Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Sam Elder Story 

A retired Captain and ten boys join the wagon train on their way to California. Hitching a ride was all he thought he was involving the boys in until he meets one man on the train with a secret resentment.


Virgil W. Vogel




Episode cast overview:
John McIntire ... Christopher Hale (credit only)
Robert Horton ... Flint McCullough (credit only)
Everett Sloane ... Sam Elder
Frank McGrath ... Charlie Wooster
Terry Wilson ... Bill Hawks
Ray Stricklyn ... Sgt. Perks
Roberta Shore ... Millie Allen
Walter Coy ... Ben Allen
Roger Mobley ... Ty Anderson
Adrienne Marden Adrienne Marden ... Lila Allen


Sam Elder and ten boys he is training in a military school style environment ask Hawks to allow them to join the train for the trip to California. He has a land grant there on which he hopes to open a military academy. The boys are orphans of soldiers that fought and died under Elder in the war. The Allen family lost a boy in the war causing the father Ben Allen to try and force his daughter Millie to avoid the boy Sgt. Perks. Ben continually creates arguments with Sam. When he learns Sam won the Congressional Medal of Honor for leading the charge in which Ben's son was killed, Ben tries to kill Sam. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

18 January 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Military school goes west
24 April 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

As you will note by the lead credits John McIntire had already been hired to replace Ward Bond who died suddenly in early November of 1960. But McIntire hadn't made his debut yet and the script had Terry Wilson taking a part that was clearly originally meant to be for Ward Bond. Wilson pinch hit admirably and Frank McGrath as always provided the comic relief which he would do more and more of as the series progressed.

The title role of the Sam Elder Story is played by Everett Sloane who was a medal of honor winner in the Civil War. He's traveling with a bunch of boys all of them orphaned in the late war. His intention is to establish a military school on a land grant he now has in California and he's got the makings of his first class. The kids are run with strict military discipline. The episode heavily suggests what Robert Baden-Powell did with the establishment of the Boy Scouts after the Boer War.

Sloane has some problems with Walter Coy who lost a son under Sloane's command in the Civil War and in a battle where Sloane got the Congressional Medal Of Honor. They're exacerbated by the fact that his cadet sergeant Ray Stricklyn is paying attention to Coy's daughter Roberta Shore.

This is a good family oriented episode for Wagon Train that still holds up well after 50 years.

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