William Fargo

William George Fargo (1818 - 1881)

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William George Fargo
Born in Pompey, Onondaga, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married Jan 1840 in New York, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Buffalo, Erie, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 6 Mar 2020 | Created 20 May 2017 | Last significant change: 15 Mar 2020
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William Fargo was a pioneer American expressman who helped found the modern day financial firms of American Express Company and Wells Fargo with his business partner, Henry Wells.

William George Fargo was born in Pompey in Onondaga County, New York on May 20, 1818.[1] He was the eldest of twelve children of William C. Fargo (1791–1878) (formerly of New London, Connecticut) and Stacy Chappel Strong (1799–1869). His younger brother was James Congdell Strong Fargo (1829–1915). His father, who was born in New London, Connecticut, fought in the War of 1812. The elder Fargo was stationed at Fort Niagara and fought in the battle of Queenston Heights under General Van Rensselaer that resulted in the death of British General Isaac Brock. Fargo was wounded in right thigh, just before the Americans took possession of the ground. His grandfather was William Beebe Fargo (1757–1801), the son of William Fargo (1726–1813). His great-grandfather was the son of Moses Fargo (1691–1798) and the grandson of Moses Fargo (1648–1742), who emigrated from England to Connecticut in 1670 and served with distinction in the Revolutionary War.

In January 1840, Fargo married Anna H. Williams (1820–1890), daughter of Nathan Williams, one of the proprietors of Pompey, with whom he had eight children.[2][3][4][5]

  1. Georgia Fargo (1841–1892), who died unmarried
  2. Alma Cornelia Fargo (1842–1842), who died young
  3. Sarah Irene Fargo (1843–1854)
  4. William George Fargo, Jr. (1845–1872), who married Minerva Elizabeth Prendergast (1848–1873)[10]
  5. Hannah Sophia Fargo (1847–1851), who died young
  6. Mary Louise Fargo (1851–1852), who died young
  7. Helen Lacy Fargo (1857–1886), who married Herbert G. Squiers (1859–1911), a diplomat who served as Minister to Cuba (1902–1905) and Panama (1906–1909)
  8. Edwin Morgan Fargo (1861–1865), who died young

William was christened at Grace Episcopal Church in Buffalo, New York on November 19, 1854.[1]

He died on August 3, 1881. After his funeral on August 7, 1881, he was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York.[6] Fargo's wife Anna died in 1890. The city of Fargo, North Dakota is named after him.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FDLB-KRC : 18 January 2020), William George Fargo, 1854.
  2. "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZ89-2VT : 20 August 2017), William G Fargo, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; citing enumeration district ED 165, sheet 202B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,831.
  3. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCQ5-VFK : 14 December 2017), William G Fargo, 1860.
  4. "United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8NM-NG5 : 13 June 2019), William G Fargo, 1870.
  5. "New York State Census, 1875," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VNV1-2GP : 11 March 2018), William G Fargo, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; citing p. 68, line 18, State Library, Albany; FHL microfilm 825,689.
  6. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 24 January 2020), memorial page for William George Fargo (20 May 1818–3 Aug 1881), Find A Grave: Memorial #326, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .

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William G. Fargo
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