Jim Hardie (Tales of Wells Fargo)

Created by James Brooks, Frank Gruber and Gene Reynolds


JIM HARDIE
was the tall, good-looking hombre who starred in (and narrated) Tales of Wells Fargo (1957-62, NBC), arguably the second-most successful hybrid of the private eye and western genres in the early days of American television. Have Gun, Will Travel also lasted an impressive six seasons, while Shotgun Slade only lasted two and The Man From Black Hawk only one.

Set in Oklahoma in the 1870s and 1880s, the show revolved around Hardie, a troubleshooter for the Wells Fargo shipping company and stagecoach line, who regularly rode out from his ranch in Oklahoma to chase assorted bad guys around the Old West and even into Mexico. The varmints included gunrunners, kidnappers, counterfeiters, rustlers and of course assorted train and stage robbers and anyone else suffering from “strongbox fever.”  Jim also found time to tangle with such celebrity outlaws as Jesse James, Tiburcio Vasquez, Butch Cassidy, Cole Younger and John Wesley Hardin. Even Tom Horn shows up in one episode.

Unlike some of his fellow cowboy eyes, Jim (convincingly played by studly Dale Robertson) didn’t sport any oddball weaponry, although he was occasionally referred to as the “Left-Handed Gun.” But of course, he had a favourite mount (all the good TV cowboys did) who would come when he whistled: Jubilee, a chestnut horse with a white blaze on his face and four white stockings

The sixth and final season episodes were shot in colour and expanded to a full hour, filled with a supporting cast of family and friends, and found Hardie settling down and — despite frequent calls from Wells Fargo for “just one more job” — trying to a ranch in Gloribee near San Francisco.

Gee, I wonder if he ran into Paladin often?

KNOW YOUR HISTORY

  • Tales of Wells Fargo was said to have been influenced by the life of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge, which may have also inspired the short-lived syndicated series Pony Express (1959-1960), featuring Brett Clark, an investigator for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.

TELEVISION

  • TALES OF WELLS FARGO
    (1957-62, NBC)
    30 min black & white episodes
    60 minute colour episodes (last season)
    Created by James Brooks, Frank Gruber and Gene Reynolds
    Produced by Revue Productions
    Starring Dale Robertson as JIM HARDIE
    With Jack Ging as Beau McCloud
    William Demarest as Jeb Gaine
    Virginia Christine as Ovie
    Mary Jane Saunders as Mary Gee
    and Lory Patrick as Tina
    Guest starring Eddie Albert, Ellen Corby, Jack Nicholson, Hugh Beaumont, Adam West, Steve McQueen, Gerald Mohr, Lee Van Cleef, Barton MacLane, Charles Bronson, Sydney Pollack, Cesare Danova, Robert Vaughan, Michael Landon, Henry Rowland, Warren Oates, Buddy Ebsen, Harry Carey, Jr., Richard Jaekel, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Leonard Nimoy, James Coburn, Simon Oakland, Guy Stockwell, Karl Swenson, Chuck Connors,

