John Boessenecker’s book Shotguns and Stagecoaches, claims that Wells Fargo’s stagecoaches were robbed nearly 350 times between 1870 and 1884.
Some companies had three classes of service:
- First Class rode all the way.
- Second Class had to get out and walk on steep slopes.
- Third Class had to walk and push.
Stage StopsAs the stage driver neared the station, he or she would blow a bugle or trumpet to alert the station staff of the impending arrival. Before my research, I don't recall learning of a bugle announcing the arrival of the stage. Still, I could certainly imagine the excitement of a small town, anxious to receive mail, supplies, or perhaps a visitor. The photo below is from the musical, "The Music Man," as the town welcomes The Wells Fargo Wagon.
According to the late Mr. Walter Oatts of Austin, whose father was the postmaster at Brushy, the driver of the stage would blow his horn when the stage was about a mile away. When the horn sounded, almost everyone in the vicinity would trudge up the hill to the Inn to be on hand when the stage came into town. Mr. Oatts also mentioned that "the arrival of the stage was heralded by the honks from a large flock of geese owned by the inn." The inn boasted every bedroom had its own feather beds.
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