My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

ADAM J. MOUNTZ, one of the representative citizens of Carlisle, comes of an old and honored family of Cumberland county. His grandfather, Adam Mountz, was born in York county, Pa., in Peach Bottom, came to Cumberland county when a young man and settled in Lower Frankford township, near Possum Hill school-house. There he purchased a small farm of some sixty-five or sixty-seven acres, now known as the Yarrett farm, and here he made his home until his death, which occurred when he was eighty-one years of age. He was a very public-spirited man and took a deep interest in all things designed for the betterment of the community in general. By all he was regarded as a substantial citizen and kind-hearted friend. In politics he was a Republican, as were all of his sons except the one bearing his own name. In religious belief he and his family were Lutherans. His children were Daniel, Jacob, Michael, Adam, Simon, Catherine and Lizzie, of whom Catherine married a Mr. Walker and Lizzie married a Mr. Bear.

Jacob Mountz, father of Adam J., was born and reared in Frankford township, where he also married, and he followed distilling during his business life in his native township. Moving to Carlisle, he was engaged in trucking for a time, and then commenced railroad work, running individual cars between Carlisle, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Still later he became a train dispatcher for the Cumberland Valley road, with office at Harrisburg, and thus continued for many years. This was a very important office and required not only native ability, but careful thought and training. On account of his superior fitness for the position, although he had long wished to be relieved on account of his age, his resignation was not accepted until after the Civil war. He then retired to Mechanicsburg, where he died about 1887, aged seventy-six years. He was one of those honorable, upright men who have made this country what it is, and set an excellent example for the coming generation. Mr. Mountz was a member of and elder in the Church of God, and after his death it was found he had left sufficient money to pay off the indebtedness of the church of his faith in Mechanicsburg. It was one of his principles never to go into debt for anything.

Jacob Mountz married Elizabeth Shoff, who died about 1893, aged eighty-three years. They had children as follows: Mary Ann married Samuel Chamberlain; John went west to Illinois where he died (he served during the Civil war); Adam J. is mentioned below; Jacob, a coachmaker of Williamsville, Sangamon Co., Ill., served in the 7th P. V. Reserve Corps, as musician, for eighteen months; William A. is a gold miner in the Black Hills, where he owns mining property, although he is now residing temporarily in Brooklyn, N. Y. (he also served in the volunteer army during the Civil war); Theophilus was killed at the battle of Bainbridge, East Tennessee, while serving in the 9th Pa. Cav., as first lieutenant; Simon is a printer of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Elizabeth is deceased; Catherine died young.

Adam J. Mountz was born Jan. 23, 1833, and was reared in this county. He received a rather limited education, and when a youth learned the trade of pumpmaking, which he has followed for about forty-five years, meeting with marked success. He too has a war record worthy of special mention, he having enlisted in Battery A, 1st Pa. Artillery Reserves, and was honorably discharged by general orders from the war department, Nov. 23, 1862. In December of that same year he re-enlisted in Company I, 3d Heavy Artillery, of which he was made principal musician at once, continuing as such until March 5, 1865. He was twice wounded, at the battle of Gaines Mills, in the left leg and right foot.

After his war service was ended he resumed his pumpmaking business. In 1899 he was elected county commissioner of Cumberland county, and held that office for three years. He was elected on the Democratic ticket, being a stanch supporter of that party. Mr. Mountz has always been one of the active supporters of all measures of public interest and is an influential politician. Having always taken a deep interest in musical matters, he has been identified with musical affairs throughout the county, and organized the Mechanicsburg Band. Fraternally he is a member of Post No. 415, G. A. R., Mechanicsburg, although he has resided in Carlisle since 1890.

On June 7, 1855, Mr. Mountz married Sarah Ellen Karns, daughter of John Karns, of Cumberland county. They have one child living, Cora Ellen, wife of George B. Nissley, of Philadelphia, and her children are Lulu, Helen, Wilbur, Margaret, Walter and Madeline. Mrs. Nissley was formerly married to a Mr. Shaffer, by whom she had one son, Charley, who is now employed at the Broad street station of the Pennsylvania railroad in Philadelphia. Mrs. Mountz is a consistent member of and active worker in the Church of God.

Mr. Mountz is justly numbered among the leading and representative men of Carlisle, where he has done so much toward the development of the city, and the enhancing of its material welfare. He is very well known, not only in the city but throughout a wide territory, and the friendship which is extended him is cordial and sincere. After a long and successful business career it is a pleasure to be able to look back upon years spent in honorable labor, all of which tended toward prosperity and an eventime of plenty, peace and happiness. Such a life as that lived by Mr. Mountz cannot help but prove beneficial in many ways, and perhaps more than all in the fact that he has never willingly wronged a man, or acquired property other than by perfectly legitimate methods.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.