Wagon Train (1957–1965)
2 user

The Ruth Owens Story 

Ruth Owens remarries and is moving west with her new husband. When her brother comes looking for her, he stirs up trouble for her about her past and himself because he just killed a man.


Robert Florey




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ward Bond ... Major Seth Adams
Robert Horton ... Flint McCullough
Shelley Winters ... Ruth Owens
Kent Smith ... Prof. Paul Owens
Dean Stockwell ... Jimmy Drew
Russell Simpson ... Mr. Carr
Wendy Winkelman ... Sarah (as Wendy Winkleman)
Malcolm Atterbury ... John Bixby
Ralph Moody ... Uncle Foster Carr
Hope Summers ... Wagon Train Member
Ann Morrison Ann Morrison ... Wagon Train Member
Charles Seel ... Wagon Train Member
Ross Elliott ... Ralph Carr
Harry Tyler ... Mr. Williams
Emerson Treacy ... George Hankes


Jimmy Drew arrives at the train looking for his sister Ruth. He was told in St. Louis at a saloon that she was seen with the train after she left there. When he tells Lank Carr where she was from he tells Jimmy no woman with that background could be on the train. As the argument heats up, Lank pulls a knife and tries to stab Jimmy who shoots and kills him. Lank's blind uncle hears the confrontation. Jimmy is caught and saved from a lynching by the Major. Jimmy's sister Ruth who is remarried to a school teacher spots him and tells Jimmy that she did have a past she has tried to put behind her. Jimmy is so hurt he decides not to defend himself until his sister tells the truth at the trial. Jimmy then gives his defense and the uncle and brother confess about hearing the fight and hiding the knife. Ruth is relieved to learn her husband does not care about her background. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Western








Release Date:

9 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


While riding on the wagon with Ruth, Major Adams declares, "The Bible says that each of us is born with guilt trailing us, and I believe that." Unless it was a general statement on original sin, Adams may specifically be referring to Isaiah 5:18, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope" (KJV). See more »


Ruth Owens: I'm the woman Jimmy was looking for. I'm the woman from the Satin Slipper. I'm his sister. He didn't know anything about me. Nobody did. I thought it was all past and forgotten, that I would never have to think about it again. I know what I did was wrong. I never thought that it wasn't. But I'm starting a new life. You've all left something behind you, something that you don't want to carry with you. You want the West to be a new start, a new kind of life.
See more »


Wayfaring Stranger
Performed by Shelley Winters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The past catches up
26 January 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Shelley Winters does one of her infrequent acting jobs in this Wagon Train episode playing a woman going west with her new husband Kent Smith and her daughter from a previous marriage. The first husband had been killed in the Civil War.

Her younger brother Dean Stockwell makes the first of several Wagon Train episodes he appears in. He had heard she was with the Seth Adams Wagon Train and has followed from St.Louis. He has the misfortune to mention the place where he heard she worked, a notorious saloon pleasure palace. When someone questions his sister's honor he hits him. The other party draws a knife and Stockwell draws his gun and kills him.

Winters has a most troubled past, an alcoholic and abusive father is why she ran away from home and left Stockwell there. She also had to do a lot just to survive including being a 'fancy woman'. Not good for mixing with those pioneer wives.

In this early Wagon Train we also see Frank McGrath with only the scraggle of a beard and Terry Wilson not yet an official regular acting as one of the lynch mob. Certainly not Bill Hawks type behavior. Then again he had a wife in a few early episodes who was gradually forgotten.

Ward Bond shows in this story why he became for many such an authority figure the way he stops a lynch mob. It was a big reason for Wagon Train's popularity and why his sudden demise was such a news story around the 1960 elections. He was a father figure to many as Major Seth Adams.

A good ensemble performance by a carefully chosen ensemble for this Wagon Train episode.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed