The Mellors of Sykesville

Editor’s Note: This information was collected by Helen Gaither and her daughters, Judy and Susan, and given to the museum in November, 2017. (Jack White)

The Mellor’s came to America from England in 1829-1830.

Helen Gaither Note: The following was written by Margaret Elizabeth Mellor (B: July 9, 1886 – D: June 22, 1976 ) in 1971. She married her 2nd cousin Edwin Marion Mellor, Jr. (B: 1882 – D; 1936 )

What I know about the Mellor Family

Joshua Kaye Mellor, my grandfather, was the son of Edmund Mellor, Esq. of Royton, England. Edmund was a lineal descendant of Henry Gartside a man of wealth and considerable prominence in English affairs, and who had become endeared to his countrymen for his defiance of the downtrodden and oppressed of England.

He was a relative of the Rt. Hon. Sir John Mellor, a member of the Queen’s Bench and chairman of the House of Commons while Mr. Gladstone was making the last fight on Home Rule for Ireland.

Edmund Mellor’s son was Joshua Kaye Mellor who married Elizabeth Gartside in 1826 in the Oldham Church in England. They soon moved to America where he had charge of several cotton mills, one of which was in Sykesville, MD. Per the Howard County 1850 census they had the following children:

Joshua T. age 7 of Alberton, Howard County, Married Mary Walters

James W. age 16 of Baltimore – Married Lucinda Elder

Eli G. age 14 of Baltimore – Married Aunt Mamie

Thomas Henry age 3 of Shawsville, Harford County (my father) – Married Emma V. Wiley

Elizabeth age 12 of Jarrettsville, Harford County

Hattie of Jarrettsville, Harford County

Susanna age 23 of Catonsville, MD

John Kaye age 21 of Piedmont, WV – Married Rachel Emsy of Piedmont

John Kaye Mellor married Rachel Emsy of Piedmont, WV. They made their home is Sykesville, Howard County Md.

Their Children: Joshua, William, Edwin Marion, Annie and Effie

This is the end of Margaret Elizabeth Mellor’s account.

The Mellors of Sykesville

The John K. Mellor family lived in Howard County on the south side of the Patapsco River where the early Sykesville business district was growing. In 1867, at the age of fourteen, Edwin Mellor Sr. was working for Zimmerman & Schultz, a general merchandise business. In 1868 a flood washed away most of the businesses on the south side of the river. About 1870 this enterprising young man was working for a John McDonald. Before long the general merchandise business was called McDonald & Mellor.

In 1879 Edwin Sr. leased a lot from Whiting on the corner of Oklahoma Road and Main St. There he erected a building and soon opened a business. Before long he added a second story to the building and lived there with his wife Mary.

Edwin Marion Mellor Sr. (B: February 2, 1853 – D: June 2, 1916) was the son of John K. Mellor and Rachel Emsy Mellor of Howard County, MD. He married Mary Williamson Lemen (B April 3, 1851 – D Nov. 17, 1942) on January 13, 1876 at the Springfield Presbyterian Church in Sykesville, MD.

Their Children

Harry Minor Mellor, Married Emma Favour

John Brooks Mellor, (B May 4, 1880 – D February 6,1957) Married Gertrude Favour

Edwin Marion Mellor Jr. (B 1882 – D 1936) Married 2nd cousin Margaret Elizabeth Mellor (B 1886 – D 1976) in 1909.

Adele Mellor (B February 26, 1884 – D October 3, 1884)

Frank Mellor (B February 17, 1888 – D October 19, 1964) Married Ethel Kenny Rust (B February 7, 1884 – D August 22, 1970

Mary Dorothy Mellor (B 1890 – D 1978) Married John Robert Graham ( B 1890 – D 1947)

On March 21, 1881 Edwin Sr. and John Harris, another Sykesville businessman, together purchased five acres of land from Allen C. Hammond and wife. (Land records of Carroll Co. Liber FTS No. 54 Folio 484). By October 2, 1883 they divided the property equally and each received a deed for 2 + acres. John’s property joined the old Catholic church property in Sykesville on the south side of Mellor Avenue, and included the high bank near the railroad where he established his harness shop. Edwin Sr. and his wife Mary received a deed for the north side of Mellor Avenue.

From the Democrat Advocate newspaper

1885 E. M. Mellor has completed work on his store, the 2nd largest in Sykesville, MD.

Feb. 12, 1887 Mr. E. M. Mellor will build a handsome residence on his lot near the Catholic Church.

Aug 6, 1887 Mr. E. M. Mellor has completed and is occupying his new residence. The style is peculiarly merchant Mellor’s own, with a little gothic thrown in. The house fronts Northwest with gables front and side and is three stories high. The main portion is 39 x 38 feet, the side building is 22 feet with a broad portico extending around the entire front. The 1st floor has a spacious parlor, a neatly arranged library, a long dining room, and a fine kitchen with a pantry adjoining. Water is supplied by a pump in the kitchen and an attached dry dairy in the cellar beneath. There are eight rooms on the upper two floors with easy access by a broad winding stairway from the hall below.

