J E. MELLETTE. Few, perhaps none, save these who have trod the arduous paths of the profession, can picture to themselves the array of attributes, physical, mental and moral, and the host of minor qualities essential to the making up of a successful attorney. Suffice it to say that it brings into play the most versatile powers of his being and the man who succeeds in it is a fitting example of the "survival of the fittest." Mr. Mellette is a man whose efforts have been crowned with success and since locating in Springfield in January, 1893, he has won wide recognition as a successful attorney and has already gathered about him many friends. He was born in Henry Co., Ind., to Charles and Mary (Thomas) Mellette, the former of whom was an early pioneer is Henry County and in the State of Indiana he and his wife were married. He was a member of the Baptist Church in which faith he died in 1874. The Mellettes were among the first settlers of Virginia and the early ancestors were French. The Thomases are of Scotch extraction and the majority of the members on both sides of the family devoted their time to the tilling of the soil. To Charles and Mary Mellette five children were born: James T., who is a well known attorney of New Castle, Ind., Malinda (Mrs. Reed), resides in Henry County, Ind.; Arthur C., an eminent attorney, was the last governor of the territory of Dakota and after its division and admission into the Union as States served two terms in the same capacity in South Dakota, of which he is still a resident; Alethia was the wife of Dr. Benedict, of Henry County, Ind., and died in 1873. J. E. Mellette's early days were spent on a farm but in 1868 he entered the State University of Indiana, from which he graduated in 1872. Succeeding this he followed the occupation of teaching, having also followed it previously. After a short period spent in this manner he began the study of law at Muncie, in the office of Judge Buckles, was admitted to the bar in 1873, after which he began the practice of his profession in Muncie and there remained until 1886. He then went to Watertown, Dak. where he practiced until coming to Springfield. He has been associated in his profession with J. A. Frink and has gained the respect and confidence of the people of Springfield. Mr. Mellette has always been a strong Republican, has been active in the political affairs of the sections in which he has resided, and in 1884 was an elector on the Blaine ticket in Indiana, and was a member of the State Legislature from Delaware County in 1883. He also held the office of prosecuting attorney of Delaware County two terms. The good of his section has always been dear to his heart and he has shown his approval of secret organizations by becoming a member of the A. F. & A. M., Muncie Lodge. He is a man of family and has a pleasant home on Woodland Height. His wife, whose maiden name was Ella Dunn, was born in Bloomington, Ind., a daughter of Samuel and Margaret Dunn, a well-known family of Indiana. Mrs. Mellette was one of six children- Elizabeth, Samuel, William, George, Mary and Ella. The father was a merchant of Bloomington, Ind., and is now dead. The mother still lives and resides on the old home place. Mrs. Mellette was educated in the Indiana State University and at Oxford, Ohio. Two children have been born to them, viz.: Florence, B. and Arthur C. Mr. and Mrs. Mellette attend the Calvary Presbyterian Church of which Mrs. Mellette is a consistent member.
Springfield-Greene County Library