Monday, April 2, 2012
Stagecoach Mary Fields
Mary Fields was thirty-three years old before she was freed from slavery in Tennessee in 1865. Heading west as many newly freed African-Americans did, Fields wound up in Montana where, among other things, she spent some years supervising the repair of the buildings at Saint Peter's Mission, a school for Native American girls.
Eventually, being of sturdy stock and very unintimidated by the wild west, Fields was hired as a mail carrier -- despite being more than sixty-years-old -- because she hitched a six-horse team to a wagon faster than any of the other job applicants. From that day forward, Fields ran the mail across Montana without ever missing a day, even when she had to walk the ten miles back to the depot through deep snow. Her reliability won her the nickname, "Stagecoach Mary." But it was the way she held her rifle that won her a slot in this list of in-your-face women!