Biography - WEBSTER HERB YODER- OH1331831

published by the Yoder Family Newsletter, Goshen, Indiana


Floyd's Northumberland County Biographical History

WEBSTER HERB YODER, shoe merchant at Mount Carmel has been established in his present line of business in that borough for several years and has made a success of his venture, being one of the most progressive young business men of the community, one whose enterprise and perseverance deserve the reward of prosperity. He is a public-spirited citizen, ready to enter into projects affecting the general welfare as well as his Prosperity. Mr. Yoder is a native of Schuylkill county, born Dec. 24, 1877, in Eldred township, son of Lewis K. Yoder, grandson of Peter and great-grandson of Anthony Yoder.

The first of the Yoder (sometimes spelled Yodder and Yotter in the German) name in America were Yost and Hans (or Hance), brothers, who sought refuge in England from the religious persecutions suffered in their native Switzerland. They brought little with them to America besides their Bible. Upon their arrival in the New World they pushed on into the wilderness beyond Oley hills, and finally settled on the Manatawny. Yost Yoder was one of the most active of the early frontiersmen of Pennsylvania. His chief occupations were hunting and trapping, which he always combined with farming, or rather with the "clearing and cultivation of a plantation. It is certain that he and his brother were located in Pennsylvania before 1714. Nine children were born to Yost Yoder, and of seven of these the record is as follows: (I) Johannes Yoder, often called Yost, was born in 1718. After 1752 he removed to Reading, where he died April 7, 1812, and his remains were interred on his father's land at Yottersville (Yodersville), named after his family, now Pleasantville, in Oley township, Berks county. The following inscription marks his grave: "Hier Rhuet Johannes Yoder. Er wurde geboren 1718. Verelichte sich mit Catharina Lyster (Lesher) 1747 und zeughte 4 sohne und 5 tochtern. Starb den 7th April, 1812, nach seiner 66 yahr in der ehe gelebt hatte war alt warden 94 yahr und 14 tag." In 1747 be married Catharine Lyster (Lesher) and her tombstone records "b. 1730, d. 1812 having lived married 66 years and aged 82 years." (2) Jacob Yoder removed to the western side of the Schuylkill. On Nov. 6, 1757, at the age of twenty two years, he enlisted in the Provincial service of Pennsylvania, and was a saddler three year in Capt. John Nicholas Weatherholt's company. He was stationed in Heidelberg township, Northampton county, in March and April, 1758. Pa. Arch., 2d Ser., Vol. III. He served in the American Revolution as a private in Peter Nagle's company, and later in Capt. Charles Gobin's company, 6th Battalion, Berks county, Pa. He was in a detachment of the 6th Battalion to guard prisoners of war from the Hessian camp at Reading to Philadelphia. He married Maria Keim. (3) Samuel Yoder settled on a "plantation" near Lobachsville, about one and one half miles from Pleasantville, which he received from his father. He had children: John, Jacob, Samuel and Catharine. (4) Mary Yoder married Daniel Bertolet. (5) Catharine Yoder married John Reppert. (6) Elizabeth Yoder was the wife of Mathias Rhode and they had children: Jacob, John, Joseph, Abraham, Catharine, Maria and Esther. (7) Ester Yoder married a man named Cunius. The wolves in Oley wrought great injury among the sheep and hogs of the settlers. It was customary to make pitfalls and thus trap them. Many stories are told of Yost Yoder's efforts at their extermination. He sometimes disposed of five in a single night. He was a man of remarkable strength and powers of endurance, and possessed famous courage. He made customary hunting trips every fall into the Blue Mountains with his trusty rifle and faithful dog. On his trail at different stages of his journeys he had places of deposit for supplies in hollow trees.

The Yoder Bible, dated 1530, was printed during the lifetime of Martin Luther. It was held continuously by the family until as late as 1860, and is now the property of Mary B. Yoder, daughter of David, son of Daniel. It is well preserved, though unfortunately the lid and date are torn away. This priceless treasure of their faith from the Fatherland was "as a lamp unto their feet" in their flight to America. The Yoders of Berks extended into New York and the West. In the list of representatives in the Fiftieth United States Congress was S. S. Yoder, of Lima, Ohio.

