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Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail

Ezra Meeker

Book Overview: 

Ezra Meeker…was an early pioneer who traveled the Oregon Trail by ox cart as a young man. Beginning in his 70s, he worked tirelessly to memorialize the trail, repeatedly retracing the trip of his youth. This book is a memoir of those days.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Some of the young men, keen for hunting, had made themselves sick by getting overheated and drinking impure water. Such was the experience of my brother Oliver. Being of an adventurous spirit, he could not restrain his ardor, gave chase to the buffaloes, and fell sick almost to death.

This occurred just at the time when we encountered the cholera panic. It must be the cholera that had taken hold of him, his companions argued. Some of his party could not delay.

"It is certain death," I said, "to take him along in that condition."

They admitted this to be true.

"Divide the outfit, then," it was suggested.

Two of Oliver's companions, the Davenport brothers, would not leave him; so their portion of the outfit was set aside with his. This gave the three a wagon and a team.

Turning to Buck, I said, "I can't ask you to stay with me."

The answer came back as quick as a flash, "I'm going to stay with you without . . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Oregon Trail as seen from the eyes of an optimist. Ezra Meeker talks of his journey across the Oregon Trail with his young family, crossing rivers, encounters with Native Americans, stops a forts and newly formed towns and finding his "plot of land" in Puyallup, Washington. During his life Ezra

Wonderful reading, amazing journeys. As always, missing descriptions of the surrounding nature. Many descriptions that are missing in other accounts of pioneers. These were incredible experiences. Amazing.

I’ve read a lot about wagon trains on the “Mormon” pioneer trail, but I hadn’t known very much about the Oregon trail until I read this book. Besides the fact that they had a very long trip, (compared with the trip to Utah,) I was struck by the fact that Ezra Meeker and his wife and child were pract

The personal narrative of a man who crossed the Oregon Trail early in its history and then, later, in his 1970s returned with an ox cart to promote its history. Ezra Meeker led his family across in 1852 before the railroad, before the telegraph, when it was wide open wilderness without roads or law.

A wonderful story of an America before roads, much less interstate highways. It was an America where adaptation, innovation carried the day. His was an America before the rankle of partisan politics, an America at the dawn of the GOP, an America of cooperation, common decency, and kindness unspoiled

Interesting Narrative of One of the Original Travelers on the Oregon Trail

Ezra Meeker is responsible for originally traveling on the Oregon and then going back years later to have local people install markers along the trail on a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with president Theodore Roosevelt who

Adventurous Pioneers

What an excellent account of a man and his family making the trip across the young United States and the territories to the west. Anyone who has traveled by car or train through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State will recognize many of the places Ezra Mee

Journey of a lifetime turns into paradise lost, paradise regained.

Unknown and untold hardship have been memorialized in this tribute to the Oregon trail written by Mr.Meeker in his golden years.

While I only rated it 3 stars, I feel this is an important book. It's the memoir of Ezra Meeker who was a pioneer on the Oregon Trail in 1852, made a life for himself on the coast and again rode the trail in the early 1900s so he could erect monuments along the trail so it wouldn't be lost to future

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