This gentleman, one of the leading residents and old citizens of Lincoln township, was born in the city of Stade, kingdom of Hanover, on May 20, 1835. His father, Henry DANKERS, left Germany for the United States in 1841. The family landed at New Orleans and took a steamboat up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Weston, in Platte County
They spent all their money for an old wagon, a yoke of oxen and 4 cows. They set out for Holt County to find John H. ROSELIUS who had settled there the previous spring. They reached their destination in August, 1841. All that part of the country was then a tract of waste bottom land, unbroken and uncivilized except where ROSELIUS had erected a cabin in the timber near the Missouri River. Indians were the only other inhabitants. Wild game was everywhere in abundance. The DANKERS chose a location on Section 36, of Township 63, Range 41.
There were no schools. Providing for education of their children was a priority with the new settlers. The first school Mr. DANKERS attended was taught by a man hired by his father and John ROSELIUS and Andrew BUCK. This was the first school taught in Lincoln township. He only went to school about nine months; he had to gain the rest of his education through self-study. He left home in spring, 1858, and in partnership with a man named Price kept a kind of grocery store across the Missouri River, at St. Stephen's, Nebraska. This business was not profitable and he returned in 1859 to Holt County where he farmed and engaged in trading cattle.
He was married Jan. 20, 1863 to Elizabeth GUNKEL who was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, but was living in Holt County at the time of the marriage. Mr. and Mrs. DANKERS have 6 children whose names in their order of birth are Melinda, Andrew, Irvin, Rebecca, Anna and Frederick. He resided in the timber near the river until Oct. 1873, and then moved to his present residence on the farm adjoining the town of Corning. Here he built a handsome brick residence. He farms and is the owner of 1,340 acres of land about equally divided in Holt and Atchison counties. He has also been occupied with dealing in stock, which has been one of the means of placing him in comfortable circumstances.
He has been a Republican ever since he took an interest in political affairs. His father died in Aug., 1870. Mr. DANKERS was the second of a family of 4 children, 2 still living. His sister is the wife of Fred W. WALTER.
Mr. DANKERS grew up with Holt County and is one of its most industrious and energetic citizens. He came to Missouri 40 years ago to a tract of wild bottom land, without means and with little prospect of good fortune. He had to pick up his education here and there. He was thrifty, industrious and shrewd, today he holds a place among the wealthy farmers of the county, a citizen respected for his intelligence and integrity, and surrounded by every evidence of a substantial prosperity. Contrast this with his first home in Holt County, a humble cabin along the Missouri River.
Source: "An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO," published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia, 1877
Provided by Dave Roberts of Lyon County, Kentucky, a former Holt County resident.