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Alyssa Bentz

Alyssa Bentz

Contributor

I am a Wells Fargo historian. Every day, I dig into old papers to look for untold stories. I work with a group of passionate people to find new, engaging ways to share the company’s history. Outside of work, I enjoy playing video games, practicing archery, and walking in California’s open-space parks.

Stories from this author


History

How Wells Fargo began marching with pride

Wells Fargo is commemorating 30 years of celebration and progress with the LGBTQ+ community


History

Averting a Y2K crisis with years of preparation

How Wells Fargo — and the banks that are now a part of Wells Fargo — prepared 20 years ago for Y2K and ensured that a worldwide crisis never happened.


History

A ticket to opportunity

A stagecoach ride in 1861 led Samuel Clemens to new opportunities in Nevada, where he started his writing career under the pen name Mark Twain.


History

The story of one of America’s first female military pilots

Elizabeth “Betty” Wall became a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots program during World War II after a loan from her bank helped her learn how to fly.


History

The first banking solutions for customers who are blind

Before the 1970s, many bank customers with visual impairments had to depend on friends and family to handle their finances —until banks began providing new options.


History

Wells Fargo’s long history of serving Spanish-speaking customers

Since the 1800s, when Wells Fargo offered in-language services and hired Spanish-speaking team members, the company has strived to best serve its Hispanic customers.


History

La larga trayectoria de Wells Fargo de brindar servicios a los clientes hispanohablantes

Desde el siglo XIX, cuando Wells Fargo comenzó a ofrecer servicios en español y contrató a miembros del equipo de habla hispana, la compañía se ha esforzado por brindar el mejor servicio a sus clientes hispanos.


History

How Wells Fargo used secret codes to do business

In the 1800s, the telegraph allowed Wells Fargo to do business and help customers transfer money. To secure messages and minimize risk, the company used a system of encryption with secret codes.


History

When AIDS crisis hit home, these coworkers stepped up

A Wells Fargo team member stepped in to lead Shanti Project, a valuable community organization that helped San Franciscans respond to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.


History

Letters from incarceration camps

When Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes into federal incarceration camps in 1942, their banker J. Elmer Morrish made it his mission to support them in any way possible.


History

How Wells Fargo secretly moved $3 billion through the streets of San Francisco

Rare video from 1915 shows Wells Fargo successfully moving $121 million — or $3 billion in today’s dollars — securely through the streets of San Francisco.


History

How American women in the 1700s ran their businesses

When women in early America needed access to credit and payment tools, they turned to the Bank of North America in Philadelphia, America’s first commercial bank, and today Wells Fargo.


History

From fighting slavery to public service: Mifflin Gibbs

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs lived a life of service and activism. As he fought to end slavery, served as a politician for change, and became a successful African American business owner in Gold Rush California, Wells Fargo was there to help in his pursuits.


History

Good luck comes in red envelopes

Since 1961, Chinese customers preparing Lunar New Year gifts of “lucky money” have turned to Wells Fargo for festive envelopes.


History

Ponies, vacations, and cars: The story behind bank giveaways

As banks like Wells Fargo underwent a revolution in the mid-1900s, giveaways were a way to attract new customers and, over time, become reflections of shared memories and lifelong relationships.


History

How Wells Fargo helps to preserve Alaskan heritage

Wells Fargo’s Alaska Heritage Museum in Anchorage has more than 6,000 Alaska Native artifacts, thanks to efforts to keep them in their place of origin.


History

A stagecoach’s long road

Find out how the historic stagecoach came to Wells Fargo’s museum in San Francisco — and what significant events were part of its journey.


History

How a father’s love led to an innovative way to read

Find out how a Wells Fargo business loan helped people with blindness and low vision have more access to reading materials.


History

How Wells Fargo helped revolutionize the way Americans ate

Learn how Wells Fargo’s Food Products Department helped farmers and gave customers a new way to buy the foods they loved.


