“In February, 1860, the legislature of Kansas granted a charter to the ‘Central Overland California and Pike’s Peak Express Company.’ This newly formed company absorbed the ‘L. & P.P Ex.,'[Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express, owned by Jones, Russell and Company] which had been operating its line to Denver during the preceding year, and thus also obtained the United States mail contract for service to Utah. Soon the George Chorpenning contract for service upon the route from Salt Lake City to Placerville, California, was annulled for alleged failures and a new contract made with William H. Russell for a semi-monthly ‘star’ service. This gave ‘C.O.C. & P.P.Ex.Co.’control of the entire mail service over the central route to the Pacific Coast. . . .
Russell was chosen as president, and B.F. Ficklin, general road agent.”