Stage Driver Daingerfield

stagecoach sketchThis pioneer lived quite an interesting life: Edward B. Daingerfield arrived in California in August 1850, settling in Placerville where he clerked at the local post office, carrying mail on horseback to and from Coloma. Four years later he hired on as a stage driver for Barton and Ellison on the run to Mokelumne Hill by way of Drytown and Jackson. In 1855 he co-founded the Volcano Ledger with T. A. Springer, afterward moving to Jackson to publish the renamed Amador Ledger until 1857, when he sold out to Springer and returned to Placerville. After working as ditch agent for the South Fork Canal Company he again drove stage for one of the pioneer stage companies through the Civil War and the Comstock heyday until the railroad’s first passenger train reached Reno in 1868. While driving stage in 1859, Daingerfield had New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley as a passenger on a portion of the exciting ride celebrated in driver Hank Monk’s legend. After Monk’s stage reached Sportsman’s Hall, Mr. Greeley was Daingerfield’s passenger from there into Placerville. Accepting the job opportunities the railroad offered, Edward moved to San Jose to work the railroad between there and San Francisco for 6 years. Thereafter he was the postmaster at Gilroy, for another 7 years. After Gilroy he was in charge of the water system at San Quentin Prison for 5 years and next worked in the State Treasurer’s office. He married in 1878, and fathered 7 children. Around 1890 he moved to Pacific Grove where he retired after 4 years of service as Postmaster. By 1911 Mr. Daingerfield was the only known driver left of the 400 men who at one time drove stage on the California-Nevada route.


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