Hans (or Hance) Yoder, the emigrant brother of Yost, was the builder and owner of what is now known as Griesemer's mills (burned in 1847, and rebuilt the same year). This property in the early days was the homestead of the Yoders of Oley. The survey of the plantation under proprietary warrant to Hance Yoder was returned March 25, 1714. At that time Oley township was the haunt of Indians, and of wolves, bear and other wild game. The wives of the German settlers also bore their part in the subjugation of the wilderness. One day while at work, extending their clearing in the forest, they having shut their children in the cabin as a protection from the beasts which roamed over their land, they were suddenly aroused by the report of a rifle in the direction of their cabin. As it was not unusual for predatory bands of bloodthirsty Iroquois from the north to roam over the country they hastened in the direction of the shot to see their cabin surrounded by a party of drunken savages, who having been refused admittance by the terrified children within retaliated by firing through the closed door. Mr. Yoder at once made an attack with a singletree, and soon put them to flight with threats of revenge. Returning with increased numbers they demanded satisfaction, but Mr. Yoder's coolness won him friends among them who forced the others to desist. Hans (Hance) Yoder was the father of four sons: Hans (2), Samuel, Peter and Daniel. The last named, born in 1718, died Aug. 21, 1749, aged thirty-one years, eight months, and was buried in the cemetery at Pleasantville.

Anthony Yoder, great-grandfather of Webster H. Yoder, lived in the Mahantango Valley in Schuylkill county, where he followed farming. His wife was Sarah Howerter, and they are buried at the Howerter church in that valley. They had children as follows: Polly died unmarried; Elizabeth married George Moyer; Judith married Samuel Neiswender; Susan married Daniel Wetzel; Eva married Daniel Stitzer; Kate married Henry Hoffman; Sybilla married Jacob Zimmerman; Sarah married Josias Coppenhafer; Peter is mentioned below; Harrison and Reuben died in Schuylkill county.

Peter Yoder, son of Anthony, was born in 1827 and died May 16, 1868, in Upper Mahanoy township, Northumberland county. He lived in the Mahantango Valley for many years, and was a stonemason by occupation. He married Harriet Klock, who after his death became the wife of Sebastian Zimmerman, Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman being now residents of Sunbury, this county. To Peter and Harriet (Klock) Yoder were born these children: Mary F. died young; Lewis K. is mentioned below; Emma married Joel Hepler, who is deceased; Julia married (first) Benjamin Fertig and (second) John Singmeister; Christiana married George Bennett; William H. died young; Peter is living at Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Lewis K. Yoder, father of Webster H. Yoder, was born Feb. 28, 1856, in Eldred township, Schuylkill county, near the Northumberland county line. When a young man he learned shoemaking, and has followed that trade principally throughout his active years, except for a few years when he worked in the mines. In 1884 he made his home in Mount Carmel, where he has since resided. He married Sarah Herb, daughter of William and Catharine (Kehler) Herb, and they are the parents of six children, namely: Webster H. is mentioned below; Elmer, born Oct. 7, 1879, lives in Mount Carmel; Frank, born Nov. 21, 1881, lives in Pottsville; Alice, born Sept. 22, 1888, is now working for her brother Webster; Jennie, twin of Alice, is engaged as a teacher in Mount Carmel; Helen, born Jan. 12, 1897, is attending school.

Webster Herb Yoder was a mere boy when his parents settled in Mount Carmel, so that he has practically been a resident of that place all his life. He attended the local public schools and when eleven years old began work as a slate picker, working as such for two years. He then entered the employ of Daniel D. Bolich, with whom he continued for ten and a half years, learning the shoe business thoroughly. For a short time afterward he was in the service of Gimbel Brothers, at Philadelphia, on Dec. 30, 1902, embarking in business in Mount Carmel on his own account. He has been at the same location, No. 22 South Oak street ever since, and has built up a large business as a shoe dealer, making a specialty of the Crossett shoe for men, the LaFrance for ladies, and the Educator shoe, "for the whole family." Mr. Yoder keeps up with the times in the changes which occur in his line of business, and is ever ready to adopt new styles and new methods which promise satisfaction to his customers, who by long continued patronage show their appreciation of his efforts. He is secretary of the Retail Merchants Protective Association of Mount Carmel and holds the respect of his fellow citizens of all classes who have, had dealings of any kind with him.

On Oct. 6, 1906, Mr. Yoder married Isabella Anderson, daughter of George D. Anderson. He is an active member of the Church of God, of which he is a trustee, and he has been county secretary of the Northumberland County Sunday School Association for the ast six years. Socially he is a member of Lodge No. 630, I.O.O.F. (of which he is a ast grand), of Cam No. 231, .O.S. of A., and of the Modern Woodmen Cam No. 8207. In political sentiment he is a Republican, but his activity does not go beyond the casting of his ballot.

Yoder Newsletter - © Christopher K. Yoder, 1992, 1994