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FredQuest Genealogy

Mountain Family



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Postcard Images

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There are no known images of Joseph & Lucinda Mountain or their daughters Mary & Phebe

Francis Mountain Photo

Francis Mountain

(courtesy of Kathy MacGregor)

Sarah & Francis Mountain Photo

Francis & Sarah O'Friel Mountain

(courtesy of Kathy MacGregor)

Francis Mountain Signature (1915)

Francis Mountain Signature (1915)

Sarah C Mountain Signature (1921)

Sarah Mountain Signature (1921)

Francis & Sarah O'Friel Mountain Family Home (1892)

Francis & Sarah O'Friel Mountain

Family Home (Heidelberg PA, 1892)

(courtesy of Kathy MacGregor

& Joyce Lynch)

(click on photo to enlarge)


Joseph (ca 1798-   ) and Lucinda Mountain (ca 1798-   ) immigrated to the United States from Baden (Germany) with their young daughter Phebe (ca 1833-   ) in 1834.[1]  When they arrived in Philadelphia their family had already grown by one with the birth at sea of their son Francis (ca 1834-   ).[2]   Nothing is known of about "Mountain" family's life in Germany or their reason for emigrating.  Even the surname likely changed upon arrival (e.g., ...berg).  The first documented sighting of the family was their enumeration in the 1850 U.S. Census.  Their family had grown to include their daughter Mary and they were living Carroll Township, Cambria Co., Pennsylvania.  Joseph Mountain was working as a laborer and the Mountains are believed to have migrated back and forth between Cambria County and bordering Blair County, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately 1850 is also the last sighting of Joseph, Lucinda or Mary Mountain.

Phebe (Phoebe) Mountain married Samuel Killinger and settled in Allegheny Township in Blair Co., Pennsylvania where their family grew to include five children:  Joseph "Franklin" (ca 1860-   ), Catherine Idona (1861-1931), William H. (1864-   ), Samuel David (ca 1867-   ) and George W. Killinger (1869-   ).  Samuel (Senior) worked as a day laborer and teamster up through 1870.  It appears Samuel's life was cut short sometime after 1870.  His widow and children moved to Portage Township in Cambria Co., Pennsylvania.  In 1880, all four of Phebe's sons were working as coal miners and her daughter Catherine had recently married another coal miner, Patrick Conville (1854-1931).   Phebe Mountain Killinger is believed to have passed away in the 1890s.

Francis Mountain was a farmer in Blair Co., Pennsylvania when he joined the Union Army in Sept 1861.  He enlisted in Company D in the 113th Pennsylvania Volunteers (became 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry).[3]   The unit was one of several attached to the Military District of Washington and charged with its defense.  It may have been during this period that Francis shook President Lincoln's hand.[4]  At Knoxville, Frederick Co., Maryland (along the Potomac River) in October 1862, Francis was transferred to D Troop in the 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment.  When Francis joined the regiment, they were in constant contact with the enemy in Northern Virginia.  The regiment participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Gettysburg, the march on Richmond, and the Battle of Appomattox Station.  The following is a more comprehensive list of actions and it includes several other major Civil War Battles:[5]

1862 (Nov-Dec):  Philamont, Uniontown, Upperville, Barber’s Cross Roads, Malvern Hill, Falls Church, Sugar Loaf Mountain, AmosviIle, Sulphur Springs, Fredericksburg, Petersville.

1863: Beverly Ford, Benton’s Mill, Middleburg, Upperville, Fairfield (Gettysburg), Williamsport, Funkstown, Boonesboro, Brandy Station, Culpeper, Robertson’s Tavern, Mine Run.

1864: Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, Spottsylvania, Yellow Tavern, Meadow Bridge, Salem Church, Old Church, Trevillian Station, Dabney’s Mill, Deep Bottom, Berryville, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek..

1865: Five Forks, Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks, Sailor’s Creek, Appomattox Station, Clover Hill

The danger didn't stop with the end of the Civil War.  The 6th U.S. Calvary was reassigned to the Department of Texas where they were charged with keeping the peace.

