Famous Cowgirls

                                                             BY: MARIA PETTIS

Stage Coach Mary

      Stage Coach Mary real name was Mary Fields . She was the first african american woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States. Fields was also the second American woman to work for the U.S postal services. Mary was born in Hickman County, Tennessee in 1832 and she dies in 1914 due to liver failure. Stage Coach Mary stood 6 feet tall and weighed 200 lb.  Fields was freed from slavery when American slavery was outlawed in 1865.  Fields was never married or had any children.

         After the civil war loosened  things up Mary moved to Montana and took a job with the Ursuline nuns at their mission in the city.  Mary was hired to do "heavy work" such as haul freighting and supplied to keep the operation functional and work well feed. She also chopped wood, stone work , and rough carpentry. Fields was known as a very hard worker. Native American called Mary " White cow" because she acted like a white woman but has dark skin. One schoolgirl wrote an essay saying how Fields drinks whiskey, how she swears, and that she is considerers herself as a republican.  In 1894, Mary was ask to leave to her being involved in gunplay. One of the Nun helped her open up a restaurant near Cascade.  At the age of 60 Mary got a job was hired as a mail carrier because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. This made her the second woman and first African American woman to work for the U.S Postal Service.  She never miss a day and her reliability earned her the nickname "stagecoach". Mary wasn't involves in any gangs at all.

                                            5 facts about Mary Fields:  

  • She had two failed attempts at operating a restaurant. She might have been successful, if not for the fact that she fed anyone, even if they couldn’t pay. No shoes. No cash. No problem!
  • Her birthday became a school holiday for the students of Cascade
  • In 1910, when the New Cascade Hotel was leased to a new to a new manager, the owner stipulated in the contract that Mary Fields would be served free meals for the rest of her life.
  • When her home burned to the ground, in 1912, the townspeople built her a new home.
  • She babysat area children for the rate of $1.50 an hour. Most of that income was spent purchasing treats for the children!

Connie Douglas Reeves

  Connie Douglass Reeves was born on September 26, 1901 and Later died on August 16, 2003. Connie was the oldest member of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall Of Fame, and one of the first women to study law at a Texas law school. Reeves was born in Eagle Pass , Texas. She received her undergraduate degree in speech from Texas Woman's University. She enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, but the economic conditions of the Great Depression forced her to withdraw and seek work to help her family.

   Connie taught high school in San Antonio and worked part-time as a riding instructor at a local stable. She had always been around horses, and she joined the equestrian program at Camp Waldemar in Hunt, It is estimated that she taught 30,000 girls how to ride at the camp. Reeves met her husband Jack at the camp and the couple married in 1042. They managed a 10,00 acres sheep and cattle ranch for more than forty years when camp was not in session. Jack Reeves died in 1985.

Connie was elected the first Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1997, and rode in the parade to honor the Hall when it to new headquarters in Fort Worth in 2002. She was over 100 years old at the time.

In 2003, Reeves died from injuries suffered when she was thrown from her horse . She had been injured several times in the last few years of her life including having been kicked by the same horse resulting in a fractured thigh.

                                         5 Facts about Connie Douglas Reeves

  •      In 1936, She took a summer job teaching horse back riding at Camp Waldemar for Girls and her job lasted until she was 67.
  • Her motto was "Always saddle your own horse"
  • She celebrated her 100th birthday on September 2001.
  • Reeves died at age 101.
  • Connie touched lived of thousands of young women as a role model and a mentor.                                         

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