Demise of the Southern Route

Major management changes came in 1860. Wells Fargo & Co., which had loaned John Butterfield capital for starting the route, took over operations and forced Butterfield out. At the same time, the Pony Express began running mail across the Great Plains on a more direct, though riskier, route mostly following the old Overland and Mormon … More Demise of the Southern Route

Establishing the Route

With contract in hand, John W. Butterfield Sr. began establishing stations, acquiring stock, purchasing coaches, and building roads and bridges where needed. The logistics were daunting. More than 160 stations needed to be outfitted, many of them requiring construction from scratch. Stage drivers, conductors, station masters and superintendents of each division had to be hired. … More Establishing the Route