Saturday, January 24, 2015

Henry Wells (December 12, 1805 – December 10, 1878)

Henry Wells was descended from Thomas Wells, who came from England to America in 1635. His father Shepley Henry Wells was Presbyterian clergyman in Thetford, Vermont who moved the family to New York when Henry was quite young.

At sixteen Henry Wells was apprenticed to Jessup and Palmer, tanners and shoemakers at Palmyra, New York. In 1836, young Henry took a job as a freight agent on the Erie Canal.

In 1841, he started a shipment service for the transportation of cash and other valuables between the eastern states of America. He envisioned that as the United States continued to expand across the continent, there would be a need for a company that could make deliveries.

Two years later Wells established Livingston, Wells and Pomeroy Company, operating express lines between Albany and Buffalo, New York and was himself a messenger, making a weekly trip on five or six railroads and two stage lines.

Wells joined forces with William George Fargo and formed the Wells and Fargo Express Company.

It turned out that he was a master of logistics and was able to shop letters and packages faster and cheaper than any of his competitors, including the United States Post Office.

In 1850, he formed American Express alongside the partnership of a new other competitors of the day and he was the first president.

Accordingly, by 1862, the company had nearly 900 offices and more than 1500 employees.
Henry Wells (December 12, 1805 – December 10, 1878)

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