Wells Fargo History

In: Historical Events

Submitted By lillovely253
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Wells Fargo History in Portland
Financial Heartland

Before banking, Wells Fargo was simply the merging of two rival transportation companies in the 1850’s. In order to serve the West’s demand for faster communication, Henry Wells and William Fargo built a Wells, Fargo & Co. location in 1882 in Portland, Oregon. Portland’s location at the joining of the Willamette and Columbia established it as the shipping center for the Pacific Northwest and an attraction for Wells Fargo’s express business. The California Gold Rush influenced the company to offer banking in buying gold and selling paper bank drafts, which were just as good as gold, with rapid delivery across the United State. This was included with the diverse services the company had already had, such as general forwarding and commissions and freight series, After discovery of gold in the Boise Basin, precious metals came down the Columbia River to Wells Fargo’s banking and examine office in Portland. This caused more offices to open in new cities all over the United States. In 1863 alone, Wells Fargo’s office in Portland handled over 200,000 ounces of gold. A year later, offices were added in Salem and Eugene, along with more express offices in Portland. Wells Fargo’s reputation of trust built in the 1850’s during the boom and bust of the economy. The bank went to great lengths, coming through for customers and providing responsible and swift services. In 1868 the Columbia River froze in the winter and a messenger carried his shipment of valuables by wagon from The Dalles to Portland. These significant acts helped to contribute to the prosperity of Portland and its surrounding cities. By implementing the policy of subcontracting express services to established companies, rather than duplicating existing services; this became a key factor in Wells Fargos’ early success. Wells…...

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