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48 workers at JLG and many in county have same last name

November 17, 1996

By LAURA ERNDE

Staff Writer

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - JLG Industries isn't family owned, but one particular family has staked a definite claim in the local business.

There are 48 people with the last name of Mellott working at JLG, which makes aerial work platforms.

That's a lotta Mellotts.

Even with a workforce of nearly 2,000, the Mellotts are a force to be reckoned with.

Amazingly, most of the Mellotts working there are only distantly related.

Lex Mellott and Dana Mellott work together in the engineering department.

People ask them all the time if they're related.

The truth is, they don't know.

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There are so many Mellotts in Fulton County, most of the clan members don't know how they're connected.

"We really don't know, or we don't admit, to being related," says Lex, whose mother gave him the unusual name to set him apart from other Mellotts.

Lex Mellott, an engineer at JLG for 22 years, has two sons. The first was named Dallas because that was Lex's father's nickname. The second was named Robert, after his maternal grandfather.

The younger son is one of many Bob Mellotts.

But then, "he's 8," Lex said of his son. "He could care less."

Dana Mellott, 26, said she won't drop her maiden name when she gets married.

For her, the name harks back to a simpler time when nearly everyone was a farmer.

Today, Dana's father still butchers and Lex Mellott has taken up blacksmithing as a hobby.

"Sometimes we feel we were born in the wrong era," Dana Mellott said.

The name Mellott has been traced back to a Frenchman named John Mellott, who came to Fulton County in the 18th Century, Lex Mellott said.

Mellott had two or three sons who were very prolific, to say the least.

Today, there are seven John Mellotts and three Jack Mellotts listed in the phone book.

"If you did a family tree of the Mellotts in Fulton County, you'd run out of paper," Dana Mellott said.

Tom Mellott, 42, who has worked on the assembly line at JLG for 20 years, said there are two other Tom Mellotts living within 10 miles of him.

"People get confused," he said. "Sometimes I get their mail."

But at JLG, he's the only Tom Mellott.

The Mellotts at JLG have helped make the business a success, said spokesman Loy Garber.

Until recently, JLG didn't hire spouses of employees. But because of the company's rapid growth in the last five years, that rule was limited to people in the same department.

Sometimes, the whole company feels like one big family, he said.

When one employee, George Mellott, lost his wife in a car accident, people gave up their days off for him, Garber said.

That allowed him to stay home with his young son, who was also hurt in the crash.

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