Tucumcari Historical Museum
The chuckwagon was a wagon that carried the cooking utensils in food. Such as canned milk, vegetables, dried meat, dried fruit, beans, flour, rice, as well as bed rolls in water barrels for an outfit. Extra firewood was kept in a tarp, or green cow hide, and tied up underneath the wagon to protect it from the elements. On the trail drivers, the tongue of the wagon was pointed toward the North Star at night so that the trail boss could use it as a compass when the herd moved the next day.
The cook often ranked next to the foreman or trail boss, cooks were elder cowboys who had been injured and could no longer work with the cattle. They prepared food for the cowboys three times a day and were the first to rise each morning, to prepare breakfast and roast wrangler. The cook was often referred to as “ the old woman”, “ cookie”, or” Coosey” from the Spanish Cocinero.
The hoodlum wagon is another wagon taken on the trail drive, or roundup. This wagon would carry the items to the chuckwagon once carried. Such as bed rolls. Food. Cooking utensils, firewood, extra gear for them in as well as the horses, hobbles, branding iron, call, oil, or ammunition. This wagon's extra space allowed cooks to carry more food in the Chuck wagon. The hoodlum wagon was usually the mark of a well-to-do outfit or ranch, or an unusually large drive. It was a basic storehouse of the cattle drive.
The military wagon was used as an escort wagon, ambulance, to haul ammunition or troops, for the regiment, tents, or hay and food for the horses. They were drawn by either four horses or six mules. An ordinary army wagon drawn by six mules may be counted on to carry 3,000 pounds.
In the day when doctors made house calls they often rode a horse and used a buggy. Most were designed for private passenger use but could easily seat two people. The top cover, or hood, is often flexible and designed to be folded back when desired. It could also have been used as a Sunday card. The couple might use it to attend church, or go for Sunday afternoon rides.