February 24, 2017
February 24. 1855. Financial Panic Continues through California! In Marysville, the iron fire shutters that had slammed shut the day before when the telegraph reported the horrifying news from San Francisco, now swung open! What was going on? Anxious citizens crowded in the office to find agent C.H. Hedges behind the counter with stacks of gold coin behind him! What had happened? On Friday, Hedges had closed--but only to gain some time. He had previously sent large sums of Wells Fargo funds to mountainous Sierra County to buy gold dust, the basis of California banking. Now, that money was needed at home. 10 hours later, the weary Wells Fargo messenger returned from St. Louis, 75 miles away, with two heavily-laden mules. Hedges paid customers, kept a small reserve, and dispatched $20,000 to help the San Francisco office reopen.