|Date of Birth||May 5, 1872|
|Place of Birth||Reading, Pennsylvania|
|Next of Kin||Henry Peter Keiser (friend), Reading, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Trade / Calling||Bookkeeper|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 12, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||44|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||January 1, 1970|
|Age at Death||56|
Corporal Daniel Frank Keller served in the U.S. army for eleven years before moving to Canada. He signed up with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in January 1917, at age 44, and he was discharged about seven weeks later for medical reasons.
Daniel was born on 5 May 1872 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania. His parents, David Conrad Keller and Rosa Krebs, were married in 1865 and they had six children but sadly five of them died young. The Keller family had lived in Pennsylvania for at least three generations. Daniel’s father served in the union army during the American Civil War, becoming a Colonel. Afterwards he was very involved in his community and in political affairs, serving as county commissioner and a Member of Common Council. Along with other business interests he owned and operated hotels and at the time of 1900 census he was proprietor of a saloon in Reading called the Penn Square Hotel.
Daniel enlisted in the U.S. army in February 1896, at age 24, joining a cavalry unit. He was appointed clerk of his company and within two years he was Commissary Sergeant, stationed at Fort Mead, South Dakota. In June 1898 he was given a commission as Second Lieutenant in the 27th Regiment of the regular army. Daniel was serving in the Philippines when his father died in 1902, which was during the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). In 1905 he was a Captain in the 27th Regiment and stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He resigned from the army in 1907, after eleven years of service. A short time later he was wanted for allegedly cashing forged cheques and it was likely around that time that he moved to Canada. His mother passed away in Reading in 1909 and she’s buried with her husband in Charles Evans Cemetery.
In 1917 when Daniel enlisted he was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a bookkeeper. He signed up in Kenora on 12 January, joining the 230th Forestry Battalion. The unit had its headquarters in Brockville, Ontario and the Kenora recruits were sent there in the first week of February. Not longer after arriving in Brockville Daniel was found to have a double inguinal hernia. He was discharged as medically unfit on 28 February 1917, with his intended residence listed as Kenora.
Nothing further is known of Daniel’s life but the following obituary was published in the 22 February 1929 edition of the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pennsylvania:
DANIEL FRANK KELLER – Word was received in this city of the death of Daniel Frank Keller, which occurred at Fishkill, Can. He was 53 years of age and a former resident of this city. He was a fur trapper by occupation. He was a son of the late Col. D.C. and Rosa (Krebs) Keller, and the last of his family. The body will be brought to this city by Funeral Director Henninger. Mr. Keller is well remembered by the older residents of Reading. As a small boy he was popular with the firemen of the city, and on a number of occasions he appeared in their parades dressed in the miniature attire of a fireman. He was then popularly known as Frankie Keller. He left Reading many years ago.
By Becky Johnson