Thomas Alexander Mellon (February 3, 1813 – February 3, 1908) was a Scotch-Irish American, entrepreneur, lawyer, and judge, best known as the founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch of the Mellon family of Pittsburgh.
Mellon was born to farmers Andrew Mellon and Rebecca Wauchob on February 3, 1813, at Camp Hill Cottage, Lower Castletown, parish of Cappagh, County Tyrone, Ireland now Northern Ireland. The original family house now forms the centrepiece of the Ulster American Folk Park Museum. His family had come into Ireland from Scotland around the middle of the seventeenth century. In 1816, his grandfather, Archibald Mellon, emigrated to the United States, settling in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Andrew and his family followed two years later.
Mellon wrote in his autobiography that at the age of ten, he had been struck by "wealth and magnificence I had before no conception of" upon viewing the mansion of prominent landowners Jacob Negley and Barbara Ann Negley. At fourteen, he read the The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and became inspired by Franklin's rags-to-riches tale. Deciding he would not be a farmer, he enrolled at the Western University of Pennsylvania, now known as the University of Pittsburgh in October 1834, graduating in 1837...
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