The structure is frame with part ornamental shingle work in the gable front. It is painted steel gray with brown and red trimmings. The interior is in oak, cherry and walnut. The carpenter work was done by the Selby Brothers of Eldersburg. Plastering was done by Phebus and the painting by Powell.

1888 Mr. Mellor has put on a new glass front in his store.

1891 The firms of Mellor & Shorb, Griffith & Turner and Bennett & Barnes have combined and will be known as the “Sykesville Farm and House Furnishing Co”. They will occupy the old stands of the retiring firms and will carry a much larger stock.

March 14, 1891 Postmaster Mellor will enlarge his store this spring

1904 Edwin Marion Mellor, Sr. was elected as the 1st Mayor of Sykesville. He was re-elected in 1905 and again in 1906, and last elected Mayor in 1915.

December 16, 1905 The Democrat Advocate Newspaper ran a notice that E. M. Mellor has converted the 2nd floor of his store into a toy and fancy department with Miss Lucy Fogle and Miss Mary Sullivan as salesladies.

From the Sykesville Herald (began printing in 1913)

September 18, 1913 Mr. E. M. Mellor and Mr. John Harris who own 12 acres of land in Mt. Airy have recently sold two lots.

October 2, 1913 Big contract for E. M. Mellor & Son of Sykesville are to furnish many supplies to the Maryland State Institutions including Springfield State Hospital located in Sykesville.

January 15, 1914 Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Mellor are receiving congratulations of their 38th wedding anniversary.

January 29, 1914 Sensational Clearance Sale E. M. Mellor & Son Department Store. Dry goods, men’s clothing and furnishings, ladies furnishings, shoes, boots and much more.

April 2, 1914 Mr. E. M. Mellor is having electric lights installed in his home on Rugby Avenue. (apparently name was later changed to Mellor Avenue)

Nov. 5, 1914 The Herald’s Mailbag: Cheery words that are appreciated

My Dear Major Hall;

Through the kindness of my sister, Mrs E. M. Mellor Sr., the Herald finds its way to my desk some twelve hundred miles distant from its place of issue. It is always carefully perused and you certainly have made a gallant fight against the saloon. I spent four pleasant years at Sykesville. I was a telegraph operator at Silver Springs, MD , when the panic of 1874 came upon the country, and although a boy in years ( in my teens) yet I was old in point of service. Retrenchment was the word and night offices were closed and the more recent operators were “let out”. I was sent from the “night trick” to take the day work at Sykesville. The office was located in the old Grimes building near the east water tank. Mr. Squires, many years my senior, was the night operator.

Sykesville will always be a green spot in my memory, as it was there that I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior. About 1876 under the pastorate of the Rev. Charles W. Baldwin, now of Baltimore, there came a great revival to Sykesville. Some 75 souls made a decision for Jesus Christ. The old building had to be buttressed and otherwise supported for purposes of safety. Messers Mellor, Harris, Clark, Hobbs and a host of others remember the meetings very well. (The writer continues on with quotations and several more comments about saloons and drunken men).

Wishing you the highest success,

Yours Truly,

W. Minor Lemen

Pastor, Grandview Ave ME Church, Dubuque, Iowa

Also a letter to the editor: Mary Williamson Lemen Mellor expresses her thanks to the Boy Scouts, the Junior League, “Little Workers”, and a number of her friends for the money, chestnuts and other good things given to her for the Halloween Party given the 32 little cripples of schools 22 & 23 in Baltimore.   Sykesville, Nov 3, 1914

Thursday May 6, 1915

E. M. Mellor, Mayor

Annual Election of Town Officials, held on Tuesday May 4, 1915

Mr. E.M. Mellor, Sr. was elected mayor over Mr. E.E. Jenkins, and the following gentlemen were elected to council. Messers P. T. Bennett, Asa Hepner, Harry Phelps, Walter Hawkins, John Harris, and James Hughes.

The defeated candidates were Messers Wm. Fairbank, John N. Norris, F.W. Brown, Irvin E. Buckingham, R.W. Carter and Wm. H. Bennett.

Mr. Mellor, the new mayor, is senior member of the firm E.E.Mellor & Son and has always taken great interest in the town affairs. His long experience in business will no doubt be of great service to the town. He succeeds Dr. D. B. Sprecher who has served six consecutive terms (May 1909 to the present May 1915 )

The votes cast were as follows: For mayor, E. M. Mellor – 49; E. E. Jenkins – 32. For council: Harry Phelps – 55, Asa Hepner – 52, P. T. Bennett – 51, James Hughes – 50, John Harris – 44, Walter Hawkins – 42, Wm. Fairbank – 39, John Norris – 38, F.W. Brown – 15, Wm. H. Bennett – 15, Irving Buckingham – 15, and R. W. Carter – 9.

