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Matthew T. Mellon ’22

Published in Feb. 10, 1993, issue

THE CLASS is saddened to report that Matthew T. Mellon died on June 24, 1992, in Miami. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Mellon and the brother of Richard K. '22. Matthew was born in 1897 and served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy during WWI, before entering Princeton. He was a very active member of Triangle Club and in his senior year wrote the score and ballet music for the successful "Espanola" show. Classmates and friends at Princeton knew him as "Matt" and "Honeydew." He was also a member of Whig Hall and Cannon Club. In 1982 Matt provided substantial funding to establish the Matthew T Mellon Library, located in the Gordon Wu Hall at Butter College.

After receiving an M.A. in philosophy from Harvard, he earned a doctorate from the Univ. of Freiburg, in Germany, where he taught American Studies from 1928 to 1939. In the early 1930s, he authored a book entitled EARLY AMERICAN VIEWS ON NEGRO SLAVERY, which is now a leading textbook for African American studies courses. He married Gertrude Altegoer in 1931. They were divorced, and he married Jane Bartrum. He is survived by his widow, his son James R. 11, seven grandchildren, and six greatgrandchildren.

The Class of 1922

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4 Remembrances posted for Matthew T. Mellon

Dr. Hartmut Brie Says:

2009-11-05 17:03:25

My family used to be in contact with Matthew T. Mellon, my grandfather having been the head of Freiburg University and then dean of the English faculty. The family was in correspondence with Matthew rather frequently. Could you please send me the address of James R. Mellon? Regards. Dr. Hartmut Brie

Dietrich Gurlitt Says:

2009-12-04 11:46:14

He was my teacher in 1938 he donored twice 1928 and 1948 the Pretorius Organon University Freiburg, he invited my father and myself into his residence "Drei Tannen." He promoted my job as geologist with Gulf Oil 1958. IŽll never forget him.

Matthew T. Mellon II Says:

2010-06-15 13:09:48

Hi, Hartmut. Please feel free to write to James Mellon at and I will forward to him. My grandfather Matthew was a kind man and nurturing soul. Thank you for your very kind words, Matthew

Wolfgang Hochbruck Says:

2011-04-28 13:06:39

Matthew T. Mellon was one of the most fascinating figures who ever taught at the English department in Freiburg, and one of the great benefactors of the university. He donated an organ to the university after a fire in 1934, and was made an honorary senator. His presence also probably protected several professors after the Nazi takeover in 1933. After World War II, he sponsored a replacement for the organ, which had been destroyed in a 1944 air raid. The new organ is still there.
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