"During the period from 1865 to 1871, while the regiment was stationed in Texas, the duties falling to the officers and men were of the most dangerous and varied kinds. After the close of the Rebellion the country was overrun with desperadoes and outlaws who were even worse than the hostile Comanches, and the officers and men were continually called upon to guard the courts of justice, to assist revenue officers, aid in executing convicted criminals, supervise elections, pursue outlaws and murderers, and in general to institute lawful proceedings where anarchy reigned. Many soldiers were assassinated for their devotion to law and order, and nothing but incessant vigilance and unflinching courage, prevented the guerrilla community from running the border counties of the State. The records for this period are very unsatisfactory, and important actions, in the light of to-day, are entirely omitted and remain only as traditions from the generation of war service men, who have almost entirely passed away from the regiment."

Francis Mountain was promoted to corporal and then Sergeant before his discharge in Jacksboro, Texas on 9 Feb 1867. 

Francis settled back in Washington Township, Cambria Co., Pennsylvania where he worked as a coal miner and married Mary Burger in 1869.[6]  However, his marriage was only to last four years when he was left a widow with two children:  Mary A. (1870-   ) and Francis Mountain (1873-   )[6]   In 1873, Francis married Sarah Catherine O'Friel (1845-1938) and moved to Collier Township in Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania and then to the neighboring town of Heidelberg, Pennsylvania where Francis worked as a coal miner.  During their fifty-plus year marriage the family grew to include eleven more children:  Charles L. (1874-   ); Michael H. (1876-bef 1880); Annie A. (1877-1893), Sarah K. (1880-   ), Joseph H. (1881-   ), Rachael A. (1884-bef 1900), Frances (1886-1902), Edward S. (1888-1902), James Elmer (1890-1980), John Vincent (1890-   ) and Blanche E. Mountain (1892-   ).

Francis & Sarah O'Friel Mountain Family

From left to right:  Annie, Frances, Molly holding Bea,

Sadie, Kate holding Jack, Frank holding Jim, Edward, Charlie and Joe

(Heidelberg PA, 1892)

(courtesy of Kathy MacGregor & Joyce Lynch)


[1] Francis Mountain's parents birthplace was listed as "Baden" on his 1880 U.S. Census enumeration.

[2]  Francis'  year and place of birth has differed over various sources (e.g., military pension, censuses).  Francis' birth year has been reported as either ca 1834 or 1841 and the birth place as Blair Co. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia or "At Sea."   The 1900 Census lists his birth as "at sea" in 1834 with the same year for his immigration.  The reported birth year is consistent with the 1850 U.S. Census but not his Civil War Pension File nor his later census enumerations (except 1900 Census).  Family information (residence, spouse & children) confirm the sources are for the same Francis Mountain.  Francis is believed to have been born "at sea" in 1834 shortly before arriving at Philadelphia and moving to Blair & Cambria Co., Pennsylvania.

[3] Francis Mountain's Civil War Pension file also references his name as showing on the 110th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry's roster.  The 110th was charged with guarding the bridges of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Cumberland, Maryland and along the South Branch of the Potomac before they joined the Military District in the summer of 1862.

[4] Family lore confirms Francis Mountain served in the Cavalry during the Civil War ("took care of horses") and that he  shook "Mr. Lincoln's" hand.  Personal knowledge of  Joyce Lynch & Kathy MacGregor (great granddaughters of Francis Mountain).

[5]  U.S. Regulars Archive Website.  Their excerpts were taken from The Sixth Regiment of Cavalry by Captain William H. Carter, 6th U.S. Cavalry.  William Harding Carter (1851-1925 ) was later promoted to Major General.

[6]  Francis reported two different maiden names for his first wife Mary.  In an 1901 affidavit she was listed as Mary Bopp but in an affidavit fourteen years later she was listed as Mary Burger (same marriage date).  Mary had two known children: Mary A. and Francis.  Francis is believed to have passed way before 1880 and may or may not have been alive after his mother's death.  Its possible both died during child birth.

Principal References

  • 1850-1930 U.S. Censuses
  • Francis Mountain (6th U.S. Cavalry D Troop), Application No: 827230, Civil War Pension Application File, (Washington DC: National Archives).
  • Family Files of Kathy MacGregor & Joyce Lynch (great granddaughters of Francis & Sarah Catherine O'Friel Mountain).
  • The Civil War Archive Website (6th US Cavalry History)  [last checked Jul 2011]
  • Wikipedia (6th US Cavalry Regiment)  [last checked Jul 2011]