Black History Month Spotlight: "Stagecoach" Mary Fields - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Black History Month Spotlight: "Stagecoach" Mary Fields

(Photo Credit: Ursuline Convent Offices) (Photo Credit: Ursuline Convent Offices)
(KFVS) -

February is Black History Month, and in the spotlight for Feb. 4, 2016 is Mary Fields (c. 1832–1914).

Also known as "Stagecoach Mary," Fields was the first African American woman to work as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service, and the second woman every employed by the USPS.

Fields was born into slavery in Tennessee in 1832.

In 1884, she moved with the Ursuline Convent from Toledo, OH to Montana to found the St. Peter's Catholic Mission School for Native American girls outside Cascade, MT.

In 1895, when Fields was about 60 years old, Fields was hired as a mail carrier. According to historical reports she got the job because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses.

Fields became known for delivering the mail on time, despite the rugged Montana trails, tempestuous weather, or the remoteness of locations on her route. Some historical reports say she would have to leave her stagecoach when the horses could not make it through the snow, trudging through the drifts while carrying the mail on her back.

She held the position into her seventies.

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