William G. Fargo - Table of Contents

William G. Fargo - Chronology and Illustrations

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William G. Fargo

Mrs. Anna Hurd Williams Fargo

47 Niagara St.

Fargo Mansion
Jersey and Fargo Sts

Fargo Mansion
Jersey and Fargo Sts.

Fargo Mansion
Jersey and Fargo Sts.

Grounds of the former Fargo Mansion

Grounds of the former Fargo Mansion

Henry Wells

Fargo Mansion

... the 'most elaborate and costly private mansion in the state,' outside of New York City. The house took two city blocks, from Pennsylvania Avenue, West Avenue, Jersey Street, and Fargo Avenue. There was a central tower five stories high. At his request it contained wood from all the states of the Union. It was the first home in the city to contain an elevator in it, and it was said to have gold doorknobs.

- Michael Rizzo, Through The Mayor's Eyes


Born in Pompey, NY; eldest of 12 children


Formal schooling ended a age 13.

First job: delivering mail on horseback,twice a week, from Pompey Hill to Apulia, and all stops in between, a trip of about forty miles


Left Pompey (and a life as a farmer) and worked in Central NY


Married Anna Hurd Williams. (They had eight children, of which only three lived to maturity.)


Took position as freight agent with at Auburn for the Auburn & Syracuse Railroad Co.


Moved to Buffalo, still as agent for the Auburn & Syracuse


Began own business with Henry Wells and Daniel Dunning, running an express line from Buffalo to Cleveland, extending to Detroit, under the name Wells & Co. Transportation, was by lake during the summer, and stage and express wagons and sleighs in the winter


Daniel Dunning withdrew from the company


Wells sold his interest to William Livingston. Company name: Livingston & Fargo


Wells, Fargo & Co. formed, extending the express business to the Pacific coast, because of the discovery of gold in 1848.    Fargo was the vice-president of the company and one of the directors from its inception until his death.

Fargo builds a brick Italianate residence at 47 Niagara St. at the corner of Franklin Street. The grounds of the house extended to Express Alley at the middle of the block and joined the grounds of Elijah P. Williams, Mrs. Fargo's brother, whose house faced Court St.


Elected mayor of Buffalo for 1862-63 and 1864-65 terms

(Civil War Rebel sympathizers proved to be a restless group during the winter of 1863. They set aflame the homes of many Union men, especially those that resided out of town. Most of these fires took place along the outskirts of town at North Street. Most of the rebels were finally dispelled when spring arrived.)


Fargo Mansion built at Jersey and Fargo Sts.

American Express  company was consolidated with the Merchants' Union Company and Fargo became the president, a position he held until his death.


Fargo died


Fargo Mansion demolished


Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2008
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