Western Expresses Alphabetically
Davis & Bros. Express – 1852 to 1854
Brothers Joseph L., Howell, John C., and Alfred J. Davis are thought to have operated Davis & Brothers Express from their mercantile store in Onion Valley. Joseph ran a pack mule train from Marysville to Onion Valley and probably picked and delivered express along the way. Their Onion Valley store and express likely operated into 1854. Sometime prior to Nov, 1855 they had moved to Marysville.
New Garden, Ia Aug 26 (ca 1852) with 10 (due) to Marysville; Forwarded By Davis & Brothers Express to Mr. Osborn at Rich’s Bar, with light pencil express notations by Davis & Brothers of R.B. and 1.50 (express rate). One of only three known examples from this express.
Rich Bar on the Feather River
Deming & Walls Express – ca 1856 to 1857
Deming & Wall’s Union and Eureka Express was founded by Byron Deming and William H. Wall and operated in Humboldt County, California between Union (Uniontown, now Arcata) and Eureka by ship. In 1860 Byron Deming was listed in “Stimson’s Express Directory” as an agent for Wells, Fargo in Uniontown.
By Union and Eureka Express. Deming & Wall, Paid in their printed frank envelope from Union to Bucksport (from ca1856). The only reported use from this company.
Map of towns served by Deming and Wall on Humboldt Bay
Denver & Rio Grande Express – Jun, 1890 to Sep, 1903
The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad ran this express service as part of their rail service over the lines throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Globe Express Company took over this operation on Oct 1, 1903.
Article in the Sep 25, 1903 Santa Fe, NM Daily New Mexican announcing the end of the Denver & Rio Grande Express, and succession by the “Globe Express Company.”
Dodge & Co.’s Express – Jul, 1850 to Oct, 1851
Dodge & Co’s Express first advertised in the Jul 22, 1850 NY Evening Post. They were an express and forwarding company serving the US east, south and west coasts, the west coast of Mexico, South and Central America, Hawaii, and Canton, China. Dodge & Co. connected with Mumby & Co.’s Express whom they used for delivery to Sacramento and Marysville. The Nov 24, 1851 Boston Courier carried Dodge & Co.’s last advertisement, at which time they are assumed to have ceased in the express business.
View of Panama City
Doherty’s Half Moon Bay Express – 1864 to (1865)
Richard Doherty ran a stage line between Half Moon Bay and San Mateo, also carrying express material over the route. Doherty owned the Pescadero House in San Mateo County. He was an omnibus driver for the Bowman & Gardner stage line in San Francisco during most of the 1850’s.
By Doherty’s [Half Moon] Bay Express to San Francisco. The US government required equivalent US postage on privately carried mails beginning Aug 31, 1852. The 3¢ rate became effective Mar 3, 1863.
Doherty’s hotel, which likely served as the stage and express station during its operation, is shown in this 1878 lithograph with a stage in front.
Drake’s Express – 1859 to 1860
Very little is known about this express, except that it is thought to have operated from Volcanoville to the Middle Fork of the American River. The only known example of any Drake’s Express marking is this handstamp on newspaper piece.
Drake’s Express marking in red on piece of front page of Hutching’s California Magazine, with notation on piece to the same effect, with the date 1859 added. Likely carried from Volcanoville to the diggings nearby.
Dugan and Wall Express – Jun, 1858 to Nov, 1860
Richard Dugan and Joseph G. Wall operated this express which initially was an ocean route between Crescent City and San Francisco. In May, 1859 they abandoned the ocean route and established a land route between Crescent City and Jacksonville, Oregon via Sailor’s Diggings. Missing newspapers limit our knowledge of when this express ceased, but a letter from Dugan to Beekman in Dec, 1860 indicated they had “received the agency of Wells, Fargo & Co. for this place [Crescent City].”
By Dugan & Wall Express Forwarders & Commission Merchants Crescent City, Cal to Crescent City; by G. P. Johnson’s Inland Express to Jacksonville O.T.; by Beekman’s Express from Jacksonville to Yreka (Johnson’s route did not extend to Yreka, but we know he connected with Beekman at Jacksonville, and while this cover is not marked as having been carried by Beekman, another nearly identical cover does have a Beekman’s Jacksonville, O.T. handstamp for carriage to Yreka). One of three examples of the Dugan & Wall’s franks: two handstamps and one printed; and one of only three examples of any kind of usage from G. P. Johnson’s Express.
By Dugan & Wall Express Forwarding & Commission Merchants Crescent City, Cal to San Francisco; by post office San Francisco Jan 19, 1859 to Sacramento.
Western Expresses Alphabetically