Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mungo Montgomery Dick (1821-1895)

Portrait from the Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County.

   A descendant of a Scottish family with its roots in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Mungo Montgomery Dick was a veteran of the Civil War, being a major in the 105th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. A farmer before his military service, Dick would later serve Westmoreland as a county commissioner for three years and in 1884 was elected as his county's representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, where he served one term.
  Born in the township of Sewickley, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1821, Mungo M. Dick inherited his unusual first name courtesy of his father, the Rev. Mungo Dick (1773-1839), a pastor of the Associated Reform Church of Sewickley, Pennsylvania from 1806-36. Born in Moray Firth, Scotland, Rev. Mungo Dick emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1806 and married in 1815 to Eliza Murray, with whom he would have eight children, our subject being the fourth born. Mungo M. Dick received his education in the "subscription schools", as well as a log house located on his father's property, and as a youth engaged in both farming and stock raising.
  Beginning in the early 1840s Dick entered into military service, becoming a captain in a local company of volunteers referred to as the "Sewickley artillery." He was affiliated with this unit until 1859, and in June of that year was named a "brigadier general of the first brigade of the seventeenth division" of the Pennsylvania militia, comprising the counties of Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette, and Greene. At the dawn of the Civil War in 1861, Dick gathered together a company of men later known as the "Sewickley Infantry", which later joined the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers. During his service, Dick and his company would see action during the Peninsula Campaign, as well as the "stubborn battles of Fair Oaks and the Seven Days Fight." 
                                                                    Major. M.M. Dick in his military uniform.

   Mungo M. Dick married his first wife Mary Ann Guffy (1846-1870) sometime in the 1860s and later had two sons, Jeremiah (died aged four in 1872) and Joseph (born January 1870 and died in July 1876). Mary Guffy Dick died shortly after Joseph's birth on January 12, 1870. He would wed Elizabeth Gaut (1847-1876) shortly after and would have one further son, Mungo M. Dick Jr., who died in infancy in November 1876. Elizabeth Gaut Dick died shortly after her son's birth in September 1876, leaving her husband a widower for the second time. 
   In addition to his military service both within Pennsylvania and in the Civil War, Mungo M. Dick operated a "banking house" in Sewickley, and was described in the Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County as having "acquired a handsome competency" through this business. Dick served Sewickley as its school director for many years and in 1876 was elected as one of three county commissioners for Westmoreland County, serving in this capacity until 1879. In November 1884 Dick was elected to the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives as a Republican, garnering 8,840 votes on election day. Taking his seat at the start of the 1885 session, he would serve on the house committees on Agriculture, Elections, the Military, and the Geological Survey.
  Little is known of Dick's life following his service in the state assembly. He would marry for a third time in the mid-1880s to Emma Pentzer Goehring, later having one son, Mungo (born August 1889). After many years of prominence in the Westmoreland County vicinity, Mungo Montgomery Dick died at age 73 on June 5, 1895. He was survived by his wife Emma and was later buried at the Sewickley Union Cemetery in West Newton, Pennsylvania. 
   In an aside note, Dick's unusual first name Mungo (which was shared by his father) has its origins in ancient Scotland. Saint Mungo (also referred to as St. Kentigern) is noted as being the patron saint and founder of Glasgow, Scotland.

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