William Fargo, Henry Wells
American Express Stock Signed - 1873
Original stock certificate #10861 for 5 shares at $100 each in the American Express Company, dated 3 February, 1873 and signed by William G. Fargo as president, J.K. Knapp as secretary, and Alex Holland as treasurer. Accompanied by beautiful 6" x 8.5" color reproduction of Fargo with facsimile signature, suitable for framing.
American Express was formed on March 18, 1850 by Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and John Butterfield through combination of Wells and Company. In 1868 the company merged with Merchants Union Express Company to become American Merchants Union Express Company. In 1873, the name was changed back to American Express.
With fellow express freight colleague Henry Wells, William Fargo was co-founder of Wells, Fargo & Co. Both men helped organize the American Express Company. Fargo served as the company's president from 1868 until his death. After the discovery of gold in California, both Wells and Fargo recognized the desperate need of Westerners for expanded banking and express facilities. American Express was happy to stay in the East. So Fargo made his historic decision with Wells to found Wells Fargo & Co.—a company that was soon busy buying gold dust, selling drafts and doing a general banking and express business.
The certificate's vignette features a dog, the traditional mascot of American Express preceding the centurion.