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Ezra Meeker (December 29, 1830 December 3, 1928) Professor Howard Driggs writes about Ezra Meeker, 1907: "Out in the state of Washington recently, a veteran of more than ninety years stepped into an aŽroplane with the mail pilot and flew from Seattle to Victoria in British Columbia, and back again. The aged pioneer took the trip with all the zest of youth and returned enthusiastic over the adventure. This youthful veteran was Ezra Meeker, of Oregon Trail fame, who throughout his long, courageous, useful life has ever kept in the vanguard of progress. Seventy years ago he became one of the trail-blazers of the Farther West. In 1852, with his young wife and child, he made the hazardous journey over plains and mountains all the way from Iowa to Oregon by ox team. Then, after fifty-four years of struggle in helping to develop the country beyond the Cascades, this undaunted pioneer decided to reblaze the almost lost Oregon Trail. An old "prairie schooner" was rebuilt, and a yoke of sturdy oxen was trained to make the trip. With one companion and a faithful dog, the veteran started out. It took nearly two years, but the ox-team journey from Washington, the state, to Washington, our national capital, was finally accomplished. The chief purpose of Mr. Meeker in this enterprise was to induce people to mark the famous old highway. To him it represented a great battle ground in our nation's struggle to win and hold the West. The story of the Oregon Trail, he rightly felt, is an American epic which must be preserved. Through his energy and inspiration and the help of thousands of loyal men and women, school boys and school girls, substantial monuments have now been placed along the greater part of the old pioneer way. The book makes the story of the Oregon Trail live again. This famous old way to the West was traced in the beginning by wild animals the bear, the elk, the buffalo, the soft-footed wolf, and the coyote. Trailing after these animals in quest of food and skins, came the Indians. Then followed the fur-trading mountaineers, the home-seeking pioneers, the gold seekers, the soldiers, and the cowboys. Ezra Meeker has done a signal service for our country in reblazing the Oregon Trail. He has accomplished an even greater work in helping to humanize our history and vitalize the geography of our land, by giving to us, through this little volume, a vivid picture of the heroic pioneering of the Farther West."
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