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would have been contented to adopt for an occupation what appeared then to be only that of a messenger or errand-man, between two cities, had he not expected it to lead to something of more extent and consequence. That he had some such foresight, was probably the reason why he adhered to his enterprise through three or four years of the hardest kind of work and the poorest sort of remuneration.
Brainard, for many years past quite famous as an expresswagon builder in Boston, in 1840 drove a job-wagon. He says that he used to do the little carting that was then required by Adams, gratis; and even at that, gave him the preference to Leonard, who had started the Worcester Express.
Leonard, who paid well and was willing to pay more, to induce Brainard to receive his freight as soon as the steamboat train arrived from Worcester at the Boston depot, and hurry with it down to his office, could never understand why he should insist upon waiting to get out Adams' New York trunk when he acknowledged that it was purely a "labor of love." The fact is, that it was only one of many evidences that we have seen of the genial influence that Alvin Adams has exercised upon the affection of all who have enjoyed his friendship.
At the time of Farnsworth's leaving the firm, Adams & Co.'s clerk in New York was a young man, named William B. Dinsmore, and their office was in the basement afterwards occupied by Boyd's City Post, in William street, near Wall.
This was in the latter part of 1841, or early in 1842. Dinsmore was then a young man, without capital, but not without experience. He was born in Boston, and had lived there until two or three years before becoming connected with the Express. He had been in the south a portion of the time, engaged in trading, and still later was employed by David Felt, the stationer, in New York, either as a salesman or book-keeper. In the latter capacity he is said to have excelled. We have many pleasant recollections of him in his native city before he located in New York.
In the outset, and for several years subsequently, Adams & Co.'s business was limited to New York, New London, Norwich, Worcester, and Boston.
The entire business of Adams & Co. was done then by two or three men and a boy. They were kept pretty busy, it is true, but found it difficult to meet expenses, even with the most rigid economy.
Up to 1843, their affairs had not prospered much, nor had business in general materially improved; but, fortunately for them, Harnden & Co., about that time, became so engrossed with the extension of their European operations as somewhat to neglect their home Express, and as an inevitable result disaffected some good customers, who on that account gave their parcels to Adams & Co. The latter improved the opportunity to redouble their persevering efforts to secure success. The two Expresses were now supplied with horses and wagons. That was an era in their affairs. In the fall of 1843, Samuel L. Woodard (formerly a stage-man for Col. Staples, from Keene and Fitchburg to Worcester), became the driver of Adams & Co.'s Boston wagon, although he was probably worth more money at that time than his employers. He continued in that capacity about twenty years: one of the most faithful, kind-hearted, agreeable, and industrious of men; always on hand early and late, and ready for any emergency. Then, an Express driver was as valuable and important as ever the stageman had been in his palmy days, and to his efforts in "bucking for freight" his employers were indebted for a very considerable amount of their patronage. Woodard had a clear head, a round, cheerful, happy face, a plump person, and a frank, hearty manner, united to a due degree of the suaviter in modo of his employer, and being zealous in the service which he had adopted, and strongly impressed with the importance of it to the community, he talked it into the bankers and merchants with signal success.
Of course, he soon came to be regarded by Adams as an almost indispensable man in the Express, and the most friendly relations existed between them. Woodard enjoyed in advanced life, as the fruits of his talents, industry and steady habits, a snug little competency, and a constitution unimpaired by his long service. Even the handsome white horse, which he used to drive, was still in good order and well condition when twentysix years old.
In 1843, John Hoey was a boy in Dinsmore's office. Serving the institution zealously and with a constantly-enlarging capacity ever since, he now holds a very important position in the company. Wallace and Daggett, Swett, Studley, Fisher, Brastow, Haskell, Freeman, Safford, Gorman, Phillips, Webb, Dixon, Doyle, Curtis, Gore, Jones, and John K. Stimson, were employed at an early period of the business, the latter dating from 1846.
E. S. Sanford, a native of Massachusetts, became connected with the New York office in 1842. Shortly afterwards, in association with S. M. Shoemaker, a native of Louisiana, he extended the line of Express to Washington. W. H. Trego for many years was an active employee in their Baltimore office.
Daniel Phillips, for nearly 20 years an expressman in Hartford, after having done the business for some time in his own name, became the agent for Adams & Co. in Hartford. In 1854 the company purchased of Thompson & Co. the Express which they now run between that beautiful and thriving city and Springfield, Mass.
Washington Webb, the New York agent, was Harnden's in 1842, and in 1844 was agent of Beecher & Co.'s Steamboat Express, and Phillips & Co.'s Railroad and Steamer Express, to New York. Henry B. Plant (many years later the indefatigable and excellent superintendent of the southern division), was at that time messenger for Adams & Co., on the New Haven route. Peregrine Turner, the estimable agent at New London for many years, formerly had an Express of his own. E. A. Johnson, Gabriel Brush, and W. L. Crane (subsequently manager of the New York department of the New Haven line), were early engaged upon the Connecticut division. Hardy served as a messenger.
In 1850 or 1851, Adams & Co. arranged to send their money and small packages over the New York and New Haven Railroad, then just completed, paying $1,000 per month for the space occupied by them in a car on the express train. In November, 1854, H. B. Plant went to Augusta, Ga., to act as superintendent of the Express in that city. Subsequently he established agencies at all practicable stations in South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. In the latter State, the business started in 1850 by John K. & A. L. Stimson, under the style of Stimson & Co.'s New Orleans and Mobile Express, had passed into the hands of Adams & Co. This, too, was the case with the thriving Charleston Express of Hoey & Co. (John Hoey and John K. Stimson). By these accessions to its strength in the south, and still more by the creation of new railroads, and its enterprising and efficient management in that quarter, the Adams Express, like the Harnden, were doing an immense and constantly increasing service there.
In the west, also, where in 1856 Alfred Gaither came to the front as superintendent, the Adams Express had acquired in 1860 an extensive and prosperous business. C. Woodward, then the smart and assiduous agent at Cincinnati (Gaither's headquarters), was formerly located at Indianapolis. J. H. Rhodes was connected with the Pittsburgh office.
One of the best men in the business at that time was Col. John Bingham, superintendent of the Pennsylvania division. Geo. H. Burns, early employed in the Philadelphia office, was agent at Washington, D. C.
The superintendent of the southeastern division was S. M. Shoemaker, a director and large stockholder.
E. W. Parsons was superintendent of the eastern division, and universally esteemed.
In 1854, the very able and popular cashier, and corresponding clerk, in the New York office, was J. C. Babcock, formerly a bank cashier. Hiram Dixon, still book-keeper there, was in his prime.
R. P. McCullagh, superintendent of the Philadelphia office had had the advantage of many years' experience, and was highly esteemed for the judicious and thorough manner in which he discharged his laborious and responsible duties.
In 1860, E. S. Sanford was general superintendent of all the routes of the Adams Express Company.
E. Coleman and Harry Gorman, also Messrs. Heath, Lambertson, Bell, Piers, and McKeever (the latter in 1860 agent at New Orleans), were in the Philadelphia office.
Alvin Adams, the father of this great institution, preferring the quiet city of Boston, where he had resided for 30