Christopher Adix is Museum Assistant at our Phoenix Museum. He also works as a tour guide at Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school of architecture). He lives in Scottsdale with his wife, three children and two dogs. When not working, Chris is camping and hiking, visiting other museums or vacuuming dog hair.
Chris could probably start his own museum some day with his collections of old oscillating fans, Tonka trucks, sleds, matchbox cars, and lanterns. (CR)
Wells Fargo recently celebrated our 162nd birthday. This longevity is the result of the efforts of many people over time. In addition to Wells Fargo’s team members today, we hail the service of the many people who have created Wells Fargo’s legacy. Most were ordinary people who lived quiet lives; others went on to further success. There was cake in several of our Museums as part of the celebration, as is often done on our birthday. One Wells Fargo man from our past had quite a bit to do with that, too—in his career after Wells Fargo.
Duncan Hines was from Bowling Green, Kentucky. His father was a friend of Wells Fargo’s president, John J. Valentine, also from Bowling Green. Valentine helped Duncan gain employment with Wells Fargo & Co in 1898. He was first assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico. When young Hines came to Albuquerque, he discovered a booming western town on the Santa Fe Railroad. One of the famous Harvey House restaurants was there, where good meals were available to for travelers, and perhaps inspired Hines’ appreciation of the art of food.
Hines was assigned to guard the Wells Fargo express on a railroad car. While on duty as a messenger, Hines foiled a hold-up by replacing cash in money bags with plain paper. He always kept the medal he was awarded for his bravery in service to Wells Fargo.
Hines was promoted to agent in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was sent to Denver, charged with picking up and returning a Wells Fargo express wagon. He left Denver in July, but found himself lost in a in the Rocky Mountains snowstorm! To make matters worse, he was at one point surrounded by hungry, howling coyotes. He eventually made it back to Cheyenne, but without the horse and express wagon, which were retrieved several days later. As it turned out, he was only 14 miles off course.
Hines left Wells Fargo for other work in 1902. He had always had a taste for good restaurants while traveling, and kept notes that he freely shared. Friends and colleagues encouraged him to publish, and his books became essential travel and dining guides. He is the author of Adventures in Good Eating, which highlight his travels (and meals!) throughout the United States. He also later licensed his name to a well-know cake-mix company, which is still popular today. Duncan Hines died in 1959.
Duncan Hines was a talented fellow with a marvelous will to succeed and enjoy life. Wells Fargo remembers his service, and as such, it’s totally appropriate we have a cake in celebration of our long heritage.