How was Wells Fargo founded
a magical name in the history of the American West, in which myth and reality were always mixed into legend, although reality would be enough to radiate the eternal fascination of a grandiose adventure. The history of WELLS FARGO, perhaps the most important stagecoach company in the "Wild West", is a trademark in the settlement of America.
On March 18, 1852, Henry Wells and William Fargo founded a new company in distant California, WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY, from New York with a share capital of $ 300,000. The banker E.B. Morgan became president. The chairman of the board was the banker Johnston Livingston. Henry Wells and William Fargo became directors and representatives of the company that was soon popularly known only as WELLS FARGO .............. to this day. In May, two agents went to San Francisco to set up the first freight agency and a Wells Fargo bank. On July 13, 1852, the first office opened on Montgomery Street.
In July 1852, the first cargo load of the Wells Fargo (65 parcels) left San Francisco on the steamship "Tennessee". From then on, the Wells Fargo agency shipped packages, letters, goods and gold dust twice a week. In November 1852 the first line of freight wagons, the "Gregory Express", was acquired. This was the basis for regular mail, freight and passenger transports. Within a short time, more carriage companies were bought up. By 1854 Wells, Fargo & Co. already owned 24 agencies in the major gold districts and maintained a flourishing postal network.
After a stock market crash in February 1855, in which thousands of gold diggers stormed the banks in San Francisco and Sacramento, Wells, Fargo & Co. was one of the first to reopen its agencies and banks. She got out of risky stock market transactions in good time. The location of the Wells, Fargo headquarters in New York proved to be an information advantage. Wells Fargo was now the absolute No. 1 in California's freight business.
In 1855, Wells Fargo stagecoaches served 42 agencies. By 1860 there were already more than 120. The route network, which was regularly served, had long since extended beyond California. It extended to Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana - through the entire north and southwest of America. Wells, Fargo & Co. already represented a monopoly in large areas. Smaller competitors were mercilessly eliminated. By 1866, 200 agencies already bore the legendary name in the entire American West. Wells Fargo - Carriages at times carried a higher volume of mail than the official US mail. A private security service took care of the fight against muggers. With the advance of the railroad, Wells Fargo wagons soon appeared on all railroad lines. While the dusty prairie routes to the most distant settlement areas were preserved for the red carriages.
In the 1890s, the end of the "Wild West", the Wells Fargo network spanned nearly 38,000 miles. Letters, parcels, freight and money orders were received and tickets were sold at over 2,800 branches. Wells Fargo agencies and banks have been the business centers in many regions of America. They were "an integral part of every city ......... almost like a saloon or a restaurant", as the historian O.O. Winther wrote. The history of Wells, Fargo & Co. was filled with fascinating adventures, but also with ruthless, ruthless competition and the overthrow of small companies. The founders and leaders of the Wells Fargo contributed to the conquest of the West with their economically oriented pioneering spirit
In the first stagecoach raid in California in 1855, the Rattlesnake Dick gang captured gold dust for $ 80,000. Up until that day, the stagecoach lines had paid little attention to safety. Transport boxes often didn't even have a lock. The security of the transports had to be strengthened, this was done using special boxes anchored in the carriage floor or heavy leather sacks. Some coachmen even put rattlesnakes in the boxes as "living security". Armed escorts (shotguns) were hired. In order to take up the fight against the increasing number of stagecoach robbers even more effectively, a special protection force, the "Wells, Fargo Detectives", was founded in 1866. These had the task not only to protect the stagecoaches and money transports, but also to investigate independently in the event of an attack, to hunt down criminals, to arrest them and to hand them over to the courts. The new Superintendent General John J. Vallentine coined the slogan "Wells Fargo never forgets". In 1873 he hired a man named James B. Hume. Among other things, he set up a criminal record, issued profiles and offered rewards. The vehemence with which he pursued the stagecoach robbers made him a horror. He made the Wells, Fargo detectives at times the most famous private police force after the Pinkerton detectives. Only one almost ruined the success, Charles E. Bols, aka Bolten. He fooled Hume for almost 10 years. He became known as Black Bart, the Po8 (the Poet). When the handcuffs finally clicked in 1883, Hume's reputation was restored. The last stagecoach robbery in US history took place in Arizona in 1899.
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