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The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Fall 1982, Volume 28, Number 4
Thomas Scharf, Managing Editor

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Henry Wells and William G. Fargo
Henry Wells and William G. Fargo formed Wells, Fargo and Company on March 18, 1852. As two successful eastern expressmen, they were certain that following the discovery of gold in California in 1848 a need existed for greater and improved transportation on the west coast. In an era before railroads their speculation proved accurate. Wells Fargo offices soon opened in a number of California cities and towns including San Diego. By the late 1850s the company had cornered most of San Diego’s express business. Courtesy Wells Fargo Bank, History Department, San Francisco.

Jose Estudillo

José Estudillo, the last Wells Fargo agent in Old Town, 1870.

Wells Fargo office

The first office of Wells Fargo in Horton’s New San Diego, northwest corner of Sixth and G Streets.

Wells Fargo Express

The office of Wells Fargo Express, southeast corner Fifth and D Streets, 1878

James Hume

James Hume, Chief of Detectives for Wells Fargo from 1873 until 1904.

watch presented to Thomas W. Davies

The watch presented to Thomas W. Davies as a reward for “rescuing” a Wells Fargo treasure box lost near San Diego, 1873

Wells Fargo office

Wells Fargo office, 1885-1888.

Wells Fargo express wagon

Wells Fargo express wagon in front of Los Banos Plunge, 1904.

Passengers waiting for the stage

Passengers waiting for the stage in front of the Express Block (the entire building is seen below).

Express Block

Express Block

San Diego Wells Fargo employees

San Diego Wells Fargo employees, 1910

San Diego Wells Fargo employees

San Diego Wells Fargo employees, 1910

Wells Fargo express wagon

Wells Fargo express wagon and employees at the Santa Fe Station, 1912

Wells Fargo display at California Pacific Exposition

The Wells Fargo display at San Diego’s 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.

Wells Fargo buildings

Wells Fargo’s old downtown San Diego location (left) at Fifth and Broadway and its latest building on the block bounded by Broadway, E, First and front.