Scotís Descendants Become One
of Nationís Richest Families
Andrew Mellon is perhaps the most notable of the
wealthy Mellon clan, but riches are a family
affair. The family fortune held by 90
descendants of Thomas Mellon is estimated or
guessed at $5 billion.
Mellons arrived with the great surge of Ulster
Scots before 1800. Thomas was the dour Scot who
started the family fortune by investing in real
estate and going on to become a banker. By the
time Andrew came along, the family fortune was
pretty well established and all he had to do was
distinguish himself by giving away millions and
becoming a dedicated public servant-Secretary of
the Treasury and Ambassador to the United
Andrew Mellon was born March 24, 1855, in
Pittsburgh. He was educated at the University of
Pittsburgh and was soon involved in family
wealth management. He proved his mettle by
adding more money to the family coffers and then
decided to give away much of what they made in
coal, oil and aluminum.
■ As U.S.
Secretary of the Treasury he pushed tax and
spending reforms that cut the national debt from
$24 billion to $17.6 billion. Mellon's
achievements have not been equaled.
■ When a
National Gallery of Art in the nation's capital
was being considered, Mellon donated $15
million, then added an art collection with an
additional $25 million.
Mellon had little or no responsibility for the
Great Depression that descended on the economics
of America and the world in the 1930s, many
liberals blamed his restrictive fiscal policies.
However, Mellon was always highly respected in
■ After serving two years at the Court of
St. James he returned to Pittsburgh. He died in
Southampton, New York, on August 26, 1937.
Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546