William George Fargo

Burial Location Visited
Buffalo, New York April 18, 2010


Like most prominent residents of                                               Fargo was a co-founder of Wells Fargo &
Buffalo, William G. Fargo rests                                                   Company. The business was started in
eternally in the city's Forest Lawn                                              California in 1852.


William Fargo was also a co-founder of the                                                The businessman's elongated
American Express Company.                                                                     grave marker.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* William Fargo was born on on May 20, 1818 in Pompey, New York and grew up on his family's farm there. At thirteen years of age, he dropped out of school to work delivering horses via horseback. In the years that followed, Fargo would have several other jobs, including being a storekeeper. He wed Anna Hurd Williams, with whom he would have eight children, in 1840.

* The following year, William Fargo was hired as a freight agent by the Auburn and Syracuse Railroad. It was during his time at the railroad that he became acquainted with Henry Wells, who had co-founded Pomeroy & Company, an express firm. He also became acquainted with the other co-founders of the business, George Pomeroy and Crawford Livingston. The men created and re-organized firms together until a merger led to the founding of the American Express Company in 1850. Fargo served as the business' first secretary, and Henry Wells as its president.

* This new express and banking firm was a success, but both Henry Wells and William Fargo believed that there was more success to be had. The discovery of gold in California had resulted in a population surge in the West, and the two believed that the firm should extend its services to that region. However, several of the business' directors did not agree, refusing to go along with Fargo and Wells. All the same, the pair realized that opportunity was knocking, and chose to go ahead anyway. They created a new firm and called it Wells Fargo & Company. Starting out in San Francisco in 1852, their business spread to other mining towns and was highly profitable.

* In 1862, Fargo broadened his horizons and entered politics. For four years, he served as the mayor of Buffalo, New York. Fargo was a member of the Democratic Party.

* Fargo went on to become the president of the American Express Company in 1868, two years after his tenure as mayor was over. He was still serving in that capacity when he passed away on August 3, 1881 after a long-term illness. American Express and Wells Fargo are still lucrative businesses today. The former is one of the thirty companies that make up the stock market index commonly referred to as the Dow.

Spouse: Anna Hurd Williams Fargo (1820-1890)

Political Party:
Democratic Party

Last Words:
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