In 1852 Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Co. to serve the West. The new company offered banking (buying gold, and selling paper bank drafts as good as gold) - and express (rapid delivery of the gold and anything else valuable).
Wells Fargo opened for business in the gold rush port of San Francisco, and soon Wells Fargo’s agents opened offices in the other new cities and mining camps of the West. In the boom and bust economy of the 1850s, Wells Fargo earned a reputation of trust by dealing rapidly and responsibly with people’s money. In the 1860s, it earned everlasting fame - and its corporate symbol - with the grand adventure of the overland stagecoach line.