"More than 166 years after Henry Wells and William G. Fargo came together to provide banking and express services to western pioneers, the red Wells Fargo stagecoach endures as a symbol of the opportunity, innovation, and perseverance that defined that American era.
Wells Fargo’s stagecoach legend traces its roots to 1858, when Wells Fargo founders including William Fargo were board members for The Overland Mail Co., the nation’s first transcontinental stagecoach line. Passers-by in the Southwest could find The Overland Mail Co. stagecoaches twice a week on their routes between Tipton, Missouri, and San Francisco. During the Civil War, the route moved to the center of the country, and, in 1866, Wells Fargo combined the route with the other major lines of the day to create the largest stagecoach empire in the world.
In 1867, Wells Fargo first ordered its signature red and gold stagecoaches from the Abbot-Downing Company in Concord, New Hampshire — each with their own distinctive number. Carriage builder J. Stephens Abbot and master wheelwright Lewis Downing were given these instructions: “Paint bodies red, carriages straw. Letter Wells Fargo & Company.”
Gifted to the museum in 2019, our very own red Wells Fargo stagecoach stands as a reminder of the services Wells Fargo innovated for western pioneers, changing how they held their most valuable people and possessions. It's a vital part of the history of The American West, and we're proud to feature it on 2022's Christmas ornament.
- Gift boxed.
- Features a raised plaque that reads "Merry Christmas 2022" over the main design: an embossed and painted red Wells Fargo stagecoach centered just above an engraved black drawing of the front of our museum.
- The back is brushed smooth and printed with "Wells Fargo Stage Coach, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum."
- Measures 3.75" across, 3.5" tall, 0.25" deep.
- Additional quotes and information from Wells Fargo.