What Happened to Bill Hawks Wife on Wagon Train

April 2, 2024

Wagon Train was a television show that followed (you guessed it) a wagon train as they traveled west from Missouri to California. The show starred Ward Bond as the wagon master Seth Adams, Robert Horton as scout Flint McCullough (who left after season five to be replaced by John McIntire), Frank McGrath as cook Charlie Wooster and Terry Wilson as Bill Hawks. Later, Michael Burns and Scott Miller joined the cast as Barnaby West and Duke Shannon respectively.

While most of the stories revolved around the main characters of the wagon train, there were several others that focused on other members of the group. One such story was "The Jonas Murdock Story" which dealt with a wagon trainer who violates a Native chief's order not to hunt on his land. Ultimately, the tribe threatens to execute him. Bill intervenes on his behalf and winds up being seriously wounded in the process.

Another notable story featured a woman who joins the wagon train under a false name. The other travelers object to her inclusion, but they are finally convinced by her bravery and honesty when she averts a murder attempt by a riverboat gambler. It was a rare sympathetic portrayal by actress Mercedes McCambridge, who was not used to this kind of role and had only appeared in seven episodes. Rod Steiger made his first appearance on the series as a blind doctor heading to Oregon in the "The Saul Bevins Story." He would make a total of five guest appearances on the show.


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