept going until dark stopped the flies. We made camp, but not for long.

We were awakened by many gunshots. Father supposed it was horse thieves, so we loaded up and started on. When we arrived at Kingfisher we learned that the shots were those of train robbers. That was the night the Daltons were trying to rob the Rock Island train near where Enid, Oklahoma, is now.

My second story is more thrilling.

I married a young man who was pioneering farther west. We loaded our belongings in a covered wagon and started to Washita County. On the way, the wagon tongue broke, and there was no way to get it repaired. We were crossing an unsettled part of the Oklahoma Territory.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!