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By 1910 the Company’s network linked 6,000 locations, including new offices in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.
It was in these towns that the famed “Wells Fargo Wagon” delivered goods of all sorts, from a grey mackinaw to some grapefruit from Tampa, as the song from the Music Man goes.
Sound management helped the bank weather the Great Depression, serve the nation during World War II, and positioned the bank to meet new consumer banking needs in the prosperous post-war era.
In 1861, Wells Fargo also took over operations of the western leg of the famed, but short-lived, Pony Express.
It adopted the motto “Ocean-to-Ocean” to describe its service that connected over 2,500 communities in 25 states, and “Over-the-Seas” to highlight its lines linking America’s increasingly global economy.
Wells Fargo rushed customers’ business from the urban centers of New York and New Jersey, through the rail hub of Chicago and farming regions of the Midwest, to ranching and mining centers in Texas and Arizona, and to lumber mill towns in the Pacific Northwest.
In prosperity, depression and war, even greater post-war prosperity, social changes and ever faster communications technologies, Wells Fargo’s attention to customers’ business has seen it through these great events and brought success. The bank then survived the disaster of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. In the 1910s and 1920s, Wells Fargo served as a commercial bank in San Francisco, supporting the West’s growing business and agriculture, including fledgling auto, aerospace and film industries.
The Wells Fargo Stagecoach became a regular actor in Hollywood westerns.