It has long since been told that the founder of Parksley was

Rev. J.A.B. Wilson, Henry R. Bennett and Smauel T. Jones 

of Dover Delaware.  They formed the incorporated Parksley 

Land and Improvement Company (PL&I).  However there were other

shareholders among them being one Elizabeth S. Chadbourne.

Multiple credible sources claim that it is Ms. Chadbourne that

discovered Parksley and named it paradise.  In September of 1895

the New York Times named Ms. Chadbourne as the founder

of Parksley.  The New York Times author writes that Parksley was

a paradise and when Ms. Chadbourne heard about it, she ran right 

down to see it and determined to make a business.  It was then 

that Ms. Chadbourne started a stock company.  The town was laid 

out and she began spending most of her time there.  

 

According to the Time Machine Archive in 1893 the New York Sun

wrote an article titled “A live town was founded by a woman.” They

dubbed her the leading spirit and founder of Parksley.  

Ms. Chadbourne became the secretary, treasurer and largest stock

holder. She was also the driving force getting people to invest in 

land in Parksley.  She has three streats named after her; Elizabeth,

Stauntan and Chadbourne.  In 1917 she sold all of her stock to H. R.

Brown. In 1946, George Walter Mapp Jr. and Lester Drummond 

bought Brown’s stock.  PL&I sold its remaining lots in 1974 at public

auction and the company was dissolved.  Parksley was incorporated

in 1904. Most of the streets remained unpaved until 1912.  Several

of the streets are named after Mr. Bennett’s family and friends.  The 

land for the development of Parksley Virginia was purchased in 1885

from Eleanor S. and Benjamin F. Parks.  It was 160 acres and the

town was named after Mr. Parks.

History of Parksley

Town Office: 757-665-4618

PO BOX 256

18444 Dunne Ave.

Parksley, VA 23421

Email: Town@parksley.org

  • Facebook Social Icon

© 2018 by The Town of Parksley