Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Mary Ellen Thomas Story 

Mary Ellen is an orphan traveling west to join family, but members of the train reject her due to her surly disposition. Her only friend is Sally Mayhew, another girl traveling west with her family dying of consumption.


(as Virgil Vogel)


(story), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
... Major Seth Adams
... Flint McCullough
... Mary Ellen Thomas
Jenny Hecht ... Sally Mayhew
... Charlie Wooster
... Bill Hawks
... Mrs. Mayhew
... Ben Mayhew (as Dick Cutting)
Vernon Rich ... Jenkins
... Mrs. Maybelle Gifford
... Tommy Jenkins
Clifford Botelho ... Indian Boy
... Chief Red Cloud
Ollie O'Toole ... Stacy Gifford (as Ollie O'Tolle)


Mary Ellen Thomas is traveling west with Jenkins and his son to live with her remaining family. Her dad, Jenkins business partner, has passed away leaving her an orphan. Because of her rough life and treatment by the Jenkins, Mary Ellen has developed a gruff attitude especially toward adults. She is frequently in trouble and causes the Major and his men grief. She has one friend on the train Sally Mayhew who is dying from consumption. Her parents are taking her to Colorado for her health but have come too late to help her. Sally is confined to her wagon and is given a mouse by Mary Ellen for companionship. As a prank she puts it in a woman's sewing bag but Mary Ellen is blamed for it. As they approach the Rockies, it becomes apparent it will be too late for Sally so the Major decides to stop the train and have an early Christmas party for Sally. Mary Ellen knowing Sally, from Louisana, wants to see snow decides to go off on her own for it without telling anyone. On the way she finds ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

24 December 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Careful...you may cry at the end of this episode!
16 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Much more than a simple "shoot 'em up" Western show, Wagon Train was one of the best TV shows ever produced, featuring well written and well acted stories (many of whom were veteran movie actors) of the extremely hard life led by the people moving west to start a new life after the Civil War. The Mary Ellen Thomas story aptly portrayed the life and death of one child making such a trip. The beautiful Patty McCormack played the title role excellently, along with the great Ward Bond and Robert Horton. A purchase of the DVD set would be well worth it. I watched these shows as a child, and I'm watching the entire series again. I miss this show so much!

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