    • Season One
    • “The Thin Rope” (March 18, 1957)
    • “The Hasty Gun” (March 15, 1957)
    • “Alder Gulch” (April 8, 1957)
    • “The Bounty” (April 15, 1957)
    • “A Time to Kill” (April 22, 1957)
    • “Shotgun Messenger (May 7, 1957)
    • “The Lynching” (May 13, 1957)
    • “Renegade Raiders” (May 20, 1957)
    • “Rio Grande” (June 3, 1957)
    • ” Sam Bass” (June 10, 1957)
    • ” The Hijackers” (June 17, 1957)
    • ” Stage to Nowhere” (June 24, 1957)
    • ” Jesse James” (July 1, 1957)
    • ” The Silver Bullets” (July 8, 1957)
    • Season Two
    • “Belle Star” (September 9, 1957)
    • “Two Cartridges” (September 16, 1957)
    • “Apache Gold” (September 23, 1957)
    • “John Wesley Hardin” (September 30, 1957)
    • “The Target” (October 7, 1957)
    • “The Feud” (October 14, 1957)
    • “Billy the Kid” (October 21, 1957)
    • “The Auction” (October 28, 1957)
    • “Hank (Chips)” (November 4, 1957)
    • “Man in the Box” (November 11, 1957)
    • “The Kid” (November 18, 1957)
    • “The Barbary Coast” (November 25, 1957)
    • “Ride with the Killer” (December 2, 1957)
    • “The Inscrutable Man” (December 9, 1957)
    • “The General” (December 16 1957)
    • “Laredo” (December 23, 1957)
    • “The Witness” (December 30, 1957)
    • “Doc Bell” (January 7, 1958)
    • “Stage West” (January 13, 1958)
    • “Hoss Tamer” (January 20, 1958)
    • “Hide Jumpers” (January 27, 1958)
    • “The Walking Mountain” (February 3, 1958)
    • “Bill Longley” (February 10, 1957)
    • “The Prisoner” (February 17, 1958)
    • “Dr. Alice” (February 23, 1958)
    • “The Sooners” (March 3, 1958)
    • “Alias Jim Hardie” (March 10, 1958)
    • “The Johnny Ringo Story” (March 17, 1958)
    • “The Newspaper” (March 24, 1958)
    • “Special Delivery” (March 31, 1958)
    • “Deadwood” (April 7, 1958)
    • “The Gun” (April 14, 1958)
    • “The Reward” (April 21, 1958)
    • “The Pickpocket” (April 28, 1958)
    • “Scapegoat” (May 5, 1958)
    • “The Renegade” (May 12, 1958)
    • “The Break” (May 19, 1958)
    • “The Sniper” (May 26, 1958)
    • Season Three
    •   “The Gamble” (September 8, 1958)
    • “The Manuscript” (September 15, 1958)
    • “White Indian” (September 22, 1958)
    • “The Golden Owl” (September 29, 1958)
    • “The Faster Gun” (October 6, 1958)
    • “Butch Cassidy” (October 13, 1958)
    • “End of the Trail” (October 20, 1958)
    • “A Matter of Honor” (November 3, 1958)
    • “The Most Dangerous Man” (November 10, 1958)
    • “The Gunfighter” (November 17, 1958)
    • “The Deserter” (November 24, 1958)
    • “The Killer” (December 1, 1958)
    • “The Counterfeiters” (December 8, 1958)
    • “Cow Town” (December 15, 1958)
    • “The Happy Tree” (December 22, 1958)
    • “The Dealer” (December 29, 1958)
    • “Showdown Trail” (January 5, 1959)
    • “Wild Cargo” (January 19, 1959)
    • “The Cleanup” (January 26, 1959)
    • “Fort Massacre” (February 2, 1959)
    • “The Town That Wouldn’t Talk” (February 9, 1959)
    • “Lola Montez” (February 16, 1959)
    • “The Branding Iron” (February 23, 1959)
    • “The House I Enter” (March 2, 1959)
    • “The Legacy” (March 9, 1959)
    • “The Rawhide Kid” (March 16, 1959)
    • “Toll Road” (March 23, 1959)
    • “The Tired Gun” (March 30, 1959)
    • “Terry” (April 6, 1959)
    • “The Last Stand” (April 13, 1959)
    • “Bob Dawson” (April 20, 1959)
    • “The Tall Texan” (April 27, 1959)
    • “Doc Holliday” (May 4, 1959)
    • “Kid Curry” (May 11, 1959)
    • “The Little Man” (May 18, 1959)
    • “The Daltons” (May 25, 1959)
    • “The Bounty Hunter” (June 1, 1959)
    • “Clay Allison” (June 15, 1959)
    • Season Four
    • “Young Jim Hardie” (September 7, 1959)
    • “Desert Showdown” (September 14, 1959)
    • “The Warrior’s Return” (September 21, 1959)
    • “The Jackass” (September 28, 1959)
    • “The Stage Line” (October 5, 1959)
    • “The Train Robbery” (October 12, 1959)
    • “Double Reverse” (October 19, 1959)
    • “Tom Horn” (October 26, 1959)
    • “The Quiet Village” (November 2, 1959)
    • “Home Town” (November 16, 1959)
    • “End of a Legend” (November 23, 1959)
    • “The Return of Doc Bel” (November 30, 1959)
    • “Woman with a Gun” (December 7, 1959)
    • “Long Odds” (December 14, 1959)
    • “Wanted: Jim Hardie” (December 21, 1959)
    • “Relay Station” (December 28, 1959)
