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Pioneers, Wagons and Oxen Crossing the Arkansas River at Great Bend, KS.


  • WRCWOTA.JPG Three people in wagon on left.
  • WRCWOTB.JPG Drover with ox at lower left.
  • WRCWOTC.JPG Wagons in ceter forground.
  • WRCWOTD.JPG People in wagons at right.
  • WRCWOTE.JPG Buildings in center background. (is that a steamboat on the left?)
  • WRCWOTF.JPG Lead ox team in center.
  • WRCWOTG.JPG Buildings in left background.
  • WRCWOTN.JPG Note at upper left of image
    "On the banks of
    The Arkansas at Great Bend
    as is looked as the pioneers
    made their first break into
    the unknown west."
  • WRCWOTS.JPG Postage Stamp Image
  • Comments and Comentary

    From: Don Shorock <>
    Date: Mon Nov 25, 12:32pm -0600
    To: bbott
    Subject: Comments on picture of Arkansas River crossing

    I do have a comment on your picture: Pioneers, Wagons and Oxen Crossing the Arkansas River at Great Bend. I brought a copy of the picture to a local history buff who works at the Great Bend Tribune in the hopes he could shed more light on it.

    Instead of giving me the answer, he chose to answer my question in yesterday's Tribune, along with his negative feelings about the Internet, technology (and the 20th century in general).

    He identified the picture as a movie publicity photo for a movie made in 1930. The scene purported to show Westport, Missouri and the banks of the Missouri (hence the steamboats). He said the actual scene was a movie set on the banks of the Colorado River, 15 miles
    from Yuma. He went on to great lengths to point out other "obvious" inconsistencies in the picture. If you wish, I can mail you a hard copy of his article. Just give me a snail-mail address.

    While I didn't particularly appreciate his method of dealing with it (since it made both me and the Internet look bad), I now have every reason to believe that his explanation of the picture is correct.

    It does raise the question: how did you come by the picture?--
    | Don Shorock, P O Box 501, Great Bend, KS 67530-0501 USA |
    | e-mail: |
    | |
    | |
    | Legalize Freedom! |

    Answer from bbott: the picture came from the collection at the Cowley County Museum.

    Subject: Pioneer picture
    Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 12:31:20 -0700
    From: "Randy Beard" <>
    To: <>


    If I'm not mistaken, the picture of wagons, oxen, etc., is from the John Wayne movie "The Big Trail", filmed around 1930-1931 in
    Arizona. I'm almost sure the wagon pulled by 3 yoke of oxen in the front center was my uncle's setup, and he was the driver on
    foot. Three of my uncles took their ox teams from Teton Valley, Idaho on train car to Arizona to help film the movie and then
    back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to finish it. Our family has a tradition of training and working oxen and have been in several
    movies starting with this one. We still have oxen today.

    Hopefully this will help.

    Randy Beard

    (208) 356-4891

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    If you have comments or can describe or shed light on details of this picture please email me.