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This Day In Market History: Wells Fargo Starts Converting Gold Dust To Bank Notes

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This Day In Market History: Wells Fargo Starts Converting Gold Dust To Bank Notes
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened

On July 13, 1852, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) was founded in San Francisco to support miners in the gold rush.

What Else Was Going On In The World

Frederick Douglass had recently delivered his famous address, “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery,” Franklin Pierce was mid-campaign for the nation’s 17th presidential election, and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was the must-read of the day.

Wells Fargo Goes Far

Originally named Wells, Fargo & Co., the firm set up shop in California’s mining settlements with a banking operation.

Henry Wells and William Fargo began by purchasing gold dust in exchange for paper bank drafts, and by 1958, they expanded with a delivery service, transporting letters, packages and gold nuggets on now-emblematic wagons.

Its stagecoach lines traversed 3,000 miles of western U.S. territory, and in 1888, Wells Fargo boarded the nation’s new rail lines became the first coast-to-coast express company.

In the 20th century, the company spun off its delivery segment and began growing as a local, then regional, then national bank.

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