Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


William D. Mellies

WILLIAM D. MELLIES. Among the men who have resided in Ness County for more than a quarter of a century, and who have through their well directed and useful labors been prime factors in its development, one who is well known is William D. Mellies, who is engaged as a farmer and stockman of Franklin Township. Mr. Mellies started his independent career at the bottom of the ladder and has won to prominence and prosperity solely through his own efforts.

William D. Mellies was born September 17, 1873, in Gasconade County, Missouri, and has been a resident of Ness County since he came here as a youth of sixteen years with his father, Fred Mellies. The latter was born in Germany, one of four children of his parents, who brought him to the United States when he was a child and located in Gasconade County, Missouri, where they passed the remaining years of their lives in agricultural pursuits. The children were as follows: Doctor Ernst, who spent his life in Gasconade County, Missouri, as a physician; Fred; Mrs. Bunta, who passed her final years in Barton County, Kansas, and Mrs. Lydia Lincke, now a resident of Gasconade County, Missouri. Throughout his career Fred Mellies was purely a farmer. He was reared to man's estate in Missouri, where he followed farming, and when he came to Ness County, Kansas, in 1889, purchased the homestead of Robert McFarland on the south fork of Walnut Creek where he devoted himself to farming and stockraising. He was known as a grain raiser and a successful man in his line, and expanded his real estate holdings until about a section of land was owned by him at the time of his death, about one-third of which was under cultivation, all adjoining. Mr. Mellies died at the age of fifty-four years. He was a Lutheran in religion and his public interest was confined to voting the republican ticket. In business circles Mr. Mellies borne an excellent reputation for straightforwardness and integrity, qualities which he possessed in large degree. He was a progressive and enterprising citizen, and while he never aspired to public office he wielded some influence in his community and bore his share in the responsibilities of advancing citizenship. Mr. Mellies married Miss Henrietta Pohlman, a daughter of Julius Pohlman, who came from the same part of Germany in which Mr. Mellies was born. Mrs. Mellies died in 1900, the mother of the following children: Minnie, who is the wife of Louis Von Tungeln, of Clay County, Kansas: Henry, who also lives in that county; Fred, who is likewise a farmer and stockman there; Lizzie, who is the wife of Lee Reise, of Jefferson, Oklahoma; Herman, who is a farmer in Ness County, Kansas; William D., of this notice; Charles of Wichita, Kansas; John, who is a farmer of Wellington, Kansas; and Mary, who is the wife of James Burdette, of Ness County.

William D. Mellies received his education in the country in Gasconade County, Missouri, and in Clay and Ness counties, being sixteen years of age when he came to the latter. He remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-one years of age, at which time he entered upon his professional career, at that time going to Stafford County, Kansas, where he purchased a farm. Mr. Mellies remained on that property for three years and then disposed of his interests in that community and returned to Ness County, here buying the old homestead, which property has continued to be his home. Mr. Mellies has, per-perhaps,[sic] met with his best success in the line of wheat-growing, for, while he has not harvested a crop every year, he has in the main made it a very profitable enterprise and has counted upon it for his chief reliance. His best wheat yield was in 1914, in which year he harvested twenty-nine bushels per acre. The raising of Percheron horses has formed his chief interest in the stock business, and in this direction he has been able to make a nice profit likewise. His farm and ranch comprise some 880 acres, all adjoining, of which 375 acres are being cultivated. Mr. Mellies is one of the most progressive and enterprising among the agriculturists of his locality, and his property is one which has been improved with the latest equipments and is being cultivated under the most modern methods. In 1916 he built himself a modern home, which in every respect compares favorably with the residences of the big cities, even to electric lighting, it being perhaps the only house in Ness County's rural districts that is so equipped. It contains eleven rooms and its building meant an outlay of $4,000. Mr. Mellies also erected his commodious barn and up-to-date granary, which made a total improvement expense of about $7,000. Politically Mr. Mellies is a republican, but the only accosions[sic] when he enters public life are when he is working for "the other fellow."

Mr. Mellies remained single and "batched it" until he was past forty-one years of age, when, in Ness County, May 9, 1915, he was united in marriage with Renia Pettyjohn a daughter of William O. and Jennie (Whitmore) Sheaffer. Mr. Sheaffer, who was familiarly known as "Bine," was born in York County, Pennsylvania, in 1847. He became a Union soldier in a Pennsylvania volunteer infantry regiment during the Civil war, at its close returned to civil life and became a farmer, and in 1878 came to Kansas, where he homesteaded a property in Franklin Township, Ness County, and resided here until his death, which occurred in 1888. His widow married George Busick, of Ness City. To Mr. and Mrs. Sheaffer there were born four children, nameIy: Vernon O. who is a resident of Ness City; Renia P., who is now Mrs. Mellies; Jason C., of Ness City; and Elmer R., who also resides at the county seat. Mrs. Mellies' children by her first marriage are William and Jennie. Mr. and Mrs. Mellies are the parents of two children: Charles William, who was born on the homestead farm in Franklin Township September 25, 1916, and Beulah Beth, born May 31, 1918.


Pages 2465-2466.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 5 - Table of Contents

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