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12 Renowned Women of the Wild West


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Charley Parkhurst

Times were rough for ladies in the Wild West, so this crackerjack stagecoach driver decided to live most of her life as a man. Born in 1812, Parkhurst lived well into her sixties, in spite of being a hard-drinking, tobacco-chewing, fearless, one-eyed brute. She drove stages for Wells Fargo and the California Stage Company, not an easy or particularly safe career. Using her secret identity, Parkhurst was a registered voter and may have been the first American woman to cast a ballot. She lived out the rest of her life raising cattle and chickens until her death in 1879. It was then that her true identity was revealed, much to the surprise of her friends.


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