William H. Mellor

The Payette Independent
Thursday, June 22, 1911


Founder of Rock Springs, Wyo dies in Payette - Wm. H. Mellor follows the Wife Who Died a Few Months Before

There died in our little city, Tuesday afternoon, June 13th, an aged and respected citizen whose life and work are inseparably connected with the early history and development of Wyoming. This man was Wm. H. Mellor, born in Lancashire, England, in 1832 and coming to America in 1856.

Four years ago Mr. Mellor decided to retire from the activity of business and with his wife who had been a loving helpmate for fifty years, builded a home in Payette where they might spend the remaining days of their lives among their children who have lived here many years. They are Mrs. C. H. Bussey, Mrs. Geo. Rezac and Mrs. A. B. Moss.

In a comfortable home, in this beautiful valley of fruits and flowers, surrounded by loved ones whose loving hearts and hands were ever ready to minister to their wants, with that peace and serenity that comes as the benison of faithful live this worthy couple's cup of happiness was filled to overflowing. But ? had decreed that they should not long enjoy their new home. On January 27, 1911, mother Mellor received the summons and, laying aside the affairs of life and bidding a long goodbye to her children and to her husband to whom she had been the living wife and helpmate for almost fifty four years, sought her touch and sunk into dreamland ? her to awaken in a fairer land.

From the day of her death, until the summons came to the husband and father, he constantly longed to be with the wife who had shared his joys and sorrows, his fortunes and nonfortunes for so many years. It was no unwelcome news that the silent messenger brought to him of the end of his period of waiting. A paralytic stroke gave notice that the end had come and that the life work of this good husband, father, and citizen was at its close.

With tender hands, ministering to his every want, kind and loving hearts unwilling to give him up, did all that love could do to keep him with them, but to no avail. At eleven o'clock Tuesday evening, the weary spirit left its earthly temple to join the wife who had gone but a little while before.

At his bedside during his last moments, were his children and grand children. Of his direct family there were present at the funeral four daughters and two sons. Many neighbors and friends were present at the last rites. A short service was held at the house, conducted by Rev. Thomas Ashworth and the Knights of Pythias took charge of the casket and the ceremony at the grave.

In a volume of the annals of the state of Wyoming and the part taken in its development by the prominent men within its border, the following excerpts taken:

Wm. H. Mellor received his educational training in Paradise Academy, Blackburn, Lancashire, England. When a youth he was employed in the office of an attorney in his native town and later in a similar capacity in the office of the Blackburn Cotton Manufacturing Company, where he continued until his 24th year. In 1856 he came to the United States, reaching New York on November 1st. He engaged in several occupations in the east for a few years and then moved to Kewanee, Ill. and engaged in coal mining, and afterwards in Macon Co., Mo. In 1864 he returned to his native country remaining until the spring of 1865 and came back to Missouri. In 1868 he joined the Wyoming Coal and Mining Company and took charge of the company's store at "Point of Rocks" and in January 1870 came to Rock Springs and erected the first building in what is now one of the most thriving and prosperous towns in Wyoming. Mr. Mellor took charge of the company's affairs at this point and in addition to his other duties, took the superintendency of the mine. He was soon compelled to devote his entire time and attention to the mining interests, which grew in importance and magnitude with each recurring year. Meanwhile the town grew apace and the influx of population became such that the term city could very appropriately be applied and it is now one of the leading mining centers of the state. Mr. Mellor was superintendent for 15 years during which time he did more than any other man in this section to develop the resources of the county. He ably and successfully managed the mines of the company and demonstrated abilities which placed him among the leading mining experts of the West. Resigning the position in 1886, he embarked into a lucrative cattle business until 1894, when he retired from active life.

On June 21st, 1857, in New York City, Mr. Mellor and Elizabeth Scott were married. Mrs. Mellor is a native of Cumberland county, England, the daughter of Geo. and Mary (Hall) Scott, the father for many years being the head of a large shoe business. Six children have been born to them, Fredrick who died in 1862 aged two years; Ann E; Edward; Charles; Lula; Elizabeth.

No one who knows Mr. Mellor will question his unsullied integrity, his devotion to principle or his loyalty in the interests of his fellow men. He has seen grown up, around his first humble domicile amid the mountain fastness a city of no mean proportions, with every interest of which he has been identified. To the growth and development of this thriving city he has contributed with a free hand and clear brain, and much of its present prosperity is directly attributable to his painstaking efforts. All who come within the range of his influence speak in the highest terms of his many estimable ? of character, being always foremost in advocating reforms and public improvements, making all personal and private interests subordinate to the public good. In a very important sense he is the father of Rock Springs, as well as one of its most worthy citizens. No person in the state stands higher in the esteem of the people.

The foregoing, written while he was still living at Rock Springs, Wyo., furnishes a splendid index to his life and character, and of the respect and esteem in which he was held by his friends and neighbors after their associations with him for forty years. He made many friends in Payette during his short time in the city and his loss is keenly felt by all who know him.