The Big Valley is set in the San Joaquin Valley in California, just post-Civil War. It's a family of three boys and a girl, but the dead father's bastard son (a very young Lee Majors) joins in early. The matriarch is Barbara Stanwyck, and a very young Linda Evans plays the girl. The story is based on a real family that became the rich folk in the area, but continued to try to treat people fairly. Most of the episodes I saw had something to do with fairness and equality.
The makeup is way too obvious (particularly when they make Martin Landau into an Indian) although I got used to it as I watched. A lot of famous actors played guest parts in the shows. It's a good Western series with a point to make.