Andrew W. Mellon

Andrew W. Mellon

Andrew W. Mellon

There is a house on Hills Church Road which claims to be the home where Andrew W Mellon was raised.  So it seems that he grew up in the Export Area. Judge Thomas Mellon, the father of Andrew Mellon was raised here as well, Thomas was the founder of the Mellon bank.

Andrew William Mellon was born in Pittsburgh where his father, Thomas, was a lawyer, banker and associate of Henry C. Frick in the coke industry. Young Andrew Mellon graduated from Western University of Pennsylvania, later the University of Pittsburgh, in 1873 and joined his brother Richard in the timber business.

In 1874, the Mellon brothers merged their interests with their father’s, creating Thomas Mellon and Sons. Andrew Mellon emerged as the sole owner in 1882 and his father retired from the business four years later. A long line of diversified interests began in 1889 with the founding of the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh and a later subsidiary, the Union Savings Bank.

In succeeding years, Mellon used his talent for grasping new technologies to exploit interests not only in banking, but also in coal, shipbuilding, oil, locomotives, bridge construction, utilities, steel, insurance and aluminum. By 1902, he was president of what had become the Mellon National Bank.

During World War I, Mellon was active in his support of the American Red Cross and other patriotic causes.

The return of the Republicans to power in the postwar period brought Mellon an appointment as secretary of the treasury under Harding, a position he continued to hold under Coolidge and Hoover. He was a staunch advocate of such traditional conservative principles as tax reduction and the reduction of the national debt. Wartime expenses had swollen the debt to more than $25 billion at the start of the Harding administration in 1921, but Mellon managed to pare it down to about $16 billion by the end of the decade. As secretary, Mellon was also an advocate of tariff reform and the creation of a federal budget system.

Andrew Mellon StampMellon supported such popular causes as payment of war debts owed to the United States by its former wartime allies. However, public attitudes toward the secretary changed rapidly after the stock market crash in the fall of 1929. Mellon became increasingly unhappy in office and in 1932 resigned to accept the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James in London.

In 1935, Mellon was subjected to a lengthy Internal Revenue Service investigation, but was eventually exonerated.

Mellon devoted much time and considerable sums of money to philanthropic causes. In 1913, he and his brother honored their father through the creation of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, an organization designed to forge a partnership between American scientific research and industry. In 1937, Mellon left a combined gift of $25 million to the people of the United States, part through the donation of his extensive art collection and the remainder in cash for the construction of what became the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Notable Residents.