The Leighton and Mount families lived in a variety of towns in south-central and south-western Michigan. Pearl Leighton attended school in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, and Albion College. In 1896, Pearl married John L. Mount, who had been educated in religious studies, and delivered sermons at a church in Springport, Michigan. Their daughter Helen was born in 1898, when John was the Superintendent of Orion High School in Orion, Michigan.
In 1900, John Mount began to travel as a "Royal Scrolls" salesman and field manager for Powers, Higley & Company (Valparaiso, Indiana), manufacturers and suppliers of "Educational Specialties." In this capacity, from 1900 to 1907, he traveled to Missouri, Idaho, Washington (state), California, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Texas, while his family remained in Michigan.