History

How a bank commercial led to a hit song

Find out how a song originally written for a bank commercial became a hit — and one of the most popular wedding songs.


History

The real story behind the Pony Express

Find out how the Pony Express allowed people across the U.S. to hear the latest news and get in touch with friends and family quicker than ever — and why a national crisis made the service essential.


History

From motor banks to mobile banking

Find out how the introduction of motor banks in the 1930s made banking more convenient for customers — and led to future innovations.


History

Helping generations of moms support their families

This Mother’s Day, find out how Wells Fargo has helped moms for 166 years manage their finances and support their families.


History

Supporting customers faced with prejudice

After Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, Wells Fargo agents testified on behalf of Chinese customers and supported their businesses.


History

Making Wells Fargo a ‘greener’ bank in the 1970s

Find out how Wells Fargo’s first recycling program began — and led to decades of sustainability and corporate responsibility.


History

The men who founded Wells Fargo

Throughout their lives, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, the founders of Wells, Fargo & Co., were known for their innovation and dedication to customers.


History

A pioneer for female leaders

In 1967, Shirley Nelson made history when she became the first female branch manager for Wells Fargo, paving the way for other female leaders.


History

From civil rights activist to banking leader

Find out how Robert "Patt" Patterson went from being a civil rights activist to the first African American in Greensboro, North Carolina, to hold a management position at a major bank.


History

A Wells Fargo board member’s fight against slavery

James McKaye, an original board member for Wells Fargo, was an abolitionist whose work led to the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1864 to protect the rights of African Americans.


History

Getting the weather from a metal ball in the sky

Northwestern National Bank installed a 157-foot-tall Weatherball atop its building in downtown Minneapolis in 1949, making it the largest bank sign between Chicago and the West Coast.


History

From trudging through snowdrifts to leading Wells Fargo

Find out how a Wells Fargo agent in 1864 stopped at nothing to deliver mail, money, and newspapers to customers — and how he became the company’s president.


History

How horses have been the ‘pride of Wells Fargo service’

Wells Fargo’s horses have always been well-fed, well-cared for, and well-loved.


History

Cómo un inmigrante mexicano se convirtió en una leyenda en Arizona

Un historiador de Wells Fargo cuenta por qué un empresario y agente de Wells Fargo Express de Arizona abandonó su compañía de carga por lealtad a los EE. UU.


History

Yesterday’s ‘revolutionary form of currency’

A Wells Fargo historian shares how the exchange of money has evolved from papers with handwritten instructions and signatures to digital payments.


History

How a Mexican immigrant became a legend in Arizona

A Wells Fargo historian shares why an Arizona businessman and Wells Fargo express agent abandoned his freight company out of loyalty to the U.S.


History

Historic letters open window to the past

A Wells Fargo historian shares how a newly digitized collection of historic letters is providing people around the world with a connection to the past.


History

Summer ’67, when checks became ‘almost too pretty to cash’

A Wells Fargo historian shares how full-colored stagecoach designs made their way into Wells Fargo checkbooks, revolutionizing the ‘rather dull field’ of bank checks.


History

25 years of marching with pride

A Wells Fargo historian shares the story of the company's participation in the San Francisco Pride parade each year since 1992 and the growth of the PRIDE Team Member Network.


History

How Wells Fargo got its Chinese name

A Wells Fargo historian shares how a banker — wanting to make his customers feel comfortable and welcomed — created the company’s Chinese name in 1971.


History

How one woman created a ‘stagecoach empire’ among men

In the late 1800s, Mary Langdon built a business that covered hundreds of miles along the Pacific Coast in a male-dominated industry.


History

From Tuskegee Airmen to Wells Fargo team members

A Wells Fargo historian shares the stories of Col. George S. Roberts and Lt. Col. James A. Walker, two former team members who were part of the famous Tuskegee Airmen.


History

Slideshow: 100+ years of celebrating Lunar New Year

A Wells Fargo historian shares how the company has celebrated the Chinese lunar calendar since 1912.