Bonanza aired from Sept 1959 to Jan 1973. There were 430 Episodes
Television show themes come in waves. One theme that was very big from the time I was born until my early teens was the Western Theme. Most of these shows were of the lead justice type. That is: in the end in most of these shows it all came down to a final gun battle to resolve any conflicts. But not Bonanza, I think that is what made this show into the spectacular success that it was.
Bonanza was about a wealthy cattle rancher, Ben Cartwright who was also regarded as a leader in his community. He was beneficent, wise, logical, and thoughtful. He thought not only of the impact a conflict could have on his ranch but also about the welfare of his friends and neighbors too. Ben was a widower, and he ran the ranch with his 3 sons. Sometimes there would be some lead justice, but more often than not logic and reason were the principal tools used to resolve a conflict. For this reason I admired Ben Cartwright because he showed me that force is not always the answer for resolving a problem.