Thomas Lanker was born in Wyandott County, Ohio, on June 13, 1878. He received his schooling and early training in his native county, and upon reaching his majority, sought employment in Dayton. He secured a clerical position in a meat store and was filling that place when the Spanish-American war broke out. He enlisted and served three years in the army. On his return to Dayton he again secured employment as a meat cutter, which occupation he followed until appointed patrolman, January 12, 1907. Mr. Lanker has a wife, Bessie, and three children, James, Richard and Rosabell.