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2004 Hall of Fame Inductee
Mary Fields

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2004 Hall of Fame Inductee

Mary Fields aka “Stagecoach Mary”

Mary Fields also known as “Stagecoach Mary”, lived by her wits and her strength. Born sometime around 1812 in Hickman County, Tennessee, her life began as a slave. Unlike most other African Americans of the time, Mary was taught to read and write. In her adult years Fields traveled to Ohio to join the daughter of her former owner with whom she had grown up who had become a nun known as Sister Amadeus. After Fields arrived, Mother Amadeus was sent to become headmistress of a school for girls in Montana. Mary Fields remained in Ohio until she traveled to Montana after learning of Mother Amadeus’ failing health. After nursing the Sister back to health, she decided to stay and help build Saint Peter’s mission school. Fields stood over six feet tall and was very good at fixing anything. While there she also protected the nuns. Mary Fields was also a businesswoman. She opened a cafe, but Mary would feed the hungry which caused it to flounder. She also opened a laundry service in Cascade in her later years with the help of the nuns at the mission. At 60 years old, after being the fastest person to hitch a team of six horses, Mary Fields became the first African American woman to work for the United States Postal Service, delivering mail along the trails of the Cascade County region of central Montana until she was almost 70 years old. She and her mule Moses never missed a day, earning her the nickname of “Stagecoach”, for her unfailing reliability. The of citizens of Cascade loved and respected Mary Fields, and after reaching over 80 years of age laid her to rest at the foot of the mountain trail that led to Saint Peter’s Mission. “Stagecoach” Mary Fields will be remembered for breaking all boundaries of race, gender and age.

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