Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wells Fargo and "Jack"

I'm sure you've all seen the Wells Fargo stagecoach used in their ads. But you may not know that there's a dog that goes along with the story as well.

As the story goes, Mr. Wells and Mr. Fargo built Wells Fargo offices in mining towns to exchange gold for money ( aswell as to receive mail). Their stagecoaches made shipments between the mining towns and the cities. John Q. Jackson opened a Wells Fargo office in Auburn, California. A puppy befriended him in the street one day, and he took him home and named him Jack. Until he grew up, Jack just greeted people in the Auburn office. But once he was a full-grown dog, he went with Jackson to pick up gold shipments and deliver them to San Francisco.

They traveled to towns such as Yankee Jim's, Rattlesnake Bar, and Whiskey Bar, delivering packages and adding gold to the strongbox on top of the stage. One day a bandit on horseback stopped them and demanded gold. Jack jumped down and rushed at the horse, spooking it and scaring off the bandit. After that, Wells Fargo trained dogs to ride on their stages and guard and strongboxes.

There is a photo from 1894 of Jack sitting atop a Wells Fargo strongbox. He looks much like an American Bulldog.

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