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DELIA B HASKETT – “Dusty Delia” Haskett was the first woman to transport the U.S. mail via stagecoach. Delia was born in December of 1861 in Ukiah, California to businessman Samuel Haskett and schoolteacher Miranda Haskett.
Among the businesses run by Delia’s father were a blacksmith shop, the Ukiah Hotel and a stagecoach route for Wells Fargo. As the young lady grew up she was forever pleading with her father to let her become a stagecoach driver for the Ukiah to Willits route.
While periodically keeping up the pressure on her father, Delia lived the life of the ultimate tomboy, mastering the arts of trick-riding, lariat-trickery and – of course – gunplay. In 1876, when Haskett was just 14 years old, one of Samuel’s regular drivers was struck down with disease and could not drive his route.
With no other drivers on hand, Delia at last got her wish as her father agreed to let her take the ill driver’s dangerous afternoon to 3:00 AM route. In addition to other cargo, Haskett was transporting the United States Mail, too. Continue reading