🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

Wells Fargo corporate history

Marketplace Staff Jun 10, 2008

Wells Fargo Corporate History

Wells Fargo’s rise is inevitably tied to the fortunes and the blossoming of the West.

In 1852, Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Co. in the gold rush port of San Francisco, offering banking services pegged to the exchange of gold. Soon, the nascent finance chain opened offices in other boomtowns and mining camps in the region.

To expedite communication and deliveries between these different locations, Wells, Fargo helped start the Overland Mail Company, which employed stagecoach, steamship, railroad and other forms of transportation. In 1866, Wells Fargo combined all the major western stage lines and stagecoaches emblazoned with the name Wells, Fargo & Co., which traversed over 3,000 miles of land from California to as far as Nebraska. The stagecoach became the bank’s corporate symbol.

Today, the banking giant is a diversified financial services company with operations around the world. It is the fifth-largest bank in the United States by assets and the ninth-largest bank in the world by market capitalization.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.