Each episode of Wagon Train follows the adventures of the wagon master, scouts, cook and various passengers as they head west for a new life.


Wagon Train


Stars Ward Bond, John McIntire, Robert Horton, other favorite Western actors, plus many of Hollywood’s most famous movie and TV leading men and women in guest star roles!

Each episode of Wagon Train is like a mini-movie! Join the train and live the stories of the pioneers, the men, women and children, who venture through the wild, unsettled United States territories, on their quest for a new life in California. You’ll find out what motivates them to leave everything behind, abandon civilization, perhaps never to see their parents, loved ones and friends again, for a walk into the, often dangerous, unknown. As they travel the rough terrain, they must deal with hostile Indians, swindlers, outlaws, cattle rustlers, not to mention life-threatening weather. And when you travel together for months on end, there’s bound to be a few disputes among the passengers, if not downright fights! But their journey is not without laughter, friendship and, sometimes, even a touch of sweet romance.

The saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. And never was it more true than in the old west, especially on the journey the pioneers on the wagon train undertake. To make the perilous trek across the open plains and over mountainous trails, they need a tough, dedicated and wise leader, and a crew of experienced scouts, guides, and of course, a cook! The passengers’ lives depend on these men.

Major Seth Adams – Wagonmaster (Ward Bond)

A veteran of the Civil War, Seth is used to giving orders and being obeyed. He’s a burly, boisterous, big man who commands the wagon train like he commanded his troops. He may come off as belligerent, but Major Adams is fair and dedicated to keeping his passengers safe during their drive. He’s a born leader, and the people trust him implicitly. Major Adams comes from Galena, Illinois and was a neighbor of Ulysses S. Grant, who after the Battle of Shiloh, conferred the title of Major on the then Lt. Adams.

Major Adams may have scared the daylights out of the unsuspecting, but those on the wagon train knew he had a compassionate side. As often as he argued with his scout, Flint, the Major would always worry if the younger man didn’t return to the wagon train within a reasonable time. Of course, he’d never admit to that momentary lapse in his grumpy demeanor.

Cowboy Code till the End

The bond between Western actors and filmmakers is like no other. When Ward Bond died suddenly of a heart attack on November 5, 1960, director John Ford, along with Harry Carey, Jr. and Ford’s son-in-law, Ken Curtis (Festus on Gunsmoke) left the set of Two Rode Together to fly to Dallas. There, they escorted Bond’s wife Maisie and Bond’s body back to Los Angeles for the funeral at Ford’s ranch. Also known as a crooner, Ken Curtis, and John Wayne gave a eulogy.

Flint McCullough – Scout (Robert Horton)

Young, headstrong and just as stubborn as Major Adams, it’s no wonder Flint and the cantankerous wagonmaster are often at odds, butting heads, arguing fiercely. Flint has one of the most dangerous jobs in the wagon train. It’s up to him to ride ahead of the train to scout out any potential danger, be it a band of hostile Indians, outlaws, foul weather or predatory animals. Though Flint is educated, well-spoken and has manners, he’s tough as nails when it comes to his job, but can certainly turn on the charm should a lovely lady join the train. Flint is no stranger to the scout life. As a young boy, he was the mentee of legendary mountain man and Army scout, Jim Bridger, where he learned the terrain and the unwritten laws of the west, and how to get along with the Indians who lived on the land.

A Pony of His Own

Actor, Robert Horton makes a fine picture of confidence astride the striking blanket appaloosa he rides in Wagon Train. Well, he should! It’s his own horse, named Stormy Night, as that was the weather in Idaho on the night he bought the horse.

Christopher Hale – Wagonmaster (John McIntire)

When Ward Bond, who played Major Seth Adams, passed away in 1960, the wagon train needed a new leader. Enter the character of Christopher Hale. Driving his desire to see pioneers safely to their destination in the west is his own tragic past: Christopher’s wife and children were massacred by Indians. When Christopher takes over, passengers discover his leadership style much different from that of Major Adams. He’s quiet, steady, relaxed and fair. Rarely is he pushed to the point of raising his voice.

Where have you seen John McIntire on INSP before?

McIntire played Dr. Joseph “Doc” McCord in The Tin Star, Major Frazer in Two Rode Together, Judge Parker in Rooster Cogburn, among other movie roles seen on INSP, and in the role of Clay Granger in the show, The Virginian from 1967 to 1970

Cooper Smith – Scout – (Robert Fuller)

Though Coop Smith comes off as a rough, rugged, tough guy, he is not one to start a fight. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t join one in progress, and finish it. As a scout for Chris Hale, he’s brave in the face of danger, honorable and quiet, but he knew when and how to speak his mind.

Bill Hawks – Crew (Terry Wilson)

Strong, dependable, even tempered, Bill Hawks is the perfect right-hand man for Major Adams and later for Chris Hale. Bill and the cook, Charlie Wooster love to get into some rather lively discussions, but even if the disagreements become heated, Bill always respects and cares for Charlie. Most of all, Bill is trustworthy, among the crew and the passengers.

Charlie Wooster – Cook (Frank McGrath)

Just like a cook on a cattle drive, the cook on a wagon train is the heart and soul of the expedition! And Charlie Wooster is no exception. He’s a friend, a confidant, a jokester, even if he is sometimes petulant and impulsive, and he sure can run off at the mouth. He and Bill Hawks are always getting into it, but in a way only the best of friends can. Charlie and Major Adams go way back, as Charlie was his cook during the Civil War. You can always count on Charlie to have a pot of coffee on.

Duke Shannon – Scout (Scott Miller)

Duke knows his way across the terrain, scouting for dangerous situations. While his job is serious, he’s a friendly kind of guy, and well-liked in the train.

Barnaby West – Passenger (Michael Burns)

At 13, Barnaby is on a mission to find his father, so he sets off walking from Virginia. Along the way, Bill Hawks meets and befriends the determined boy. When Barnaby locates his father, he learns the man he was searching for doesn’t even know about Barnaby, and even worse, he is married and has a family. Barnaby realizes he will never fit in, he chooses his own family—the crew and passengers of the wagon train.