Summary Information
Title: Thomas Mellon and William B. Negley Day Book
Collection Number: DAR.1968.02
Creator: Mellon, Thomas, 1813-1908
Creator: Negley, William B., 1828-1894

Collection Dates: 1853-1860
Extent: 0.21 linear feet (1 box)

Language: English

Thomas Mellon, founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch of the Mellon family, began his professional career as a lawyer. In 1853, he established a firm with his nephew, William B. Negley. This collection consists of a day book containing names of clients and records of payment from the seven-year partnership. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

November 2007

Finding aid prepared by Matt Strauss.
Revision Description:
April 2012:
Added links within finding aid to access content selected for digitization.


Thomas Mellon, founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch of the Mellon family, was a noted nineteenth century lawyer, judge, banker, and entrepreneur. As a young child, Mellon emigrated from Ireland with his parents, settling on a farm in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Western University of Pennsylvania (later known as the University of Pittsburgh), Mellon obtained a position as clerk for the Allegheny County prothonotary. In 1839, he opened his own legal practice, working from an office near Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. In 1843 Mellon married Sarah Jane Negley.

Mellon worked with a number of partners over the years; the last was his nephew by marriage, William B. Negley. The seven-year partnership ended when Mellon was elected assistant Judge of the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County in 1859. He would serve in the position for the next ten years, before founding Mellon Bank with his sons, Andrew and Robert. Thomas Mellon died in 1908.

William B. Negley, born in 1828, studied law at Princeton University. After his partnership with Mellon ended, Negley practiced with his brother-in-law, D.D. Bruce. During the Civil War, he served as the draft commissioner for Allegheny County and chief aid to his uncle, General James S. Negley. William B. Negley died in 1894.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

The Thomas Mellon and William S. Negley Day Book contains records of the day-to-day financial activities of the legal practice from the seven-year partnership. The book includes names of clients and records of payment for various legal services. Several documents from outside sources, such as correspondence from clients and receipts from other businesses, have been glued into the book. The book contains the names of several notable Pittsburgh-area individuals, including Henry Marie Brackenridge and James S. Negley.

Subject Terms

  • Lawyers -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County

Personal Names
  • Mellon, Thomas, 1813-1908
  • Negley, William B., 1828-1894

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- History

  • Commercial correspondence
  • Daybooks
  • Receipts (Financial records)

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift to the Darlington Memorial Library in 1968.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Custodial History:

This collection was located in the Darlington Memorial Library in the University’s Cathedral of Learning until 2007 when it was moved to the ULS Archives Service Center for processing, storage, preservation and service. However, it remains in the custodianship of the ULS Special Collections Department.

Preferred Citation:

Thomas Mellon and William B. Negley Day Book, 1853-1860, DAR.1968.02, Darlington Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Matt Strauss in November 2007.


No copyright restrictions.


  • Boucher, John Newton, and John W. Jordan. A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People. New York: Lewis Pub. Co, 1908.
  • Mellon, Thomas, and Mary Louise Briscoe. Thomas Mellon and His Times. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994.

Collection Inventory

Box 1
Volume 1 Thomas Mellon and William B. Negley Day Book, 1775