What was the cost of the westward wagon trains?

atm-logoWhat was the cost of the westward wagon trains?

Don Anderson
Phoenix, Arizona

The overland journey from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon or California meant a six-month trip across 2,000 miles of hard country. It was costly—as much as $1,000 for a family of four.

That fee included a wagon at about $100. Usually four or six animals had to pull the wagon. Oxen were slower, but held up better than horses or mules. They were also cheaper, costing about $25 each compared to $75-$100 for a horse or mule.

You would also need food supplies, cooking equipment, water kegs and other sundry items. Most folks viewed a trip to the West as an investment in their futures.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

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Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu