This Date in Wells Fargo History This Date in Wells Fargo History. en Copyright 2017, Wells Fargo. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 history 360 Thu, 23 Feb 2017

February 23, 1855. BLACK FRIDAY! Financial panic burst upon California, as the state's two largest banks crashed, ruined. Across San Francisco's Montgomery Street, Wells Fargo, too, closed its doors, hoping to reopen with funds drawn from the interior of California. The survival of Wells Fargo depended on the integrity of its Gold Country agents. What was their response? In Grass Valley, California, agent Alonzo Delano had made his reputation as a humorist, but today "Old Block" was proud. The local paper reported: "The office of Wells, Fargo & Co. has not been closed during the panic." It explained, "For a moment, owing to a misunderstood [telegraphic] dispatch, the agent Mr. Delano, was a little disconcerted, but that passed. He mounted the counter, and told the people to 'Come on! He would pay out the last dollar, and if that was not enough, his own private property should go.'" The reporter concluded, "This, however, proved unnecessary, as he had more than sufficient on hand. The confidence in Wells, Fargo & Co. was soon fully restored."

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