Annie Oakley (1860-1926) - Annie Oakley was as Phoebe Ann Mosey in Darke County, Ohio, On August 13, 1860. She started using a gun when she was just nine years old, while hunting game for her siblings and widowed mother. Quickly becoming an expert marksman, she gained a reputation in her area and during the spring of 1881, defeated a sideshow sharpshooter named Frank Butler.
Butler, who was performing in Cincinnati had bet a hotel owner $100 that he could beat any local fancy shooter. But Frank didn't know about little Annie Moses. The hotel manager soon arranged a shooting match between the two, and Annie, who was just 21 at the time, beat him hands down. The two then began to date and were married on June 20, 1882. She is believed to have taken the stage name of "Oakley" from a Cincinnati neighborhood where the couple lived.
Though she started as Frank's assistant in his traveling show, she soon became the star of the the performance. In 1885, she joined a more popular show, that of
Buffalo Bill's, with husband Frank acting as her business manager. Though badly injured in a railway crash in 1901, she continued to set records into her 60's. At the age of 66, she died of pernicious anemia on November 3, 1926. Her husband, Frank Butler, died just 18 days later.
O'Keeffe (1887-1986) Known as the greatest American woman artist of
the 20th century, her paintings are noted for their abstract colors and shapes
in depicting flowers, nature and the American landscape.
Parker (1825?-1871?) - The mother of
Chief, Quannah Parker, Cynthia was
captured as a child by a
War Party. She adapted to the
ways, married and had three children. She was "rescued" by
in 1860 but was never happy again.
Charley Parkhurst, aka: One Eyed Charley, Mountain Charley, Six-Horse Charley (1812-1879)
- Parkhurst was a tobacco chewing, cussing, gambling California stage driver who was found dead in bed on December 18, 1879. To the surprise of Charley's friend's, the person they found was not who they thought he was. Charley was a woman! Born as Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst in New Hampshire, she was raised in an orphanage before she ran away disguised in boy's clothing. The trick worked so well, she continued the disguise finding work in a livery stable in Worchester, Massachusetts. Around 1849 two of Charley's friends named James Birch and Frank Stevens went to California, where they consolidated several small stage lines into the California Stage Company. Charley followed them to California
and went to work as a stage driver, where she earned a reputation as one of the finest drivers on the west coast. Shortly after arriving, she lost the use of one eye after being kicked by a horse.
During the next two decades she would drive stages for a number of stage lines, including
Wells Fargo on its stage run from Santa Cruz to San Jose. She wore gloves in both summer and winter to hide her small hands and pleated shirts to hide her figure. Over one eye she wore a patch, giving her a tough looking appearance. One of her unknowing companions would say of her: "she out-swore, out-drank, and out-chewed even the Monterey whalers." In 1868, she was a registered voter, making her the first woman to vote in California.
After giving up driving, she worked at lumbering, cattle ranching and raising chickens before retiring to a quiet life in Watsonville, California. When she died on December 18, 1879 of cancer, her true sex was revealed for the first time to an abundance of startled friends. The San Francisco Morning Call said of her upon her death, "the most dexterous and celebrated of the California drivers, and it was an honor to occupy the spare end of the driver's seat when the fearless Charley Parkhurst held the reins."
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) By refusing to give up
her seat on a city bus to a white man in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama,
this hardworking seamstress set off a thirteen month bus boycott and a
long chain of civil rights protests. The result was the national
attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a Supreme Court
ruling outlawing segregation on buses.