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 • Watsonville
 • Santa Cruz County
 • California
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Charley Parkhurst
Birth: 1812
Death: Dec. 28, 1879

Western Figure. Born Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst in Lebanon, New Hampshire, known in life as Cockeyed Charley was one of the greatest stagecoach drivers of the Old West, whom just happened to be a woman. Abandoned by her parents as a child and placed in an orphanage from which she later escaped disguised in boy's clothing. She found work as Charley in a livery stable, learn all she could about horses and became a skillful as resourceful stagecoach driver. In the early 1850s, she found her way to California driving stage coaches through the wildest boom towns of Gold Country such as Rough and Ready, Grass Valley and Placerville. In the late 1860s, she retired from riding the stage, bought land in Santa Cruz County, ran a stage station and ranch as well as working as a lumberjack during the winters. She was also the first woman known to have voted in a U.S. Presidential Election on November 3, 1868, as a man. In 1879, Charley succumbed to cancer and died. Buried in Watsonville's Pioneer Cemetery, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association discovered Parkhurst's plot in 1954 and her remains were reburied with an historical marker erected in 1955. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) 
Pioneer Cemetery
Santa Cruz County
California, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 04, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3818
Charley Parkhurst
Added by: Anthony S
Charley Parkhurst
Added by: Kate Beckett
Charley Parkhurst
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I am interested in the history of unusual women - women who took risks - women who were courageous.I blog on and I have written three lesbian ebooks under my name paula key. I have blogged Charley on my site. What a...(Read more)
- paula key
 Added: Oct. 18, 2014
IOOF member Soquel Lodge #137 from 1867 to 1879, but was mysteriously removed from Grand Lodge records during the 1868/1878 printing of census of membership.
- Nancy J Johnson
 Added: Sep. 23, 2014

- J. Bruce Fox
 Added: Aug. 31, 2014
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