Yoder Historical Tour




Yoder, Oregon Historical Tour

This is a rural community about 35 miles south of Portland, Oregon.  The following numbered descriptions correspond to the numbers on this map.  Click  on this thumbnail see a larger map.  (Click on thumbnail to see a larger picture in a new window.)

1.             Smyrna Church.  Smyrna Church was built in 1890 from lumber produced at the Yoder Mill. It was originally organized as Presbyterian but soon affiliated with the Congregationalists. As the story goes women were not allowed to vote or hold office in the Presbyterian Church.  Details of present-day Smyrna may be found at www.smyrna-ucc.org

2.           Louis Yoder Home.  The white frame house is quarter mile south of Hamrick’s Corner on the west side of Kropf Road.  It was existing when Louis and Etta Wyland Yoder moved in.  Louis was the eldest son of Jonathan  S. Yoder. The home built about 1895 was remodeled after Louis and Etta moved there in 1897. It is now owned by Sherry and Dale Skiles. Sherry is the granddaughter of Louis and Etta.

3.             Jonathan  S. Yoder Home.  On the left side of the road is the home of Jonathan  S. Yoder and Barbara Fry Yoder. Construction began in preparation of their arrival in 1889.  It was later occupied by Jim and Rosa Yoder Watson. Rosa was the older of Jonathan's two daughters.  This house is now the property of John and JoAnn Yoder Beck, great-granddaughter of Jonathan and granddaughter of Aaron Yoder.

4.             Yoder Mill.  The Yoder Mill is next on the left and was built from hardware brought from Missouri in 1889. During its history, it burned three times and was rebuilt each time.  Jonathan S. Yoder passed ownership to his son, Aaron. It is now     owned and operated by Aaron’s descendents. In addition to producing lumber, custom sawing is a large part of the business.  Click on thumbnail to see large picture of mall ... some years ago.

5.             Aaron Yoder Home.  The next house on the same side of the road just after the mill is the home of Aaron and Edna Conrad Yoder. Built in 1920 by George Perdue. His grandson, Jim Yoder lives there now.


6.            Ralph Yoder Home.  Directly across the road was the home purchased by Ralph and Anna Gottfredson Yoder.  The house was built in 1920 by Pete Wormdahl and Jake Owen. In 1927, Ralph and Anna Yoder and their 9 year old daughter, Ruth came to Yoder from Montana. Ralph could be closer to family and Anna would have more opportunities to teach. In 1929 they purchased this property and the four-bedroom home. Ralph died in 1936 and Anna continued to live there until her death in 1975. Ruth and her husband Don Steininger lived there prior to their deaths.  The house is now occupied by their son, Rodney Steininger and his family.

7.             Albert Yoder Home.  On the same side of the road and directly south is the home that Albert and Eva Sconce Yoder occupied.


8.             Yoder Store.  Jonathan S. Yoder built the Yoder Store in 1914. He leased the space to L. G. Wrolstad who was the first proprietor when it opened in 1915. Over the years it has been owned and operated by various families until being purchased by Paul and Audrey Yoder, great-grandson of Jonathan S. Yoder and grandson of Aaron Yoder. The red tiled warehouse attached to the store was built much later by Sanford Wrolstad, L. G. Wrolstad’s eldest son who who succeeded him as proprietor.

9.             Jonathan  S. Yoder Warehouse.  The building directly across the road from the store is warehouse space erected by Jonathan S. Yoder. It was adjacent to the tracks of the Willamette Valley and Southern Railroad, which crossed Kropf Road. Built in 1915, the electric railway linked Portland and Oregon City on the north with Mt. Angel on the south. This vital commercial link moved commodities such as apples, cordwood, wood pilings, eggs, cream, poultry, hogs and veal to trade centers in Portland. Students commuted to high school in Molalla. With the coming of paved roads, the railroad ceased operation in 1925-6 when Kropf Road was paved.  Later the warehouse was home to the beginnings of Willamette Egg Farms and is currently a cabinet shop.

10.        Asa Yoder Home.  On the northeast corner at the intersection of Kropf and Schneider Roads stood the two-story white frame home of Asa Yoder, who was the brother of Elias Yoder and father of Jonathan, John P., Levi D., and Mary Schwartz among others. All of Asa’s children made the move to Oregon. In later years, Glenn and Lydia Yoder (Louis' son) raised their two daughters, Glenda Yoder Sano and Sherry Yoder Skiles in that home. It is no longer standing.

