Lucy Miller was Wells Fargo & Co.’s Express Agent in Mariposa, Calif. I choose to write her story in the first person, because looking at her picture, I hear the story as if in her own voice. (CH)
In 1885 I became Wells Fargo’s first female agent at the Mariposa station. I had recently been widowed and did not want my father to carry the burden of supporting my son and me.
I took my duties very seriously, sending gold, documents, mail and parcels by stagecoach 6 days a week. I was very flattered to find customers appreciated my hard work and dependability so much that even a local newspaper wrote an article complementing me on my “friendly efficiency.”
I was appointed Mariposa’s postmaster in March of 1887, adding more responsibilities.
I recall the day I sent a collection envelope for Mariposa Treasurer George Counts, in the amount of $741.61, to the State Controller in Sacramento. But alas, the transaction did not go as smoothly as planned. State officials ruled that Mr. Counts needed an authorization duly passed by the County Board of Supervisors before he could draw upon the money.
Knowing how important it was that the Treasurer receive the funds, I set to work to determine how I could remedy the situation. A Wells Fargo co-worker in Sacramento, Felix Tracy, sent me power of attorney paperwork for Treasurer Counts in order to prevent any future difficulties for our customer as well as for Wells Fargo.
Thanks to my appointment as power of attorney, Mr. Counts was able to receive his money just days after the original commission took place.
I have learned much of patience, forbearance, and policy, and have acquired some knowledge of human nature, which in itself is quite an education.