KELKER, Frederick, son of Anthony and Mary Magdalene Kelker, was born in Lebanon, Pa., October 29, 1780; was baptized November 26, 1780, in the German Reformed church and confirmed and united with the same in 1799. He entered the store of Oves & Moore, at Lebanon, in 1801 for the purpose of learning the hardware business. After becoming a member of this firm, he removed to Harrisburg in 1805 and embarked in the first exclusively hardware business in this city, under the firm name of F. Kelker & Co, at No. 5, ow No. 9 South Front street. This partnership continued until 1811, when Mr Kelker became sole proprietor and conducted the business until 1823, when in July of that year he sold out to George Oglesby and Jacob Poole. Mr. Kelker died July 12, 1857. He was remarkable for punctuality and integrity. His habits for industry and economy led to the acquisition of a competency, and the latter half especially of his life was devoted to the amelioration of the condition of the poor, sick and friendless. He filled many minor positions in the community in which he lived, always rejecting political preferment. For several terms he was member and president of the borough council. He was a director of the branch established by the Philadelphia Bank, in Harrisburg, and a director of the Harrisburg Bank. When the public schools were first established in Pennsylvania, he became a director and was ready at all times to co-operate with his fellow-citizens in all of the benevolent enterprises of the day. Mr. Kelker was prominent in the Reformed church and presided a the meeting on November 17, 1820, to establish the first Sunday-school in connection with the church, and was also active in the measures adopted for erecting the church building on the corner of Third and Chestnut streets. His wife, Lydia Genberhing Chamberlin, born in Philadelphia, April 9, 1786, united with the German Reformed church of Harrisburg, April 22, 1809, and died may 2, 1812. Mr Kelker was married secondly to Catharie Fager, born in Harrisburg, October 24, 1798, daughter of John Fager; baptized December 2, 1798, in the Evangelical Lutheran Zion church, and first partook of communion of the Lordís Supper March 26, 1815. After her marriage she withdrew from the Lutheran and united with the Reformed church.
Historical Review of Dauphin County
Date of Transcription: 13 November 2000
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