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W. D. Mount (1914-18)

Mr. William D. Mount, general manager of the Mathieson Alkali Works, at Saltville, Virginia, was born in July, 1867, in Tompkins County, New York. In early life he spent four years on the farm and two years carpentering with his father. He became a student of Cornell University in 1886, and four years later was graduated from Cornell with the degree of Mechanical Engineer. For the next four years he was a teacher in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island—three years as instructor in physics and one year as associate professor of mechanical engineering. During the summer vacations at Cornell and Brown Universities he was actively engaged in engineering work.

In 1894 Mr. Mount accepted a position as electrical engineer with the Mathieson Alkali Works, at Saltville, and has been in the service of this company ever since. During these twenty years he has been promoted from time to time, and is now the general manager and director of the works.

The company with which Mr. Mount is connected was chartered in 1893. Some general idea of this immense plant may be gained from the following facts: the company manufactures soda, soda ash, caustic soda and bicarbonate of soda. The annual output of the works is something like 80,000 tons, most of which is consumed in the United States. As many as 1,000 tons of bicarbonate of soda were shipped during the month of June, 1913, and also other chemicals in proportion. About 650 men are employed in the works. For manufacturing purposes very large quantities of limestone are needed. This stone is quarried by the company within three miles of the plant, and it is estimated that not less than 500 tons of limestone are consumed daily. This great industrial plant is said to be the second largest freight producer on the Norfolk & Western Railroad.

The position of general manager and director of a large industry such as the Mathieson Alkali Works is a very responsible one, and calls for a man of general and scientific knowledge, force and energy, and fine executive ability. Such a man has been found in Mr. W. D. Mount.

From the Bulletin of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute -- The State Agricultural and Mechanical College, Opening Number, Vol. 7, No. 4, October 1914, pp. 50-51.