    • “Cole Younger” (January 4, 1960)
    • “The Easterner” (January 11, 1960)
    • “The Governor’s Visit” (January 18, 1960)
    • “The Journey” (January 25, 1960)
    • “The Canyon” (February 1, 1960)
    • “Red Ransom” (February 8, 1960)
    • “The English Woman” (February 15, 1960)
    • “Forty-Four Forty” (February 29, 1960)
    • “The Late Mayor Brown” (March 7, 1960)
    • “Black Trail” (March 14, 1960)
    • “The Great Bullion Robbery” (March 21, 1960)
    • “The Outlaw’s Wife” (March 28, 1960)
    • “The Town” (April 4, 1960)
    • “The Trading Post” (April 11, 1960)
    • “Dead Man’s Street” (April 18, 1960)
    • “Threat of Death” (April 25, 1960)
    • “Dealer’s Choice” (May 2, 1960)
    • “Pearl Hart” (May 9, 1960)
    • “Vasquez” (May 16, 1960)
    • “Kid Brother” (May 23, 1960)
    • “Man for the Job” (May 30, 1960)
    • Season Five
    • “Day of Judgement” (September 5, 1960)
    • “Angry Town” (September 12, 1960)
    • “Doc Dawson” (September 19, 1960)
    • “The Kinfolk” (September 26, 1960)
    • “A Study in Petticoats” (October 17, 1960)
    • “All That Glitters” (October 24, 1960)
    • “Run for the River” (November 7, 1960)
    • “Leading Citizen” (November 14, 1960)
    • “The Killing of Johnny Lash” (November 21, 1960)
    • “The Wade Place” (November 28, 1960)
    • “Jeff Davis’ Treasure” (December 5, 1960)
    • “The Bride and the Bandit” (December 12, 1960)
    • “Escort to Santa Fe” (December 19, 1960)
    • “Frightened Witness” (December 26, 1960)
    • “The Border Renegade” (January 2, 1961)
    • “Captain Scoville” (January 9, 1961)
    • “The Has-Been” (January 16, 1961)
    • “Town Against a Man” (January 23, 1961)
    • “The Barefoot Bandit” (January 30, 1961)
    • “The Hand That Shook the Hand” (February 6, 1961)
    • “The Washburn Girl” (February 13, 1961)
    • “The Diamond Dude” (February 27, 1961)
    • “The Show from Silver Lode” (March 6, 1961)
    • “Fraud” (March 13, 1961)
    • “Stage from Yuma” (March 20, 1961)
    • “Prince Jim” (March 27, 1961)
    • “The Remittance Man” (April 3, 1961)
    • “The Jealous Man” (April 10, 1961)
    • “Something Pretty” (April 17, 1961)
    • “Lady Trouble” (April 24, 1961)
    • “Moment of Glory” (May 1, 1961)
    • “The Lobo” (May 8, 1961)
    • “Rifles for Red Hand” (May 15, 1961)
    • “Gunman’s Revenge” (May 22, 1961)
    • “The Repentant Outlaw” (May 29, 1961)
    • “A Quiet Little Town” (June 5, 1961)
    • “Bitter Vengeance” (June 12, 1961)
    • “John Jones” (June 26, 1961)
    • “The Dowry” (July 10, 1961)
    • Season Six
    • “Casket 7.3” (September 30, 1961)
    • “The Dodger” (October 7, 1961)
    • “Treasure Coach” (October 14, 1961)
    • “Death Raffle” (October 21, 1961)
    • “Tanoa” (October 28, 1961)
    • “Mr. Mute” (November 4, 1961)
    • “Jeremiah” (November 11, 1961)
    • “A Fistful of Pride” (November 18, 1961)
    • “Defiant at the Gate” (November 25, 1961)
    • “Man of Another Breed” (December 2, 1961)
    • “Kelly’s Clover Girls” (December 9, 1961)
    • “A Killing in Calico” (December 16, 1961)
    • “New Orleans Trackdown” (December 23, 1961)
    • “Trackback” (December 30, 1962)
    • “Money-Run” (January 6, 1962)
    • “Return to Yesterday”” (January 13, 1962)
    • “Reward for Gain” (January 20, 1962)
    • “Assignment in Gloribee” (January 27, 1962)
    • “Incident at Crossbow” (February 3, 1962)
    • “Portrait of Teresa” (February 10, 1962)
    • “Hometown Doctor” (February 17, 1962)
    • “The Traveler” (February 24, 1962)
    • “Winter Storm” (March 3, 1962)
    • 1″Chauncey” (March 17, 1962)
    • “Who Lives by the Gun” (March 24, 1962)
    • “To Kill a Town” (March 31, 1962)
    • “End of a Minor God” (April 7, 1962)
    • “Remember the Yazoo” (April 14, 1962)
    • “The Angry Sky” (April 21, 1962)
    • “Royal Maroon” (April 28, 1962)
    • “The Gold Witch” (May 5, 1962)
    • “Don’t Wake a Tiger” (May 12, 1962)
    • “The Wayfarers” (May 19, 1962)
    • “Vignette of a Sinner” (June 2, 1962)
  • GUNFIGHT IN BLACK HORSE CANYON
    (1961)
    Made-for-television movie
    Based on characters created by Frank Gruber
    Teleplay by Anthony Lawrence and Jack Turley
    Directed by R.G. Springsteen
    Starring Dale Robertson as JIM HARDIE
    A made-for-TV “movie,” cobbled together from two episodes of the television show.

