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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.

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IRA F. MOUNTZ, late president of the Carlisle Commercial College, of Carlisle, Pa., was a native of Cumberland county, having been born in Frankford township March 10, 1877, and he came from a long line of distinguished ancestors who lived in this county, his great-grandparents on both the paternal and maternal sides being among the early settlers of Cumberland county, and coming originally from Stockholm, Germany.

Prof. Mountz was the son of William H. and Sarah A. (Swigert) Mountz, and was of the sixth generation of Mountzes in this country, the first of the name here, (I) Adam Mountz, being the one who came from Stockholm, Germany. From him the line is traced through (II) Lazarus, (III) Martin, (IV) John, and (V) William H. to the latter’s sons Aaron W., Ira F., Harvey E. and John C. The remains of (II) Lazarus Mountz, (III) Martin Mountz and (IV) John Mountz are buried in the Stone Church cemetery in Frankford township, Cumberland county.

William H. Mountz, father of Ira F., and son of John and Susannah (Knisely) Mountz, died Dec. 31, 1900, aged fifty-eight years. His widow survives and lives in Frankford township. Her parents were Filex and Margret (Minnich) Swigert. William H. Mountz was a farmer. He was a very prominent member of the Zullinger Society, in which religious denomination he was a minister, although he did not occupy any regular charge. His remains were tenderly interred in Opossum Hill cemetery. He and his wife had a family of nine children, two of whom died in infancy, and one, Ivy, died in early childhood. The others were: Annie married W. S. Shulenberger, of Stockton, Ill.; Clara J. married Samuel L. Blosser, of Middlesex township, this county; Aaron W., a carpenter and fencemaker, resides on the old homestead in Frankford township; Ira F. is mentioned below; Harvey E. is an engineer at the Central Iron Works, of Harrisburg; John C., who lives at home with his mother and brother Aaron, is learning carpentering and fencemaking with his brother Aaron W.

Prof. Ira F. Mountz received his early education in the district schools, which he attended until 1894, and a select school at Bloserville. In 1895 he went to a select school at Churchtown, Cumberland county, and in 1896 attended the Zanerian Art School in Columbus, Ohio, from which he received a diploma in 1902. In the fall of 1896 he entered the Carlisle Commercial College as a student, attending night sessions, during the day teaching a district school in Frankford township. In the spring of 1897 he attended the day sessions, and the same year was engaged as one of the teachers of the college, so proficient had he become. He was serving as president at the time of his death which occurred May 11, 1904, and his remains were tenderly laid to rest in Opossum Hill cemetery, beside those of his father.

During the summer of 1903 Prof. Mountz took a pleasure trip to Porto Rico, and during his life he traveled considerably, it being his theory that no man could be really well educated without the polish given by contact with different peoples and lands. He attended the Reformed Church. Although a young man in years and in his profession, Prof. Mountz was one of the best qualified to be found in the State. Having a natural tendency toward his work, he seized upon every opportunity to perfect himself in his line, and endeavored to impart to his pupils not only the mere principles of the several branches he taught but their practical application to every day business life. For this reason, and many others, the pupils of Prof. Mountz are in active demand, and the fact that an applicant for a position is a graduate of the college of which he was the president, is sufficient recommendation of efficiency and thoroughness in every particular.

The Carlisle Commercial College, conveniently located at No. 20 1/2 North Hanover street, Carlisle, Pa., was established May 4, 1896, by J. W. Shenberger, of Harrisburg, and conducted by him for eighteen months, when he was succeeded by H. W. Shaeffer and G. S. McClun. About a year later Mr. McClun was succeeded by Mr. Shaeffer, who then assumed full control. Six months later, in the spring of 1899, the school was purchased by Ira F. Mountz, O. K. Weibly and I. L. Calvert. In March, 1899, Mr. Mountz assumed the interests of Mr. Calvert, and in September of the same year he became the sole proprietor and principal, remaining as such until his death, May 11, 1904. Under his able management the school took a foremost place among commercial institutions, was well equipped with every modern device, including typewriters, while the corps of teachers was an exceptionally fine one, including the following: O. K. Weibly, principal of bookkeeping; Lucille Bernhiser, instructor of stenography; Viola Zeigler, principal of typewriting. The attendance at the time of Prof. Mountz’s death numbered 200 pupils. A full commercial course was included in the curriculum. The Carlisle Commercial College was the only one of its kind in the county, and the management guaranteed a position to all graduates. The school was open all the year, for both day and evening sessions, so that all might benefit from the advantages it offered.

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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

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