Fame, of a Sort

Stagecoach drivers on the Island sometimes became local legends. “Uncle” Jesse Conklin drove -- and later managed – the Hicksville-Huntington stage line over a career of 50-plus years without missing a day of work. Apparently, there was more to him than his friendliness and work ethic. Oliver S. Charlick, hard-nosed President of the LIRR in the 1860s and 1870s, once famously introduced Conklin to the railroad’s Board of Directors as “the only man who ever got the best of Oliver Charlick.”

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 14, 1894

In addition to serving passengers on the Hicksville-Huntington route, Conklin was also the official government postal carrier between the two locales. For a time, he also drove stages between Huntington and Cold Spring for a competitor of the LIRR. These stages met the steamboat American Eagle, which in the early 1840s sailed to/from Manhattan’s Fulton Market.

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