The medal was struck privately for presentation on or about March 18, 1902 to each employee in Company’s
service for "one year or more". Research fails to establish identities of designer or striking firm.
Obverse: Upper, stage coach scene; on ribbon, across Wells Fargo & Company; below Pony Express scene.
Reverse: Scene of ship, factory, train, microscopic Wells Fargo and Company Express on baggage car, quill
pens and keys; clenched upright hand below emitting sparks or rays; across center, on ribbon 1852 March 18th
1902; below Express and Banking; at bottom Fidelity. HK-296 - Silver*. Size 25. * Original presentation case
was a dark maroon leatherette jeweler’s box, approx. 2
X 2 inches sq., blue velvet and satin lined.
Inside lid Wells Fargo & Company / March 18th, 1852. / March 18th, 1902.

My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo 1852-1902 Semi-Centennial Coin
In 1852 Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Company to serve the West. They offered
banking, gold buying, paper bank drafts as good as gold and express service, which was rapid delivery of
currency and anything else of value. Wells Fargo opened for business in the gold rush port of San Francisco
and soon Wells Fargo’s agents opened offices in 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, dealing rapidly and responsibly with
people’s money and valuables. In the 1860s it earned everlasting fame and its corporate symbol with the
grand adventure of the overland stagecoach line. Wells Fargo sent its business by the fastest means
possible: stagecoach, steamship, railroad, pony rider or telegraph. In 1858 Wells Fargo helped start the
Overland Mail Company stage line, known as the “Butterfield” after Overland Mail Company president, John
Butterfield. In 1860, the Overland Mail Company now under Wells Fargo’s control, moved north to the central
overland route of the famed Pony Express. In 1861 the Wells Fargo-run Overland Mail Company took over
operations of the western leg of the Pony Express. Wells Fargo continued printing stamps for and sending
business by the Pony Express, however the Overland Telegraph was completed the same year linking east and
west with instant messages and the Pony Express rode into history. In 1866, Wells Fargo combined all the
major western stage lines and they rolled over 3,000 miles of territory, from California to Nebraska and
from Colorado into the mining regions of Montana and Idaho. After the completion of the transcontinental
railroad in 1869, Wells Fargo increasingly rode the rails. Expanding along the new steel network, Wells Fargo
became the country’s first nationwide express company in 1888 and its “Ocean-to- Ocean” service connected
over 2,500 communities in 25 states. Wells Fargo rushes customers’ business from the urban centers of
New York and New Jersey, through the rail hub of Chicago and farming regions of the Midwest, to ranching
and mining centers in Texas and Arizona,  to lumber mill towns in the Pacific Northwest. By 1910 the Company’
s network linked 6,000 locations, including new offices in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Wells
Fargo agents in towns large and small offered basic financial services like money orders, travelers checks,
and transfer of funds by telegraph. It was in these towns that the famed Wells Fargo Wagon delivered goods
of all sorts, from a grey macinaw to grapefruits from Tampa. By 1918 Wells Fargo was part of 10,000
communities across the country however, the federal government took over the nation’s express network the
American Railway Express as part of its effort in the First World War.
Then in 1929 it was re-named the
Railway Express Agency.
Wells Fargo & Company 1852-1902
Original presentation case
Wells Fargo & Company 1852-1902
Original presentation case
Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Pass
Edward J Engel, Guard, Wells Fargo & Company
Kansas City & Argentine, Kansas 1902
Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Pass
Edward J Engel, Guard, Wells Fargo & Company
Kansas City & Argentine, Kansas 1902
Wells Fargo 1852-1902 Semi-Centennial Coin
The semi-centennial coin below was presented to Edward J Engel in 1902. He was not only an employee of the
Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad but was also an agent for Wells Fargo & Company.
Original presentation case for the
1902 Semi-Centennial Wells Fargo coin
Express Franks were used for the expedited service of freight and mail.
Pictured below are two Franks from Wells Fargo in 1908
1868 Wells Fargo Employee's Guide
Pg 34
Image Right:
Information for Wells Fargo Agents on the proper handling of Franks and
"Old Horse" - packages and freight on hand