Legendary stagecoach driver who was the subject of a chapter in Mark Twain’s book, “Roughing It.” Monk, who is buried in Carson City, was often called the “King of the Stage Drivers” by Twain.
In “Roughing It,” Twain told how Monk, who frequently carried passengers between Nevada and California, had been engaged by famed New York editor Horace Greeley to take him from Carson City to Placerville, California for a lecture. Greeley allegedly told Monk he needed to reach the distant community as quickly as possible.
“Hank Monk cracked his whip and started off at an awful pace. The coach bounced up and down in such a terrific way that it jolted the buttons all off of Horace’s coat, and finally shot his head clean through the roof of the stage, and then he yelled at Hank Monk and begged him to go easier—said he warn’t in as much of a hurry as he was a while ago,” Twain wrote. “But Hank Monk said, ‘Keep your seat, Horace, and I’ll get you there on time!’—and you bet you he did, too, what was left of him!” According to legend, Monk could make the 109-mile journey between Carson City and Placerville in less than 10 hours.