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.