Thursday August 19, 1915

Candidate for Sheriff, Carroll County

Edwin M. Mellor, Jr. who announced his candidacy for the office of Sheriff of this county, subject to the Republican Primaries some time ago, is now devoting his time calling on all the Republican voters of the county. It is his intention to cover the county thoroughly from now until September 14th.

Mr. Mellor is the son of Mr. E.M. Mellor, Sr. a prominent tradesman of Sykesville, and is very popular in this section of the county and has many friends. Outside of being a Notary, he has never held an office. Freedom District has not had a representative in any of the county offices for the past twenty years. We believe this section of the county is rightfully entitled to several offices this year. It is hoped that Mr. Mellor will succeed in getting the nomination. He is progressive, has had a number of years experience in business affairs and is fully capable of serving the people of this county.

Thursday May 11, 1916

Offices Held Over, Mayor and Members of Council Will Serve Another Year

The election of Mayor and council of this place failed to take place on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in May 1916 as called for in the town charter, due to a misunderstanding between several of the town officials. Under the circumstances it will be necessary for the Mayor and Council members to hold over another year. Thursday preceding the election each year, a citizens’ meeting for the nomination of candidates is held. This year the candidates were nominated and everything so far as the nomination was concerned was in order.

Then came the senatorial Primaries on Monday and the town election for Tuesday was lost sight of. It didn’t seem to disturb the townsfolk, in fact, they went about their usual business according to schedule. Can it be due to the fact that the offices are filled gratis and our citizens fail to take interest enough in their hometown ? Wonder if princely salaries were attached to the offices, if we would have several “Royal” families, and dear only knows how many? Well, we have another whole year to prepare for the next election so why should we worry?

By Spring of 1916, the city officers were listed as follows:

Mayor: E. M. Mellor, Sr.

President of Council: P.T. Bennett

Council Men: Asa Hepner, James B. Hughes, Harry Phelps, John Harris, Walter Hawkins

Tax Collector: W.D.B. Hepner

Fire Chief: Wm. Forthman

The council meets the third Thursday of each month.

Thursday April 20, 1916

P.T. Bennett dies in Baltimore. He was the son of the late Captain John W. Bennett of Confederate Navy and Sarah (Lowndes) Bennett, daughter of Commodore Lowndes of the US Navy. His parents settled here shortly after the Civil War.

April 27, 1916

Card of Regrets

The Mayor and Council deeply regret the death of our late associate Pennington T. Bennett and shall greatly miss him in our council. In his death, the town and community will feel a loss that will never return. He was strictly attentive to his business and a man of principal and sterling worth.

Mayor and Council of Sykesville

A resolution on the death of Pennington T. Bennett by the Board of Directors of the Sykesville National Bank .

May 18, 1916

“Uncle Mort’s Observations”

He talks about Municipal carelessness in Sykesville and makes some suggestions. He quotes Emerson “ I delight in telling what I think…. I shall go on just as before, seeing whatever I can and telling what I see”.

He goes on about the forgotten town elections… “ The rest of the towns hereabouts are laughing at Sykesville because the municipal election was forgotten and the appointed day for holding it was permitted to slip by unnoticed. The cause was the statewide primary for the nomination of candidates for the US Senate and Representatives to Congress, which took active politicians to Eldersburg and the Freedom polling place, and left no one home to run the local election”.

He goes on to criticize the dirty streets and suggested they should be cleaned regularly, and says we should not be careless about this matter. “It makes a bad impression to tourists passing through town”.

June 15, 1916 The Local Epitome

Our hearts are sad and heavy in the loss of our beloved and honored citizen, Mr. E.M. Mellor, Sr. (See the Sykesville Herald articles on E.M. Mellor, Sr’s death, June 13, 1916)

June 22, 1916 The Local Epitome

At St. Paul’s M.E. Church on Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, a memorial service for the late E.M. Mellor Sr. will be held.

Also: Mr. E.M. Mellor Jr. has been appointed Treasurer of the Sykesville Building Association to fill the vacancy caused by the death of E.M. Mellor Sr.

June 22, 1916

“Uncle Mort’s Observations”

Writes of the late E.M. Mellor, Sr., why he will be missed.

He was a tower of strength to the cause of sobriety and righteousness, which has lost many of its strong supporters by death and removal from the county in the past year. As a general thing when a prominent member of a community slips out from his accustomed place, puts aside his cares and responsibilities forever, there is a period of subdued activity and mourning. Then the community pulls its affairs together and the world jogs about as before. But it was not so and it will not be so with Edwin M. Mellor. He had been so long a familiar figure upon our streets in our business world, and in the church and Sunday School. He had touched our lives at so many angles, that he will be long mourned and missed. Whichever way one turns in Sykesville he misses Mr. Mellor. Older and young alike miss him. He was almost the first man I came to know when I came to Sykesville, and since then our relations were always friendly and confidential. I went to him with troublesome problems more than once, and always found him ready to listen and give the best advice he could. Often I did not go when I would like to have gone, because I know that others were making demands upon him.

