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Founder: Stagecoach Mary [VIDEO]

Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary, was the first black female postal carrier and the second female United States Postal worker. Born as a slave sometime in 1832,  Mary stood 6 feet tall and weighed approximately 200 pounds. She usually had a pistol strapped under her apron and a jug of whisky at her side.

Mary was freed in 1865 and went to work for Judge Edmund Dunne. When his wife died in 1883, Mary took the family’s children to live with their aunt, Mother Mary Amadeus at Ursuline Convent in Toledo, Ohio.

Mary became very loyal to Mother Mary and when she fell ill, Mary did not hesitate to be her nurse in 1885 after Mother Amadeus moved to Montana. The Indians in Montana referred to Mary Fields as “White Crow” because she acted like a white woman but had black skin. Local whites did not know how to take her because she was a Republican, she drank whiskey and she always used curse words.

In 1895, around the age of about 60, she was hired as a postal carrier. Stagecoach Mary never missed a delivery and her reliability earned her the name “Stagecoach.” She was the fastest to hitch her team of six horses and if the snow was too deep, she would deliver mail by foot.

In 1914, Stagecoach Mary died due to liver failure. A respected figure in the Cascades, the town closes schools each year to celebrate her birthday.

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