James Ross Mellon and the Mellon School
James Ross Mellon (1846-1934) was a member of the wealthy and influential Mellon family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He came to Florida in 1883 and for over forty years spent his winters in Palatka at his residence on Emmett Street. Mellon and his wife Rachael Hughley Larimer were very involved in the community during their years here. Mellon donated the land for the Mellon School (Putnam High School) to the west of the Putnam County Court House and supported the education system in the community. The Larimer Memorial Library (now Larimer Arts Center) was built by Mellon and donated to Palatka in memory of his wife. Our presenter will be Carey E. Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell was born in Palatka and was raised in San Mateo. He graduated from Putnam High School in 1947 and entered Stetson University. He withdrew from school when the Korean War broke out and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving with the 19th Bomb Wing in the Pacific theater. Upon discharge from the military in 1955, he returned to Stetson to finish his degree. He met his future wife Libby while in college and they married in 1956. After college the Ferrells settled in Palatka where Carey worked in the family office supply business and Libby taught school. Several years later he was offered a position with the Putnam County School Board. In 1966 when the School Superintendent resigned, Carey was appointed by the governor to complete the unexpired term of the superintendent. He subsequently was elected to two terms as superintendent. In 1971 he resigned his position as superintendent to accept a position with the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee, eventually heading the Department of Public Schools with responsibility for the statewide K-12 program.