It's sometimes easy for us to forget the many women that played an important part of the old west. Many of them were quite colorful, and Mary proved to be no exception.
Born a slave in the 1830s, “Stagecoach” Mary gained her freedom thanks to a certain top-hatted president. After befriending Mother Amadeus, a nun at the Ursuline Convent in Toledo, Ohio, Mary received the job of hauling freight for the mission. The story goes that during one trip, wolves frightened her horse, tipping her wagon over. Supposedly, Mary spent the night with a gun at the ready, keeping the wolves at bay.
Mary was made foreman at the convent, something that didn’t sit well with the white male workers. One knocked her to the ground and then had to duck for cover when Mary pulled out her pistol and started blasting. Though no one was hurt, the bishop ordered Mary to leave the mission.
After a failed adventure in the restaurant business, Mary applied to drive a mail coach. Since she could hitch a team faster than any other applicant, she got the job, making her the second woman and first African-American to work for the post office. She was about 60 years old.
Mary faithfully delivered the mail for eight years before opening a laundry. Even in her seventies, she never lost her spark and once slugged a man who wouldn’t pay his cleaning bill. Mary even became a town hero and mascot of the local baseball team, and when her shop burned down in 1912, everyone pitched in to build her a new one.
Sounds to me that Mary was quite the woman. Must have impressed the town folk as well, judging how they all worked together to build her a new place of business. Thanks to Listverse for this little piece of early history.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. We might have to dodge the spder webs, as they seem to be all over the place!