How did Lucas' wife die in the show The Rifleman?


On The Rifleman, Lucas' wife died in a smallpox outbreak in Enid, Oklahoma. AnswerParty!

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The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black-and-white, half-hour episodes. "The Rifleman" aired on ABC from September 30, 1958 to April 8, 1963 as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series to have a widowed parent raise a child.

Seven actors played the town doctor during the series (usually known as "Doc Burrage"): Edgar Buchanan, Fay Roope, Rhys Williams, Jack Kruschen, Robert Burton, Ralph Moody and Bert Stevens. Several actors also played blacksmith Nels Swenson.


The Geography of Oklahoma encompasses terrain and ecosystems ranging from arid plains to subtropical forests and mountains. Oklahoma contains 10 distinct ecological regions, more per square mile than in any other state by a wide margin. One of six states on the Frontier Strip, it is situated in the Great Plains and U.S. Interior Highlands region near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. Usually considered part of the South Central United States, Oklahoma is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas, on the northwest by Colorado, on the far west by New Mexico, and on the south and near-west by Texas.

The state has four primary mountain ranges: the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, the Ozark Mountains and the Ouachita Mountains. Part of the U.S. Interior Highlands region, the Ozarks and Ouachitas form the only major highland region between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians.

Enid (ē'nĭd) is a city in Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States. In 2010, the population was 49,379, making it the ninth largest city in Oklahoma. It is the county seat of Garfield County. Enid was founded during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in the Land Run of 1893, and is named after Enid, a character in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King. In 1991, the Oklahoma state legislature designated Enid the "Purple Martin Capital of Oklahoma." Enid holds the nickname of "Queen Wheat City" and "Wheat Capital" of Oklahoma and the United States for its immense grain storage capacity, and has the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

The economy of Enid is diverse, but its foundation is the oil and gas industry and agriculture.

Smallpox Lucas

Lucas McCain is a fictional character in the Western television series, The Rifleman, which ran on ABC from 1958 to 1963. A rancher and widowed father with a penchant for using his Winchester firearm as a last resort, the part was portrayed by former athlete-turned-actor Chuck Connors.

In the story, Lucas earns enough money from a turkey shoot contest to purchase a ranch near the fictitious town of North Fork in the New Mexico Territory, where, presumably in the 1880s, he dedicates himself to rearing his son, Mark McCain, played by singer/actor and former Mousketeer Johnny Crawford. The McCains had previously lived in Enid, Oklahoma where Lucas' wife, Margaret (daughter of Samuel E. Gibbs) died in a smallpox outbreak (Season 5, Episode 23, "The Guest"; Season 5, Episode 24, "Old Man Running"). Despite Lucas' use of his lightning rifle to settle disputes, the program is family-oriented. Lucas struggles to instill proper values in his young son, and most episodes end on an uplifting note. Mark has a special bond and affection for his father.

Mark McCain is son of the rancher Lucas McCain in the ABC Western television series The Rifleman that ran from 1958 to 1963. The part was portrayed by singer/actor and former Mousketeer Johnny Crawford, who was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1959 as Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series. He lost the designation to Dennis Weaver, then portraying Chester Goode on CBS's Gunsmoke.

Mark McCain was more than just a supporting player in The Rifleman, for his bond with his father was the core of the show. In many ways, he was the co-lead of the series, appearing in almost every episode and a majority of scenes.

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