Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Parkhursts in:
 • Pioneer Cemetery
 • Watsonville
 • Santa Cruz County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Charley Parkhurst
Birth: 1812
Grafton County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Dec. 28, 1879
Santa Cruz County
California, USA

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) 
Family links: 
  Ebenezer Parkhurst (1779 - 1844)
  Mary Morehouse Parkhurst (1787 - 1812)
  Charles Dodge Parkhurst (1811 - 1813)*
  Charley Parkhurst (1812 - 1879)
  Henry Parkhurst (1830 - 1870)**
  Jane Ellen Parkhurst Thompson (1835 - 1899)**
*Calculated relationship
Noted whip of the Gold Rush days.
Drove a stage over Mt. Madonna in
early days of valley. Last run
San Juan to Santa Cruz. Death in
cabin near the 7 mile house,
revealed "One Eyed Charlie",
a woman. The first woman to vote
in the U.S. Nov. 3, 1868

Erected 1955

Pajaro Valley Historical Ass'n.

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
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Richard Stauff
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Rose
 Added: Apr. 12, 2017
Dear Charley, What a storied legacy. May you always be lovingly remembered. Rest In Peace.
- E49
 Added: Mar. 23, 2017
RIP Charley.....
- City Marshal James Byrd, 1868-70
 Added: Dec. 12, 2016
There are 99 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.7 after 49 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service