11.        John Plank Yoder Home.  Continuing on Kropf Road and on the left was the former location of the home of John Plank Yoder. Construction of the large house began after his arrival in Oregon in 1893 but was discontinued after his death in 1894. All that is left of this homestead are a few trees of the orchard he planted which can be seen from the road.

12.        John J. Yoder Home.  Again, on the left, is the home built by John J. Yoder, son of Jonathan S. Yoder sometime around 1915. David and Irene Schriever now own the house and farm.


13.        Evergreen School.  The Evergreen School was established in a small building next to the road between the John J. and William Yoder houses.  It was originally built in 1889.  The building is no longer standing.

14.        William Yoder Home.  As Kropf Road bends to the west, a lane continues straight south. At the end of this lane is the two-story frame house built for William and Jennie Reagan Yoder. Will was the son of Asa Yoder. The William Yoder family immigrated to Oregon in 1888 and the house was built 1909. Later, Richard and Laura Watson raised their family in the house. Richard was the grandson of Jonathan S. Yoder and son of Rosa Yoder Watson.

15.        Yoder School.  Heading back toward Yoder Store, at Schneider Road and around the corner to the west (left) is Yoder School. With the construction of the new building in 1923, the name changed from Evergreen to Yoder School. It continued as a public school until 1963 when it consolidated with Rural Dell and Eby. At Rural Dell, additional classrooms to accommodate the combined student body.

16.        Levi David Yoder Home.  Across Kropf Road going east on Schneider Road you will pass where the Levi David Yoder home once stood on the right. Lee Yoder was the son of Elias and arrived in Oregon in 1888. The two story white frame house was similar in construction and appearance to those of Asa and William Yoder. In recent times, the house was dismantled and moved to Eastern Oregon.

17.        Mary B (Yoder) Schwartz Home.  On the left is the farm occupied by Emerson and Virginia Yoder. Joe and Mary B. Yoder Schwartz occupied an earlier house at the same location. They arrived in Oregon in 1887. In 1908 they moved to Oregon City.

18.        Bertha (Yoder) Rittenour  Home.  On the right and away from the road is the home built by Henry and Bertha Yoder Rittenour, daughter of Levi. The house was built around 1940.


19.        Catherine (Yoder) Lantz Home:  Further east on the left is where Gideon and Catherine (Yoder) Lantz's home was located.  Catherine was Asa Yoder's sister.  This family was the first of our Yoder branch to come to Oregon in 1873.  For many years this was the farm of Fred and Anna Watson (father of Jim and John Watson).  The house no longer exists.  Bob and Lorraine Cavanaugh have built a home on that site.

20.        Anna (Yoder) Watson Home.  Further on and on the left, on what is now the Imdieke farm stood the house of John and Anna Yoder Watson. Anna was also the daughter of Levi Yoder. The house is no longer standing.

21.        Nellie (Yoder) Eyman Home.  Continuing to the intersection with Dryland Road and turning north (left) and about one mile passed Rural Dell School was the home of Albert and Nellie Yoder Eyman, youngest daughter of Jonathan S. Yoder. Near the banks of Bear Creek they built a white frame farmhouse in 1914 where they raised three daughters and one son. Nellie lived in the home passed her 100th birthday. Her great granddaughter, Kristine (Eyman) and Brian Komer, now own it.

(added July 2007)

22.  Orlando Perry Yoder "Shack".  Driving south on Kropf Road about 5 miles past the William Yoder Home (No. 14, above), is the acreage and wooden shack once owned by Perry Yoder, son of Jonathan S. Yoder.  The present-day cultivated field was Perry's cherry (Montmorency -sour- pie cherries) orchard.  In the summers of the 1950s, many young Yoder cousins climbed atop over-sized saw horses to pick the cherries which were sold to a Salem cannery.

23.  Lantz Family Houses.  Driving north past the Nellie Yoder Eyman home (No. 21,      above), you come to the intersection of Toliver Road.  Turn right on Toliver Road (Bear Creek Cemetery will be on the right) and continue to the next 3 houses on the right.  These were built by the Lantz family


This ends the Yoder Historical Tour.


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This site was last updated 08/02/07