Mr. Fuller was born on February 11, 1833 in Augusta, Maine, United States. He was the second son born to Frederick Augustus Fuller and Catherine Martin Weston Fuller. The marriage of his parents did not, however, survive long after Fuller’s birth. Three months after his birth, his mother filed suit for divorce from his father, alleging that he had committed adultery with certain unidentified persons beginning two months after their wedding date and continuing thereafter. The subsequent decree of divorce severed Mr. Fuller’s relationship with his father. His mother returned home to live with her parents, taking her two sons with her.
Thereafter, Melville Fuller grew up in the home of his maternal grandfather, Nathan Weston, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Maine. When his mother remarried a little more than a decade after her divorce from his father, Melville Fuller continued to live with his grandparents.