Northern Pacific Railroad Company signed by Wm. G. Fargo - Stock CertificateInv# AG1925B Stock
Stock issued to and signed by Wm. G. Fargo.
William George Fargo (1818-1881)
Fargo, a pioneer American expressman, was born in Pompey, New York. From the age of thirteen he had to support himself, obtaining little schooling, and for several years he was a clerk in grocery stores in Syracuse.
He became a freight agent for the Auburn & Syracuse railway company at Auburn in 1841, an express messenger between Albany and Buffalo a year later, and in 1843 a resident agent in Buffalo.
In 1844 he organized, with Henry Wells (1805-1878) and Daniel Dunning, the first express company (Wells & Co.; after 1845 Livingston & Fargo) to engage in the carrying business west of Buffalo. The lines of this company (which first operated only to Detroit, via Cleveland) were rapidly extended to Chicago, St. Louis, and other western points.
In March 1850, when through a consolidation of competing lines the American Express Company was organized, Wells became president and Fargo secretary. In 1851, with Wells and others, he organized the firm of Wells, Fargo & Company to conduct an express business between New York and San Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama and on the Pacific coast, where it long had a virtual monopoly.
In 1861 Wells, Fargo & Co. bought and reorganized the Overland Mail Co., which had been formed in 1857 to carry the United States mails, and of which Fargo had been one of the original promoters.
From 1862 to 1866 he was mayor of Buffalo, and from 1868 to his death in Buffalo, he was president of the American Express Company, with which in 1868 the Merchants Union Express Co. was consolidated. He was a director of the New York Central and of the Northern Pacific railways.
Fargo Avenue in Buffalo, and Fargo, North Dakota are named after him.
A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.