Mr. Mellor aided the weaker brother in bearing his burdens. His life was one of brotherly kindness and patient helpfulness. He understood mans helpfulness for man and he lived up to it. There is no record of his good deeds, but they have not been overlooked, not one. They are all recorded in the great Book of Life, where they will stand to his everlasting credit. He will be missed in many walks of life as I have stated, but he will be especially missed in the ranks of those who stood in this community for sobriety and righteousness. He was ready to aid any cause that appealed for moral sympathy and support. He was a tower of strength to those who fought to drive out the liquor traffic two years ago. Had he lived he would have been just as active in the fight that must be made this fall to keep that traffic out. No one knew better than he how vastly better are conditions in Carroll County without saloons than they were when the festering places sapped the vitality of the community.

‘Uncle Mort’ goes on several more paragraphs about other good men who have passed on. Severe losses from the ranks of the Temperance Army in Carroll County during the past year.

August 10, 1916

Uncle Mort’s Observations

His full column this week is concerning the condition of the Sykesville streets and offers his thoughts as to why.

Sykesville’s dirty streets, how unattractive an appearance Sykesville presents. He tells of a gentleman coming to visit a friend in Springfield, and as he traveled through Sykesville, remarked on the shabbiness of the town in comparison to the pretty private homes on the avenue and the intelligent and cordial residents.

Uncle Mort goes on to say “the gentleman whom I have quoted said other things but those I have mentioned are enough. He voiced what was on my own mind. What is the matter? I do not undertake to say. But, just let me call to attention to one or two things to see if the charges that we are indifferent and careless, as a people, is justified?

When the day rolled around on which our own municipal elections should have been held, it was entirely forgotten. We were so wide awake to municipal affairs and conditions that no one thought of it and other towns poked fun at us. We deserved all the jibes we received. However, our people did not think that any great harm would result from the fact that the old Mayor and Council would hold over. Edwin M. Mellor was Mayor so affairs were considered to be in good hands.

But God soon called our good friend. He was suddenly struck down and the community has felt his loss very keenly. Since his death things have simply drifted. No attempt has been made to appoint an acting mayor in his place, and the council now short two men, doesn’t meet. The members are good men and citizens, but utterly indifferent to their duties and responsibilities.

What Sykesville needs first is to pry the hookworm out of its municipal life. Start something ! Let the council get together and begin to look after things once more. And come on people, you and I, all of us, let us stop on the corner here, take a look around and see what we can do. Or, to put it another way, what we have neglected to do…. to make Sykesville better and more attractive. Look up the street and down. Do you see anything that might be done? Take a good look. Now, let us come back after dinner and take another look. See anything? Of course you do!

Now let’s start something!

Uncle Mortimer

Sykesville Herald Thursday November 19, 1942

Mrs. E. M. Mellor, Sr. Dies, Rites Today

Mrs. E. M. Mellor, Sr., a well loved former resident of Sykesville, passed away early Wednesday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Robert Graham of Ashburton, after a week’s illness. She would have celebrated her 92nd birthday on the 13th day of next April. She was the daughter of The Reverend Nicholas Lemen and his wife Catherine Ann (Minor)Lemen.

Before marriage, Miss Mary Williamson Lemen of Virginia, came to Sykesville as a young girl to work as a telegraph operator. She was married to Edwin M. Mellor Sr., a prominent Sykesville merchant who died June 13, 1916. They were married January 13, 1876. They had four sons, Brooks, Harry, Edwin Jr., Frank, and a daughter Dorothy (Mrs. Robert Graham). Two of the sons, Harry and Edwin preceded their mother in death.

A devout member of St. Paul’s Methodist church, Mrs. Mellor was actively identified with every worthwhile movement of the community, and was greatly loved and respected by a large group of friends.

Since the death of her husband twenty six years ago, Mrs. Mellor passed considerable time at the homes of her children. Of late years she was deprived of her eyesight, an affliction she bore with Christian fortitude. Always cheerful, she spent her time reading by means of the Braille System, crocheting or visiting with her friends. During the summer months she would return to Sykesville with her son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Mellor of Florida, to enjoy a stay at the old home, “The Rugby”, Mellor Avenue, Sykesville.

Besides her children, she leaves a number of grandchildren.

Funeral Services were held this (Thursday) afternoon at 3 o’clock from her daughter’s home in Ashburton. Internment took place in the family lot at Springfield Cemetery, Sykesville, MD. The Weer Home had charge of the arrangements.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: