John M Yoder (c.1754 - 1813)

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Nicknames: "Jotter Hannes"
Birthplace: Berks County, Pennsylvania
Death: Died in Wayne County, Ohio
Managed by: Geoffrey David Trowbridge
Last Updated:

About John M Yoder

The John Yoder Homestead: A Mifflin County Appeal

ARTICLE BY: Mabel V. Brunk, 1325 Greencroft Drive #383, Goshen, In 46526

An original Yoder home still stands in Big Valley, Mifflin County, Pa. Built by John (YR251) & Barbara Yoder, this probably earliest home of Amish settlers in Big Valley deserves preservation. A metal porch roof across the front end has already disappeared. Action is needed to save the structure before it is either razed or crumbles to ruins. Descendants of John and Barbara Yoder need to act. Mennonites interested in Valley history could spearhead an effort to preserve the house. The Mifflin County Historical Society could accept this challenge. Descendants of John and Barbara Yoder could be asked to contribute the costs of purchasing the structure. Current President of the Historical Society is Paul E. Bender. Interested descendants can contact him at the Historical Society, P.O. Box 5603, Belleville, Pa 17004, phone 717-935-5574. John Yoder YR251, "Yotter Hannes" was born in 1754 in Berks Country, Pa and married Barbara Rickenbach RB31 (AAMG p.500). John and Barbara were probably the first Amish settlers in the Big Valley (Mifflin County)PA, coming in the spring of 1791 from Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, PA. Their son, "Keifer Christ", ancestor of many Big Valley residents, was born in Somerset County in 1784. In 1791 John purchased 212 acres of land from Henry Milroy in Armaugh Township, Mifflin County, Pa, near Milroy. Purchase price was 710 pounds. Henry Milroy and family reserved the "right to occupy until death one room and part of another in the mansion and a weaver shop" and could harvest the "crop of rye and what is to be sown and the grass now in the new meadow" (Mifflin County Deed records, A-319, 1792). John and Barbara's two-story house, northeast of Milroy, had "I and BY 1804" inscribed in the top store. The "I" in German is the same as the "J" in English. The log barn was probably built by the Yoders. (Ezra Kanagy, Kanagy Roots and a Branch, 1987, Sugarcreek Oh, p. 23). Newer siding now covers the logs, but through cracks in the deteriorating barn, some of the original logs are visible. John also purchased land in Half Moon Township, Centre County, Pa where various relatives lived. In 1813 John and Barbara sold their 222 acres (apparently they had added 10 acres) in Armaugh Township for 2500 pounds to Jacob Kenagy. John and Barbara moved to Wayne County, Oh where John died. In 1984 Bob Close owned the Armaugh Township land, including the house. The burial plot on the McCoy farm is back of the barn. The farm was divided on the west side and in 1984 was owned by Laney McCoy. The deed to this farm, No. 2, has a clause about the right to lay a lead pipe to the spring on farm #2. "Bob Close said several years ago an apple tree blew over and the roots came up, uncovering the lead pipe." (Ezra Kanagy, p.23) John Yoder's parents were immigrants John Yoder and Anna ___. This John's father was Christian Yoder (YR2). Barbara Rickenbach's parents, John and Anna, immigrated from Switzerland. John died in 1782 in Berks County, Pa. The Rickenbach line can be traced five more generations to a Michael Rickenbach who lived in Switzerland in the sixteenth century. While the stones are still in place, John and Barbara's original Yoder House asks to be saved! (YNL #34) -------------------- YR251

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John M Yoder's Timeline

1754
1754
Berks County, Pennsylvania
1774
1774
Age 20
Berks,,Pennsylvania,USA
1775
July 27, 1775
Age 21
Berks, Pennsylvania, United States
1779
1779
Age 25
Juniata, Pennsylvania, USA
1782
1782
Age 28
Somerset, Pennsylvania, USA
1782
Age 28
lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
1784
August 1784
Age 30
Somerset County, Pennsylvania
1786
March 10, 1786
Age 32
Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States
1788
February 10, 1788
Age 34
Somerset, PA, USA
1792
April 21, 1792
Age 38
Mifflin, Pennsylvania, United States