LENKER, DANIEL Y., distiller, was born in Lower Mahanoy township, Northumberland county, Pa., October 17, 1841. He is a son of Nicholas and Catherine (Yeager) Lenker. Michael Lenker, great-grandfather of Daniel Y. Lenker, married Matilda Enterlein. John Lenker, grandfather of Daniel Y., married Maria Bobb. They had ten children: Lydia; Nicholas; Daniel; Adam; Mary, wife of Andrew Ditty; Catherine, wife of Jonas Bonawitz; John; Jacob; Elizabeth, wife of Josiah Negley, and Michael, a minister at Lykens. Nicholas Lenker, father of Daniel Y. Lenker, was born September 5, 1814, and died March 29, 1888. His wife, Catherine Yeager, was born April 16, 1817, daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth (Radel) Yeager; she died February 11, 1895. They had ten children: Sarah, deceased, wife of Daniel Keppenheffer; Isaac, married Kate Zimmerman; Mary, wife of Michael Metz; Daniel Y.; John Y., married Lydia Hidle, of Ohio; David Y., married Emma Kunzelman; William Y., married Susan Giebel; Elizabeth, wife of William Forney; Nicholas Y., married Lizzie Wise; and Catherine, wife of Charles Overholtzer.
Daniel Y. Lenker was four years of age when his parents removed to Mifflin township, Dauphin county. He attended the common schools of that township until he was thirteen, when they again removed to a place near Killinger P. O., in Upper Paxton township. There the children had the advantages of the winter district school. Daniel not only helped on the farm, but also spent much time in his father’s tailor shop, where he was a valuable assistant, saving his father many stitches, and gaining a thorough knowledge of the trade. He was employed in this way until he was eighteen, when he was permitted to supplement the instruction received in home schools by attendance for two terms at the academy at Freeburg, Snyder county, in the spring of 1860. Returning home, he was engaged in tailoring with his father until he entered the army.
In 1862, August 1, Mr. Lenker enlisted at Harrisburg. In company G, Sixty regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, under Captain Shers and Colonel Kieffer, and was moved with his regiment to the battlefield of Antietam, and thence to Fort Washington, where his term of enlistment expired, and he was mustered out. He reached home in September, 1862. After passing the winter at home, Mr. Lenker re-enlisted in May, 1863, and was made an orderly at Camp Curtin on the staff of the provost marshal, which position he held until June, 1863, when he was ordered with the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania militia to Gettysburg. He was detailed with others to serve as spy, to locate the position of the enemy’s forces; while on this service he and fifteen of his comrades were captured and sentenced to be shot or hanged; but the defeat of the Southern army at Gettysburg resulted in their being paroled. Barefooted and with hardly enough clothing to cover him, Mr. Lenker made his way on foot from Gettysburg to Dillsburg, and thence to his home, where he remained until December 1863. He then entered the State University at Columbus, Ohio, and pursued a course of study until June 2, 1864; after which he came home, and again enlisted in the United States army at Harrisburg, joining company G, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania volunteers, in which he served until the close of the war, and was mustered out at Newberne, N. C., in August, 1865.
In the winter of 1865 and 1866 he taught school in Lower Mahanoy township, Northumberland county, in the old weaving shop of his grandfather, the room in which the first free school opened in that township was held. In the spring of 1866 Mr. Lenker returned to Upper Paxton township and engaged with his father at tailoring, at the same time carrying on a small farming business on a place near Rife P. O., known as the Henry Pottinger farm, which he had bought. He continued in these lines of business until 1869, when he sold the farm and bought his present homestead near Millersburg, known as the Haldeman farm, and once owned by Daniel Miller; there he engaged in farming, gardening and fruit raising. He was also for some time a contractor. In 1880 he took up the business of distilling fruit brandies, essential oils, and rye whiskey, in which he has been successfully and profitably engaged up to the present time. Mr. Lenker has shown great energy and enterprise and much business ability, and is now rewarded by prosperity. His products are of the best, and find a wide market, and his trade is secure and increasing.
Daniel Y. Lenker was married, October 23, 1866, to Julia A., daughter of William and Amelia (Year) Kootka, born November 25, 1844, at Kremnitz, near Berlin, Prussia. Three of their eight children are deceased. Their surviving children are: Mary V., born March 14, 1863, wife of George Hoffman, has three children, Guy Lenker, Harry P. and Esther; Mildred, born March 3, 1870; Catherine, April 24, 1872; Harry Cordes, February 10, 1874; and Earl, July 24, 1881.
Mr. Lenker has served as school director for about twelve years. His political opinions are independent. He is associated with the Masonic fraternity, being a member of State Lodge, No. 22; he belongs also to Kilpatrick Post, No. 212. G. A. R., at Millersburg. The family attend the Lutheran church.
William Kootka, father of Mrs. Lenker, was born in Carnnitz, near Berlin, April 1, 1810, and came with his family to America in 1853. He landed at New York, came to Wiconisco, in the Lykens Valley, and removed to Rife P. O., where he engaged in milling: He died in Millersburg, Pa., September 19, 1886, aged seventy-six; his wife also died in Millersburg, September 6, 1887, aged seventy-four. They had three children: Amelia, wife of Willard Harper, who was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, leaving one child, Thomas; his widow married George Falkenmeyer; William A., married Tina Sophia Weaver, has three children; and Julia, Mrs. Lenker.
Pages 1072 & 1073
Transcribed by Judy Warner Bookwalter, for the Dauphin County,
Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project – http://maley.net/transcription