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Westcott Express Co. Signed by James C. and Wm. C. Fargo - Stock Certificate

Inv# AG2086   Stock
Westcott Express Co. Signed by James C. and Wm. C. Fargo - Stock Certificate
State(s): New York
Years: 1903

Stock Issued to James C. Fargo and signed at front and back by both Wm. C. Fargo and Jas. C. Fargo. Very Likely Unique!

Westcott Express was taken over by American Express in 1904. At the time of the take over, a very few certificates were signed by James C. Fargo. All others bear the signature of Smith as President. The company was a freight operation in 1907 and it became a cab service in 1915 when it was dissolved.

Wm. Congdell Fargo was born in Chicago, on May 27th, 1855. After leaving Anthon Grammar School in New York, he entered Williams College, whence he graduated in the class of 1878. Upon his graduation he was made Cashier of the Merchants Dispatch Transportation Company, and held that position until 1880, when he entered the firm of Page, Fargo & Co., agents of the Howe Scale Company. Enlisted in the Ninth Co., Seventh Regiment, National Guard, State of New York, March 15, 1879, serving in that Regiment to Oct. 29, 1885, when he was honorably discharged. In 1883, Mr. Fargo entered the service of the American Express Company and was appointed Secretary of the Executive Committee; in 1898 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Company.

In 1895, upon the reorganization of the National Express Company, he was elected Treasurer and Director of that Company. In 1903, when the American Express Company purchased the Westcott Express Company, Mr. Fargo was elected Treasurer and Director of the latter Company. He also holds a position as Director of the New England Dispatch Company. Mr. Fargo is a member of the Ardsley, University, Church and New York Athletic Clubs, and the New York Genealogical Society. On April 20th, 1881 he married Mary Stockwell Preston, daughter of William R. Preston of New York, at New York.

Excerpt from "History of the Express Companies":

THE MANHATTAN EXPRESS COMPANY (Westcott, Dodd & Co., proprietors), had its main office at No. 168 Broadway, but was in fact almost ubiquitous on this great little island of Manhattan, as well as in the neighboring cities, which its numerous handsome green wagons, lettered in gold and drawn by some of the best horses in the world, were constantly traversing, for the delivery and collection of baggage and other packages.

This company, so extensive and invaluable in its metropolitan operations, had its origin in the smallest possible beginning. It was commenced in 1851 by Robert F. Westcott, with a single horse and wagon. In 1855, A. S. Dodd, at that time connected with the National Express Company, and principal manager of the New Jersey Express Company, became associated with him in his city express business, at which time Westcott had largely increased his operations. He fore saw that a grand business might be made, with the aid of judicious headwork and more capital, and was fortunate in securing both. It was known for a time as the Westcott Express, but on account of a consolidation and new organization, it assumed in 1858, the style of “The Manhattan Express Company.” Subsequently the consolidation was broken up, and Westcott and Dodd each organized an Express on his separate account, “ The Westcott Express Co.” and “The New York Transfer Co.”

Both of these Expresses perform, in addition to their ordinary Express routine, a very large business in the transportation of baggage for passengers upon the railroads above-named, carrying not far from 600,000 trunks during the year. In this city, it delivers at any place desired below Central Park. We regard it as altogether the most extensive enterprise of the kind ever attempted in America; and for system and efficiency, it is not excelled even by the best parcel delivery company in London.

From About Robert Folger Westcott

  • Residence: 1855 - E.D. 7, Ward 7, New York City, New York, New York, United States
  • Residence: 1905 - Manhattan, A.D. 29, E.D. 06, New York, New York
  • Residence: 1905 - Manhattan, New York, New York

RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y., July 19. -- Robert Folger Westcott, organizer and ex-President of the Westcott Express Company, was instantly killed this morning while driving on Rum Hill, six miles from his Summer home. Mr. Westcott had gone for a drive to the Observatory with his niece, Miss Gardiner.

Robert Folger Westcott's Timeline

November 28, 1828
New York, New York, United States
April 26, 1855
New York, New York, United States
February 27, 1866
Bloomfield, Essex, New Jersey, United States
January 13, 1868
July 19, 1901
Age 72
Richfield Springs, Otsego County, New York, United States
July 19, 1901
Age 72
Orange, Essex, New Jersey, United States

James Congdel Fargo (1829-1915) The son of James Fargo, James Congdel Fargo entered the employ of Wells & Co. (in which his brother, William George Fargo was a partner) at Buffalo in 1844. In 1866 after becoming agent and manager of the firm’s successor, the American Express Co., Fargo went to New York as General Superintendent and Manager. In 1881 he became President of the company as well as President of Westcott Express Co. and National Express Co. As president of the American Express Company James C. Fargo was well off and well known. It is not surprising that he felt insulted when he could not get checks cashed during a trip to Europe in 1890. The European bankers were steadfast as Fargo was not known to them, they would not cash his checks. Would Americans always have a cash problem when traveling in Europe? Marcellus F. Berryn, an employee of the American Express Company set out to find a solution. He wrote later: "There’s one thing every person does in a distinctive way. That is writing his signature. Therefore the foolproof device for taking money to strange places must carry the signature of the bearer. It must declare that it will be cashed only when a second, and matching, signature is added before witnesses." On July 7, 1891, Berry was granted four copyrights for what he called "the travelers cheque," and William C. Fargo got the first one. He had no difficulty when he wanted fifty dollars a few weeks later in Leipzig, Germany. In 1891, American Express sold $9,120.00 worth of travelers checks, and the amount has risen every year. During 2000, sales of American Express Travelers Cheques increased to $24.6 billion.

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Condition: Excellent

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.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $2,145.00