WILLIAM L. MOUNTS, a member of the Macoupin County Bar, and proprietor of the Carlinville Gas Works and the Electric Plant of this city, in C. H. C. Anderson's Bank and who has charge of his wife's interests, is a fine representative of the prosperous young business men of this section of the State whose energy and ability have put new life into its varied interests, and who are in various ways contributing to the material prosperity of city and county. He is a native of Carlinville, born August 31, 1862. He is descended from an old French family that came to America in early Colonial times, and numbers among his ancestors pioneers of the historical Northwestern Territory and neighboring States.
The father of our subject, Leander W. Mounts, was born in Warren County, Ohio, in November, 1829. He in turn was a son of Watson Mounts, who was a native of the same county, born about 1799. The father of the latter, William Mounts, great-grandfather of our subject, was born in Richmond, Va., and was a son of Providence Mounts, who was a native of the city of Nancy, France. He was there reared, and came from there to this country on account of religious persecution in early Colonial times. He was accompanied by his brother Joseph and sister Sini. The latter married James Freeman, of Richmond, Va. Providence Mounts resided at Richmond for a time, and then removed to that part of Virginia now included in Ohio County, W. Va., of which he was a pioneer. He with others laid out the village of West Liberty, and he was prominent in the councils of his fellow pioneers. He finally went from that locality to Pennsylvania, and was one of the first to settle near Uniontown, that State, he being the first to cross the mountains after Braddock's defeat. He died in the home that he founded there.
William Mounts, the great-grandfather of our subject, went from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, and after a short residence in the wilds of that State, he crossed the Ohio into the Northwestern Territory and located in the primeval forests in that part of Ohio now included in Warren County, whither but few had ventured before him. He hewed a farm from the wilderness, on which he resided until his life was rounded out in death. The grandfather of our subject was reared and spent his entire life in his native county, dying in May, 1875. He was a farmer by occupation. He married Nancy Lindsey, a native of Bourbon County, Ky., who was born in 1799 and died in August, 1878.
The father of our subject lived in his native county during his boyhood, and at the age of sixteen, learned the trade of a carpenter. After serving his apprenticeship he went to Mississippi and engaged in carpentering there for a time. He then returned northward and pursued his calling at Cincinnati and other places, and in 1854 located at Louisville, where he worked at his trade until 1856, when he came to Greene County, Ill., and was similarly engaged at Fayette one year. In 1857 he came to Carlinville, and was a carpenter here until 1871, when he entered the lumber business, which he conducted two years. Since that time he has lived retired. He was married at Louisville, Ky., to Elizabeth Phillips Davis, a native of Grayson County, Ky., and a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Davis. Their marriage has brought to them three children: Flora G., wife of Alexander Bell, who is represented elsewhere in this volume; our subject; and Walter S.
He of whom we write obtained his early education in the city schools of Carlinville, and subsequently entered Blackburn University, from which he was graduated in the Class of ‘81. After that eh taught school a part of each year, and devoted the rest of the time to the study of law in the office of Anderson & Bell. In 1885 he was well prepared to enter upon the practical work of his profession and was admitted to the bar. The same year he opened an office in his native city, and has been in active practice since, obtaining his full share of clientage.
Not only has our subject shown much ability as an attorney, but he has also displayed marked talent as a business man, as through his superior management the gas works, of which he is now proprietor, have become a paying institution, and the electric light plant, of which he is the owner, is in a flourishing condition. June 1, 1889, he took charge of the gas works, which then belonged to his father-in-law, and had been managed by a superintendent, and owing to neglect had depreciated in value and usefulness. In the same fall our subject came into possession of the works, which had already begun to show new signs of life under his vigorous regime. He had set to work in earnest to resuscitate the works and to build up the business with the result that in a few months he had practically driven the electric light company out of the field. He finally bought the electric plant, and now operates both with good profit, and the inhabitants of Carlinville rejoice in a well lighted city.
Mr. Mounts was wedded to Miss Effie M. Anderson, June 18, 1885. Mrs. Mounts is also a native of Carlinville, born June 18, 1865, to Crittenden H. C. And Mary J. (Stratton) Anderson. Mr. And Mrs. Mounts have a charming home that is the center of a genial hospitality, courteous host and gracious hostess vying with each other in extending a pleasant welcome to their friends, fo whom they have many, whenever they cross their threshold. Two children complete their household, Bruce H., and Marion E.
Our subject is well known in social circles as a member of Mt. Nebo Lodge, A.F. & A.M.; and of Orient Lodge, No. 95, K. Of P. He cast his first Presidential vote for Grover Cleveland in 1884, and has remained true to the Democratic party ever since. In the fall of 1886 Mr. Mounts was appointed to the important office of City Treasurer, served until the end of the term, and was then elected to the position of City Attorney for one year and in the spring of 1891 was elected Mayor. He carried the same earnestness and business-like methods into his management of the municipal finances that had characterized his care of his own private affairs, and left the office with a fine record as a civic official.