The well known gentleman whose name appears above belongs to that class of citizens whose lives
show no meteoric effects, but who, by their support of the moral, political and social status for the
general good, promote the real welfare of their respective communities and are therefore deserving
of honorable mention on the pages of history. For nearly a half century he has seen the development
of Shelby county, playing no inconspicuous part in the same, and as a result of his life of industry,
honesty and integrity he is deserving of the esteem in which he is held by all who know him.
Alexander G. Mellis was born April 24, 1845, in Jefferson county, Indiana, on a farm where he learned lessons of thrift and economy that served him well in the subsequent battle of life. He is the son of Archibald and Jane (Brander) Mellis, both native of Scotland. They came to the United States in an early day and penetrated to the interior, locating in Indiana. After residing for a time in Jefferson county they moved to Shelby county, in 1865.
Archibald Mellis was a miller by profession, and there was no better in his day. He made a success of this line of business, building up an extensive trade and establishing a good home amid the some- what primitive conditions he found upon his arrival in this country. He purchased a mill from J. Carmen; this was an old sash mill.
Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Mellis were typical representatives of that sterling class of people from the far-famed land of hills and heather, rugged, strictly honest and very active, and wherever their lot was cast they soon had loyal friends among their neighbors.
Alexander G. Mellis attended the common schools in Clark county, Indiana, receiving only a limited education in those early days; however, he has become well informed on general topics by reason of extensive home reading and by contact with the world at large. Following in the footsteps of his father, he early decided to become a miller, and when only a boy went to work in his father's mill. Being an apt pupil and his father a competent tutor, he made rapid progress in learning the mysteries of this line of business which he has so successfully conducted in Shelby county, becoming known as one of the leading mill men in this locality. He was the owner of a grist-mill, a saw-mill and a general store at the town of Freeport, one of the oldest trading centers in the county. He made a success of all these and laid by a competency. He sold the mill and store nine years ago, and he is now practic- ally retired, but still oversees his large interests, in a way. He has a fine farm of several hundred acres, which he has improved to a high state and which yields bounteous crops from year to year. He is also a director and vice-president of the Union State Bank, at Morristown. All this he has made himself, practically unaided, having been a hard worker and a good manager, devoting his attention strictly to what he had in hand, mastering all details with astonishing ease and alacrity.
On January 1, 1867, Mr. Mellis started the New Year right by forming a matrimonial alliance with Melissa Sally, a daughter of a fine old pioneer family and the fit life companion for such a man as Mr. Mellis, no little of his success being due to her encouragement and counsel.
To Mr. and Mrs. Alexander G. Mellis five children were born, all now deceased. Their names were as follows: Florence Lillian, born October 15, 1869, died November 20, 1879; Ada May, born April 9, 1872, died November 12, 1872; Sarah J., born April 30, 1874, died August 2, 1874; Josephine, born November 6, 1876, died June 9, 1878; one child died in infancy, unnamed.
Mr. Mellis had the distinction of serving his country during the Civil war in that brave band of home-defenders who stopped the intrepid Confederate leader, Morgan, on his northern raid. Two brothers of Mr. Mellis were soldiers in the regular volunteer Union army.
A public-spirited man and a loyal Republican, Mr. Mellis has always taken unusual interest in whatever tended to promote the interests of his home country, lending his support wherever possible. Both he and his estimable wife are charter members of the Methodist Protestant church, at Freeport; in fact, Mr. Mellis was largely instrumental in building the same and he has been a liberal supporter of it from the first.
As may be inferred from what has already been said, Mr. Mellis is a man of much force of character, whose good judgment has seldom directed him otherwise than in the right course, and but few men are better known and none held in higher esteem in Shelby county than he.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 978-979.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming