Western Expresses Alphabetically
Martins’s Express – 1884 to 1886
According to Nathan, this express operated from 1884 to 1886 over the Mullen Road from Spokane, Washington Territory to Wardner, Idaho Territory via Coeur d’Alene and Kellogg.
By Martin’s Spokane Falls and Wardner Stage and Express Line from Wardner, Idaho to Spokane Falls, Washington Territory; by post office from Spokane Falls Wash. Aug 3, 1885 to Portland, Oregon. One of only about four known examples from this express.
Merchant’s handstamp on verso confirms this cover was carried by Martin’s Express from Wardner, Idaho to Spokane Falls.
Mead & Clarke’s Express – 1864 to 1866
Mead & Clarke’s express ran in the area north of Fresno, California, between Visalia and Havilah. They connected with Wells Fargo.
Paid Mead & Clarke Over Our Clear Creek Route to San Francisco; exchanged with Wells Fargo & Co. San Francisco Jun 12 for delivery. As this franked envelope is only half of a paste up, the final destination is not known. One of only two known examples of this printed frank and of only four total from Mead & Clarke.
Sacramento Daily Union of Jul 23, 1866 mentioning “Mead & Clark’s Clear Creek line”
San Francisco’s Daily Alta California article of Jan 18, 1867 noting the winter schedule of “Meade & Clark’s Clear Creek line of stages”. By this time, they were likely out of the express business.
Mead & Davis Letter Express – 1864
Mead & Davis operated their express from Visalia to Havilah, connecting with Wells Fargo at the former. The “Mead” of this express is thought to be the same person as in the Mead & Clarke partnership.
By Mead & Davis Letter Express to Visalia; exchanged with Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Visalia to San Francisco. One of only four known examples from this short-lived express.
Modern map showing relative locations of Havilah, Visalia and San Francisco
Miller & Co.’s Express – 1854 to 1855
Miller & Company’s Express consisted of Solomon N. Miller and C .W. H. Solinsky, who operated from Chinese Camp to the mines and bars along the Tuolumne River. The express may also have connected through to Jackson in Amador County. Miller is thought to have operated from 1854 into 1855, based on the “Chinese Camp” notation in the handstamp. Chinese Camp was one of the earliest established gold rush camps. In 1849, Chinese laborers were forced out of Camp Salvado. They established a new camp about a mile west which became known as Chinese Diggings. This name was in general use for the location until the post office was established on April 18, 1854. At that time, the name of the location was changed to Chinese Camp.
By Wells, Fargo & Cos Express S. Frco Dec 18 from San Francisco to Chinese Camp; exchanged with Miller & Co. Express Chinese Camp for delivery to I. [Roman Numeral for the first] Garrote in Tuolumne County. One of only two known examples from this express.
Miners’ Loon Creek Express – May 26, 1870 to Jul 20, 1870
This short-lived express was founded by J.H. Hunter and four others on May 26, 1870 to operate from Idaho City, Idaho Territory to the Loon Creek mining camps. The express was sold on July 20, 1870 to Charles J. Tassel.
By Miners’ Loon Creek Express PAID to Idaho City, Idaho Territory; by post office Idaho City, Ida. Sep 24 (1870) to Vernon, Oregon. Docketed at left as being answered Nov 27, 1870. Used during the period of Charles J. Tassel’s ownership (post Jul 20, 1870). One of only two known examples of this company’s frank of any type.
The Idaho World of May 26, 1870 provides some insight on the difficulties of the expressman of the day:
Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express
Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express operated under numerous ownership structures: Wells & Company (1864), English and Wells (1864-1869), L.H. Wells (1870) and Wells & Herrings (1871-??)). Wells also operated the North San Juan and Humbug Express under both the Wells and L.H. Wells names. The Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express operated over a route between Nevada City, Moore’s Flat, and Eureka South (and may have extended to Emigrant Gap). It connected with Wells Fargo at Nevada City.
By Wells & Co’s Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express to Nevada City, Wells Fargo & Co. Nevada Aug 8 to Vallejo, in the San Francisco Bay area.
By English & Wells’ Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express to Nevada City; Wells Fargo & Co. Nevada Nov 17 to San Francisco. It is believed that the Graniteville postmaster acted as agent for L.H. Wells’ express, as several Wells covers are known with this marking.
Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express
By L.H. Wells’ Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express to Nevada City; Wells Fargo & Co. Nevada Feb 11 to Sacramento. The Graniteville, Cal Feb 10 postmark is thought to be an L. H. Wells’ agent’s marking, as several covers are known with this marking that did not enter the postal system.
By Wells & Herring’s Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express to Nevada City; Wells Fargo & Co. Nevada Aug 1 to San Francisco; Wells Fargo & Co. San Francisco Aug 2 for delivery. One of only four known Type 1 printed franks (seven total).
Morley, Caulkins & Co.’s Express – 1853 to 1861
George W. Morley and Silas Caulkins partnered to serve the mining camps of La Porte and the Gibsonville Ridge area. They may have also operated between La Porte and Marysville. The partnership dissolved when Morley formed an express operation with Homer B. Holland (Holland, Morley & Company).
Mumby & Co.’s Express – Apr 30, 1851 to Jun 12, 1851
Click edit button to change this text.Joseph M. Mumby formed Mumby & Co’s Express in partnership with Henry P. Reed and their first advertisement appeared on Apr 30, 1851. Prior to that date Mumby had been a messenger for Palmer & Co’s Express. The route was between Sacramento City and San Francisco by steamboats of the Union Line (steamers Confidence and William G. Hunt) and utilized Dodge & Co Express in San Francisco for connection to the East. The line also operated north to Marysville serving the Nevada City mines. Mumby & Co’s Express sale to Freeman & Co’s Express was announced on June 12, 1851.
By Mumby & Co’s Express with their PAID on folded letter datelined Sacramento 12 May 1851 to San Francisco; notation with Bottle, explained within letter…With this you will receive a sample of Primo Martell Brandy. There is but a small lot only 130 gal but it is A No. 1 – The same style they used previous to fire at Union Hotel Brown & Bartels. I saw Brown here & he says that he now pays $6.50 for this article. Sell it if you can at 6.00 & the party here will allow you 4/- per gallon on it…W. H. Hall
May 14, 1851 Sacramento Transcript advertisement for Mumby & Co’s Express
Western Expresses Alphabetically