COMICS

  • FOUR COLOR COMICS
    (1939-62, Dell Comics)
    1300+ issues
    Dell’s most notable and prolific title, also known as Four Color, published several times a month, and consisting primarily of one-shot issues of various licensed television and film properties, and as a place to try out various original series. Eight issues spotlighted Tales of Wells Fargo — the last time billed as “Man from Wells Fargo,” before being spun-off into its own series.

    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (February 1958; Four Color Comics #876)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (February 1959; Four Color Comics #968)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (August-October 1959; Four Color Comics #1023)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (February-April 1960; Four Color Comics #1075)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (July-September 1960; Four Color Comics #1113)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (March-May 1961, Four Color Comics #1167)
    • TALES OF WELLS FARGO (October-December 1961; Four Color Comics #1215)
    • MAN FROM WELLS FARGO (February-April 1962; Four Color Comics #1287)
      Writers include: Gaylord Du Bois
      Artists include: Gil Kane, Russ Heath, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr., Alan Hutchinson, Frank Giacoia, Alberto Giolitti, Joe Giella
      Continued as Man from Wells Fargo , a standalone series.\
  • MAN FROM WELLS FARGO
    (1962, Dell Comics)
    One issue (May-July 1962).
    An attempt to spin-off its successful run as part of the Four Color anthology series, but it only lasted one issue.

TIE-INS

  • Danger at Mesa Flats (1958; by John Lazurus, Illustrated by John Leone) | Buy the book
    A Little Golden Book. Hey, is that Vasquez Rocks on the cover?
  • Danger at Dry Creek (1959; by Irving Werstein) | Buy the book
    A YA novel. Illustrated.

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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