Author Archives: Bob Chandler

The price is right

In 1899, a San Francisco assayer  wished to send a trunk to his wife, who was visiting friends in Murphy’s , Calaveras County.  He went to see William R. and Henry D. Morton, proprietors of Morton Special Delivery  at 404-408 Taylor… Continue reading

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Stagecoach East

“The finest vehicles in the world without any dispute are stagecoaches,” a Boston paper trumpeted in 1825. After all, these democratic vehicles, the first public transportation, carried “the young and old, the rich and the poor, the great and small,… Continue reading


A Bouncy Tale

Riding a stagecoach was an experience, whether going West overland, or just getting around locally, back East. One traveler was going 70 miles from Rome, Georgia , to Blue Mountain, Alabama, near Anniston.  His destination, through the Appalachian Mountains , was the… Continue reading



Last Thursday at noon, I picked up the phone not knowing who I would find on the line, as I have been fielding questions from the general public on historical questions for more than 30 years. This time, attached to… Continue reading

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Wells Fargo Stands Strong

When Wells Fargo was young, no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation  bailed out banks. Financial crises became “panics” as depositors rushed to drain banks of ready cash. In February 1855, the St. Louis, Missouri branch of California’s largest bank made loans… Continue reading

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Caring for Customers

A couple months ago, Charles wrote about the Ada Hancock explosion, and how the actual incident has become a silly treasure hunting tale. I followed up with a post about one of the actual consequences, if you will, of the… Continue reading


A Bad Day: The Ada Hancock

A couple months ago, Charles wrote about the Ada Hancock explosion, the truth of which has been skewed by legend. While he gave the corrected side of the story, there’s a more practical piece of history that resulted from that… Continue reading

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The Customer First!

Putting the customer first is the obvious way to success, but some people never get it. A 1909 incident with the Great Northern  Express Co. in Butte, Montana, demonstrates this. A huge produce firm in Butte  asked the Great Northern… Continue reading

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Icing Inefficiency

We promised to reduce Loss and Damage. Therefore, we must handle shipments “The Fargo Way.” Issues of the Wells Fargo Messenger in 1913 and 1916 focused on the matter of “Loss and Damage.”  And the little things meant a… Continue reading


Horsing Around and Getting Hitched

Last weekend, Wells Fargo Historians “horsed around” in the San Francisco History Museum, decorating the premises for the Season. Holiday decorations included a stagecoach full of horses—especially Maggies. Maggie is the eighth limited edition Wells Fargo Plush Pony since 2003…. Continue reading