George McJunkin – (1851 – 1922) – A talented bronc buster, ranch hand, and member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Black cowboy George McJunkin is credited with one of the greatest archeological finds in the U.S.
James Wales Miller – A stagecoach driver for Wells-Fargo, Miller established the first stage line between Auburn and Sacramento, California. Nattily dressed with silver stars on his hat and a silver-banded whip, he would add to his “silver collection,” after he outran several would-be road agents in the 1860s. Wells-Fargo was so grateful that he saved a $30,000 payroll shipment that they asked him what he would like as a reward. Miller responded, “A dame big bullion watch.” To that, Wells-Fargo gave him a silver watch and chain that together weighed approximately two and one-half pounds. The watch was about three inches in circumference, and one inch wide.
George “Alfred” Monroe (1844-1886) – Born a slave, Monroe later became one of the most skilled “whips” in the American West. A mulatto, gained renown driving stages for United States presidents.
Annie Oakley, aka: Phoebe Anne Oakley Mosey (1860-1926) An excellent markswoman, Oakley made her living demonstrating her amazing ability to hit her target. As star of Buffalo Bill’sWild West Show, she traveled the world.
Charley Parkhurst, aka: One Eyed Charley, Mountain Charley, Six-Horse Charley (1812-1879) – Parkhurst was a female tobacco chewing, cussing, gambling California stage driver.
Charles “Charlie” E. Parks (18??-1907) – In the early 1860s Parks was one of 80 Pony Express riders who served Utah, Nevada, and California, where he was regarded as one of the most capable and faithful men of the western division. After the Pony Express came to an end, he worked for Wells-Fargo as a “shotgun messenger.” In this capacity, it was his duty to guard the treasures that were contained in the iron boxes in the boot of the stagecoach. In his seat beside the driver, he carried his “sawed-off” weapon ever ready for use as encounters with road agents were plentiful in the early days of placer mining in California. Parks won undying fame as a defender of the trust over which he watched, carrying to his grave more than a score of bullet wounds. After Wells-Fargo he made his home in San Francisco where he was in the insurance and brokerage business. He was about 70 when he died in San Francisco on March 27, 1907.
Pawnee Bill – See Gordon William “Pawnee Bill” Lillie
Russell, Majors and Waddell (1854-1862) – A freighting and staging firm first based in Lexington, Missouri, this was a partnership between William Hepburn Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell. Getting its start in 1854 to supply military posts in the American West, the company played a significant role in the history of transportation in the Great Plains. It would later operate various transportation and communications services, including stagecoach services, private express mail service, and the brief operation of the Pony Express.
William Trotter (1836-??) – Growing up to become a well known Overland Stagecoach driver, Trotter was born in Pennsylvania. At 16, he left home and traveled westward to Kansas Territory. Two years later, he was working in Iowa for the Western Stage Company. He later went to work for the Central Overland California and Pike’s Peak Express Company, before being employed by the Overland Stage Line. With his experience, he was promoted to a Division Agent o the route from Fort Kearney, Nebraska to Julesburg, Colorado. As the railroad pushed westward, so did the stage line and Trotter eventually wound up on the Pacific Coast by the early 1870s. After two decades of staging, he then became a hotel keeper.
Strap on your chaps, boys, and tie on your slicker;
Before the day’s over, you’ll wish you had some licker.