William Becknell was a trader in Missouri, and he was out of money and was risking jail time for his debts. So he transported trade goods from Kansas City to Santa Fe, later finding a route that wagons could go on. He is often called the father of the Santa Fe trail.
The Oregon-California trail was made for people, rather than freight, and it took families around four to six months to make the trip. It served families wanting to make a better life in the West.
They packed their wagons with around 1,000 pounds of food, and a while later, they realized they had over-packed and they left family treasures along the trail.
Most of the encounters with Indians and emigrants on the trail were peaceful. They normally traded with Indians. There were accounts of Indians assisting travelers by pulling out stuck wagons.
The impact that western settlers had was economic growth in Kansas and the establishment of towns and cities in the west. As well as expansion of the American tradition through manifest destiny.