Keiser Family Crest


Daniel Keiser
(1820 - 1877)



Cedar Tree

Born Nov. 17, 1820, died Feb. 4, 1877

He learned the Tanning trade at Gratz, then known as Gratztown, Dauphin County, PA .

On Apr. 14, 1840 he was married to Elizabeth Matter, daughter of Baltazer Matter and his wife Elizabeth nee Ritzman.

They moved from Gratz to Elizabethville, PA, then known as Painterstown. After a few years they moved to Centre County, PA, about two miles west of Pine Grove Mills (their post office).  He worked at his trade, that of Tanning, both at Elizabethville and this place.

In the Spring of 1850 he moved with his family, in two covered wagons (prairie schooners), to Lykens, Dauphin County, PA, a three days trip.

He went into the hotel business in what at this date (1924) is known as "The Union House", owned and occupied by William Heckler, which Daniel had bought from David Matter for $2200.00, about 1852-53.

He built a powder mill, dry house and storage house south of Lykens, Dauphin County, along Rattling Creek near the second bridge what is now known as "The Glen". The mill was run by water power, the water being brought in a wooden flume from a dam about four or five hundred yards up the stream on the west side of the creek and around the base of "Love Rock" and run into an over-shoot water wheel.

Samuel Mumma was his powder miller. He furnished powder to the miners and other places. He furnished powder to a section around the head of the mountain at Clark's Ferry where the Northern Central Railroad was being built, up to and beyond Millersburg, Dauphin County. Also furnished powder to a section across the canal at Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA.

At that time there was only one house, a hotel, close to the railroad.

The writer drove many a one-horse load of powder in wooden kegs and without cover, through Harrisburg, PA,  crossing Berry's and Peter's Mountains to get there, taking two days to a trip. A trip to Clark's Ferry was generally made in one day.

At the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, he had quit the hotel business and was living on a farm he had purchased, a short distance east of Wiconisco, Dauphin County, now known as the Engelhart or Eardman farm. It is now laid out in lots and is building up fast.

About this time, he was elected to the State Legislature from Dauphin County and served one term, 1863-64.

At the time General Lee invaded Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the 86th Regiment of the Pa. Militia Vol. as Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant.

The regiment was driven back from Gettysburg by the Rebel Cavalry Jun. 3, 1863, and quite a few were captured. Among them was William Kendal, and Hiram Bailey, an old man of Lykens. The prisoners were released on parole after robbing them of their shoes and some of their clothes.

Daniel was discharged after General Lee was driven across the Potomac River.

Before the close of the war he had sold the farm and again moved back to the hotel.

After the close of the war in 1865, he bought another farm of about 87 acres, located in the north eastern part of Dauphin County on the public road leading from Lykens to Williamstown, nearly midway between the two towns near a small town called Dayton, Dauphin County, PA.

He again left the hotel and moved on the farm. After being on the farm a few years, he built a fine, large house, and a large barn and out buildings. Also improved the farm, in general, to his liking.

After living in his new house eight or ten years, he had a stroke of paralysis and died Feb. 4, 1877. He was buried in the Union Cemetery at Wiconisco, Dauphin County, PA, to the right and near the old middle entrance, marked with a large head stone.

The farm is at this date owned and occupied by Robert Malick.

Daniel was married twice. His first wife died Sep. 26, 1852, and was the mother of eight children. She was buried in the Union Cemetery of Lykens, Dauphin County, a short distance S.W. of the alley gate, marked by a stone.

His second wife was Amanda nee Zerby. She was born Aug. 15, 1832, died Dec. 25, 1906,b uried in Union Cemetery, Wiconisco, Dauphin County, PA.

They were married Oct, 9, 1853.

Their union was blessed with twelve children.

He was divorced from his second wife Oct. 6, 1874. She married John Burd.


Children Of First Marriage
Oct. 26, 1840
Sarah Workman
Dec. 31, 1841
Nov. 9, 1908
Richard Owens
Joseph Dunlap
John K
Feb. 23, 1843
Oct. 25, 1843
Aug. 15, 1844
Dec. 30, 1921
Ellen Hoover
Jenny Minerva Walt
Jun. 5, 1846
Nov. 10, 1863
Jan. 20, 1848
Oct. 1, 1896
Levi Workman
Jun. 10, 1849
Jun. 25, 1854
Jan. 15, 1851
Edwin H Wilson


Children Of Second Marriage
Jan. 22, 1855
May 31, 1856
May 11, 1910
Lewis C Jackson
Oct. 22, 1857
Oct. 12, 1905
Rebecca J Fisher
Feb. 13, 1859
July 1917
Ella Chester
Albert Alva
Aug. 8, 1860
Oct. 15, 1908
Catherine Hawk
Edward Meade
Jun. 6, 1863
Ida Celeste Herb
Jul. 19, 1868
Feb. 6, 1885
Dane F Wert
Flora Allie
Jan. 31, 1870
Oct. 5, 1898
Laura Agnes
Jan. 31, 1870
Jun. 16, 1871
Gertrude Powers
Samuel Oscar
Aug. 19, 1872
Cora Valina Host
Lizzie D Dockey