William Wells spent most of his life in New York, yet he had a profound impact on the Old West. In the early 1850s, he was heavily involved in the express industry, partnering with John Butterfield in American Express (which was started as a mail business in Buffalo, NY). Wells pushed for the company to begin service to California, something his partners objected to. So Wells founded a new company with William Fargo—Wells Fargo, which became a transportation, shipping and banking giant over the next 150 years, and a name synonymous with Old West business.
True West March/April 2024