Mary Fields was born a slave and grew up and orphan, she was never married and she had no children. The nuns from the orphanage was her family, Mother Amadeus was her mother.
Mary Fields lived by her wits and her strength. She traveled north to Ohio, settled in Toledo and worked for the Catholic convent. She formed a strong bond with Mother Amadeus. When the nuns moved to Montana and Mary learned of Mother Amadeus’ failing health, she went west to help out. Having nursed Mother Amadeus back to health, she decided to stay and help build the St. Peter’s mission school. Later, the nuns financed her so that she could open her own business. She opened a cafe. Mary would always feed the hungry and therefore almost lost her business because of her big heart.
In 1895 she found a job that suited her, as a U.S. mail coach driver for the Cascade County region of central Montana. Even though she was about 60 years old at the time, Mary proved herself the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses and was hired. Mary became the second woman and the first African American woman to work for the United States Postal Service. Mary continued to deliver the mail until she was almost 70 years old, earning the nickname of “Stagecoach Mary.”
“Stagecoach Mary” Fields broke all boundaries of race, gender and age. She was a true pioneer.