David D. Elder was born on the farm on which he now lives, in Washington Townswhip, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 16 March 1838, a son of Robert Elder and Hannah [Dietrich] Elder.
Robert Elder, the great-great-grandfather, passed over from Scotland to the north of Ireland, where he remained for many years, and later joined his son in America.
John Elder, the great-grandfather, was born in Edinburgh, received a collegiate education, was ordained in the ministry in the Presbyterian church, came to America long before the Revolutionary War, and settled at Paxtang, where he preached for fifty years, covering the time of the Revolutionary War. He preached from his pulpit sermons to arouse the people to resist the onslaught of the Hessian soldiers, and raised a company of which he was the captain, and served throughout the war.
David Elder, the grandfather, was born at Paxtang, Dauphin County, and was reared to the occupation of government surveyor, which he followed for many years. He died in his native county, many years of age, and left two sons and three daughters. His wife was a Miss Galbraith.
Robert Elder, the father, was born in Derry Township, Dauphin County, in 1800. In early life he learned the trade of hatter in Philadelphia, after which he came to Paxtang and manufactured and dealt in hats. He came to Washington Township before marriage and bought two hundred and twenty acres of wood land, which he cleared and improved. He died in Harrisburg in 1854, and his wife still survives him at the age of eighty-two years. They had nine children, of whom David is the fourth in order of birth. His father, Thomas J. Elder now resides in the west.
David D. Elder attended the schools of his native place until he was twelve years of age, when he was sent to his uncle, at Dauphin, Derry Township, where he was in school for about one year. He lost his father at the age of sixteen years, which broke up the family, and he went out to make his own way in the world. He obtained a position in the book and stationery store of Towns and Barnes, where he remained seven years, At first his salary was $3.25 per week, from which he had to pay board, and was gradually increased to $600 per year. At the end of seven years, he, with J. W. Miller, embarked in the book and stationery trade, and continued the partnership until 1877, when he bought the partner’s interest and took his brother into the firm, under the name of David D. Elder and Company. In 1884 he sold the business to David Bentley, and began the manufacture of wall paper, which he carried on until 1892 ad since that time he has lived on the farm and given his attention to agricultural pursuits.
Mr. David Elder was married at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 30 January 1866, to Miss Kate Stoever, a native of Milton, Pennsylvania, daughter of Rev. C. F. Stoever and Louisa G. Stoever. They have five children – three daughters and two sons. Mr. Elder served with the emergency troops in 1862 and 1863, being stationed in the Cumberland Valley, and moving as far as Antietam.
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The above information was modified/edited from Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, published in 1896 by J. M. Runk and Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A free download is available from the Internet Archive.
Findagrave Memorial #91489372. David D. Elder died in 1908 and is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.