Imagining Pony Express Orphans

I can’t begin to imagine what life was like for many of the orphaned Pony riders without a mother. I wonder if they ever lay awake at night and pondered who their mothers were and tried to imagine their gentle faces. While a boy may have been expected to reach physical manhood by the age of sixteen back in 1860, I doubt that his heart had yet become as callused as his hardworking hands. How comforting it is to me, here on the vast prairie, to envision my mother and know that she is alive and well.