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

Related Posts

  • wagon train true west magazine

    Emigrants heading west in covered wagons usually had a wagon master who knew the trails…

  • marshall trimble ask the marshall true west magazine

    How often were wagon trains attacked by Indians? Larry Runge Falcon, Missouri It’s hard to…

  • mtrimble_250

    What did the wagon trains do for toilet paper during those long trips across the…