Two brothers determined to maintain the family
ranch after the death of their father were the central characters in this
Western, which was set in the Wyoming Territory of the 1870's. After their
father had been shot by a land-grabber, the responsibility of running the ranch
had fallen to Slim and his 14-year-old brother Andy. Although possessed of great
potential, the ranch had been barely able to provide a living for the Sherman's
before their father's death. Only Jonesy, a friend of their father who had
helped raise them, was around to help run the ranch.
In the first episode, however, a drifter named
Jess Harper wandered in and was persuaded to settle down and throw in his lot
with them. In addition to raising cattle, the Sherman's used their ranch as a
relay station for stagecoach traffic into and out of nearby Laramie, which
accounted for many a desperado passing through.
There were cast changes. Jonesy, played by
veteran singer-composer Hoagy Carmichael, left the show at the start of the
second season, while Sheriff Mort Corey of Laramie became a regular. Young Andy,
who had previously left the ranch and appeared only occasionally, was gone
entirely by 1961, at the same time that two new members were added to the
household. Mike Williams, an orphan whose parents had been killed by Indians,
joined the family, and Daisy Cooper took over the job of housekeeper and
surrogate mother in the previously all-male household.