Many books have been written about Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express, the Pony Express, and other express companies.
Most of these books deal with the history and the romance of the period.
They provide us with a great deal of factual (and often conflicting) information, and certainly a full measure of nostalgia.
Some of the better ones are listed and discussed here.
The value of reading these reference books is that it gives us a reservoir of knowledge, a "baseline,"
with which we can appreciate the significance of a property item, and assess its relative importance in running the company's business.
Without this basic knowledge, a letter, handwritten on the company's public letterhead and signed by one Charles E. Bowles,
might foolishly be traded away for a common rate cutter or office seal.
Sadly many of these books are out of print and are difficult to find.
Fortunately, some of these books are available on the internet, and at used bookstores from time to time.
A good example is this book by Noel M. Loomis
There is perhaps no finer reference for the sheer abundance of facts and figures documented on a year-to-year basis.
Any serious research of the company's express business would include reading Loomis.
Perhaps there are those among us who style themselves to be "advanced" enthusiasts of Western artifacts.
They should take a casual glance at Greg Martin's magnificent book.
Parker Lyon's awesome inventory, slowly revealed at each turn of a page, brings us to a profound appreciation and awe of the immensity of Lyon's achievements.
We close this book humbled, and we must grope with the sadness that the parade is indeed over.
Parker Lyon knew that it was over, and he also knew that he was merely picking up the trash in its wake.
With what then, do we busy ourselves?
For the cavalier who fancies himself an upscale romantic, and who appreciates the finery of the uppercrust,
Beebe & Clegg's book has a flair for the fantasy and the romance.
Beebe & Clegg give us a sense of intrigue, and of being privy to confidential information, known only to readers and authors.
This is an excellent companion reference to Loomis.
Beebe, ever keeping the center stage to himself, grudgingly refers to an unnamed Parker Lyon as an "aficionado."
Enjoy then, this most excellent reading, and if we chance to meet, let us together lament the passing of the stagecoach and the dust that passed with it.
Not the dust stirred up by the horses' hooves and the coaches' wheels, but the grains, the flakes, and the nuggets of gold.
Because of this dust, a company was born and prospered, and the hopes and aspirations of thousands of miners were scattered and lost, like the worthless grains of sand in the streams,
and the dreams of only a scant few were made manifest.
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