KELKER, F.
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KELKER, FREDERICK, son of Anthony Kelker and Mary Magdalena Meister, was born October 29, 1780. His early education was extremely limited, and consisted of a few mouths' attendance at the parochial school in .the churchyard of the Reformed church at Lebanon. In May, 1801, he entered the store of Oves & Moore, and in March, 1805 removed to Harrisburg, where, in partnership with his former employers, he established in that town the first exclusively hardware store. In 1811 he purchased the interest of his partners and became the sole owner. In 1823, his health failing, he relinquished business and disposed of it to two of the young men who had been in his employ. He continued, however, to reside in the house in which he first settled until his decease. Through all that period he manifested great interest in the welfare of his successors in business, and there was perhaps no year in which a portion of his capital was not to a greater or less extent used by them whenever they desired it. He was remarkable for punctuality and integrity. A close observer of human nature and a safe counselor, being often appealed to by his fellow-citizens, calm and modest in his demeanor, he was not to be swerved from his purposes when he felt that he was in the line of duty. His habits of industry and economy led to the acquisition of a competency, and the latter half especially of his long life was devoted in his own quiet and unobtrusive way to the amelioration of the condition of the poor, sick and friendless. In the vigor of manhood he filled many minor positions in the community in which he lived, always rejecting political preferment. For several terms he was a member and president of the borough council; was a director of the branch established by the Philadelphia Bank in Harrisburg, a director of the Harrisburg Bank, a director of the common schools when they were first established in Pennsylvania, and was ready at all times to co-operate with his fellow-citizens in all the benevolent enterprises of the day. In the church of which he was a member (the Reformed), he was prominent; presided at the meeting on November 17, 1820, to establish the first Sunday-school in connection with the church, and active in the measures adopted for erecting the church building yet standing. He died at Harrisburg on July 12, 1857, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. Mr. Kelker was twice married; first to Lydia Chamberlain, daughter of Charles Chamberlain, of Philadelphia; secondly to Catherine Fager, daughter of John and Sarah Fager, of Harrisburg.