Joshua Theodore Richard Mellette, who went by “Dick,” was born to Margaret Wylie and Arthur Calvin Mellette on 11 October 1874 in Muncie, Indiana, and moved with his family to the Dakota Territory when he was four years old. In the 1890s, Dick worked as a notary public and started a real estate business, A. C. Mellette & Co., with his father. Tragically, his brother Wylie died in 1894, and his father died in 1896. Dick continued selling real estate in Pittsburg, Kansas, where he lived with his mother and his older brother Anton. He founded Mellette Bros. Real Estate in 1903. In 1908, Dick started working as a traveling salesman for his brother Charlie’s business, the Pittsburg Wholesale Grocery Company. After Charlie left the business in 1918, Dick started various business schemes of his own, including stock raising and saw-milling. In 1922, he and his mother went on a driving tour of Illinois. In the latter half of the 1920s, Dick worked as a secretary for the Elks Club in Pittsburg, Kansas, where he died on 5 March 1929 of a severe illness brought on by nervous collapse. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Watertown, South Dakota.