The Pony Express: 155th Anniversary

Posted April 14, 2015 by Amanda | One Comment

Did your ancestors receive mail via the Pony Express? Today we celebrate the 155th anniversary of the history-making mail delivery service.

The Pony Express was first launched on April 3, 1860 with two relay teams of horses and riders. The teams were dispatched from St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California and made their way across the country simultaneously.

See the Pony Express genealogy project on Geni

Mail with a Pony Express stamp

On April 14, the first westbound delivery arrived to its destination in San Francisco, California ten days later on April 14 at 1:00 am. The Pony Express delivery speed was nearly unheard of at the the time.

Pony Express Route

Map of the Pony Express route

Pony Express co-founders William Russell, Alexander Majors and William Waddell aimed to create a fast mail route to the west coast. During its short lifespan, the Pony Express employed over 100 riders at over 100 stations. Young men were commonly employed, since riding for the Pony Express was difficult and dangerous work. Some of the most famous riders were Buffalo Bill Cody, Robert “Pony Bob” Haslam and Jack Keetley.

See the Pony Express genealogy project on Geni

Book on Buffalo Bill’s Pony Express adventures

Many may be surprised to learn that the historic Pony Express operated for only 18 months before the telegraph put it out of business. Despite a short lifespan, the Pony Express remains highly popular in American Western folklore. Its sustaining popularity is likely attributed to the legendary stories of Buffalo Bill’s adventures as a Pony Express rider.

Check out the Pony Express project on Geni to learn more about the many people involved in the Pony Express!


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Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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