J. Smith Mounce, one of the heavy real estate owners in Nez Perces County, has shown himself to be one of the substantial and capable men of the entire County and is respected and esteemed by all. His estate of nine hundred and sixty acres lies four miles southeast of Lewiston, and is well improved and handled to the best advantage to bring fine returns to its proprietor. The nucleus of this fine domain was a preemption that Mr. Mounce took in 1886. He now devotes the large tracts to wheat, barley and other crops and raises fine Jersey cattle, having also operated a dairy for many years. He has made a praiseworthy success of his endeavors in the line of the business world and is deserving of credit not only in this particular field but also for the manly way in which he has conducted himself, and the integrity he has shown, always having the courage of his convictions and not being afraid to show his principles.
Reverting to the details of his life, we note that Mr. Mounce was born in Linn County, Iowa, on April 22, 1854, being the son of Isaac and Priscilla Mounce, natives of Indiana and Ohio, respectively. The father was born on April 23, 1824, and was a stockman and farmer. His parents Smith and Elizabeth Mounce were early pioneers of Iowa. The mother of our subject was born on February 27, 1831, and died in April, 1899. J. Smith remained at home and received his education from the country schools; when he became of age took charge of the farm until he was twenty-five. Then he married and started for himself. Rented a farm for a time and in the fall of 1879, he came to Clark County. Washington, where he bought land and tilled it for two years or more, then sold it and worked in a shingle mill and then came to Nez Perces County. It was March, 1882, that he landed here and with his brother, Eben, he farmed for three years. He took up preemption in the second year, which is a part of the home place now, as mentioned above. It was in 1886 that he removed to this place to remain and he has been here ever since.
On March 20, 1879, Mr. Mounce married Miss Mollie, daughter of George O., born on January 28, 1819, and Harriet (Wyckoff) Smith, born February 1, 1825, natives of Kentucky and Illinois, respectively. Mrs. Mounce was born in Benton 1861 and has the following brothers and sisters, Samuel S. and Hugh M., Nancy, Ellen Harris, Lida Ward. Mr. Mounce has brothers and sisters as follows: Isora, Eben, Ida, Clara Goodnight, Lafayette, Harriett Ruddell, Edith Ruddell, Erne May and Eva Gay, twins, who died in infancy. To Mr. and Mrs. Mounce there have been born the following children: Guy C, Beatrice, Carl R., and Virna Mildred. The two older children are attending the state normal at Lewiston. Mr. Mounce is a member of the M. W. A. and the R. N. of A. Mrs. Mounce also belongs to the last named order. He and his estimable wife are members of the Christian Church and they are devout supporters of the faith. In 1900 and 1902 Mr. Mounce was nominated for County commissioner by the Prohibition party. He is an advocate of good schools and always takes an active part in the advancement of the interests of his County. Mr. Mounce had three uncles on his mother’s side and two on his father’s who fought for the Union in the Civil war.
Mrs. Mounce’s mother, who died on May 1, 1895, and her father, whose death occurred in 1897, came to Clark County, Washington, in 1879.
Back to: Nez Perce Biographies
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903