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Enduring Historical Buildings of Molalla
The William Walter and Annie Everhart House is located at 603 South Molalla Avenue. Built in 1913, it is exceptionally well preserved for a home that has been used for over one hundred years. It is of the craftsman bungalow style architecture with the original exterior door still in use. The home has a low pitched gable roof, overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, knee braces, dormer windows and a large front porch. The interior has some leaded glass, a brick fireplace, stained wood surfaces and a window seat in the dining room bay window. A previous owner told me that the yellow color on the outside of the house closely matches the original color. This house was part of a farm that William and his wife, Annie, started about 1903. The farm was approximately 80 acres and included a large barn topped with a gabled cupola. In 1913, this home cost about $3,000 to build and the barn $900. William and Annie named their farm "Ashdale Farm". Today, the house is privately owned.
William Walter and Annie Everhart
William was born in Molalla, Oregon, in 1875. His parents were John and Catherine "Kate" Houk Everhart, who emigrated to Oregon in 1874 from northern New York. Originally, they settled in Oregon City but soon came to Molalla, Oregon. In 1898, they purchased a farm here that they would live on for 19 years. William worked on his father's farm until he was 20 years old.
In 1898, William married Annie Engle. Annie Engle was also born in 1875 in Molalla. She was the daughter of Samuel and Nancy Duniway Engle. Samuel Engle traveled the Oregon Trail with his parents in 1845, when he was 14 years old. In the spring of 1846, Annie's grandfather, William Engle, filed for a donation land claim 16 miles south of Oregon City. The 643 acre, rectangular shaped DLC was located on what is now the southeast corner of East Main Street and South Molalla Avenue. In 1866, he sold the property to Oliver Robbins. His son, Samuel Engle, subsequently purchased back 235 acres of the property.
It is on part of the above stated 235 acres that William Walter and Annie Engle started their farm. Under William's care, the farm thrived. While raising throughbred cattle and hogs, he also maintained quite a political life. He was greatly instrumental in the founding of the City of Molalla, which was incorporated in 1913. He was distinguished by serving five years as the first Mayor. He was one of the founders and directors of the First National Bank of Molalla, serving as it's president for many years. He also became head of the Molalla Land Company, selling many lots of the first platted subdivisions in the town of Molalla . In 1916, he was elected to the position of county assessor for Clackamas County. He then ran for county treasurer in 1922 and served the people, in that capacity, for 22 years.
The October 19, 1922, edition of the Molalla Pioneer made the following announcement in their "Local & Personal" column: "W. W. Everhart had a sale Saturday and disposed of his farm equipment and stock. Mr. Everhart has been running his farm for several years with the assistance of a good man, but finds farming by proxy rather an unsatisfactory thing. He will devote his whole time to the position of county treasurer, having no opposition, he is sure of election."
William and Annie were blessed with one child, Reva May, in 1902. Throughout their lives, the Everhart family was very active in the club and social life of the Molalla community. William still held the county treasurer job when he died in 1944. Annie passed away in 1961.
About the author: Gail J. McCormick has lived in Mulino for 31 years. She is an award winning author for her book "Our Proud Past". The book features stories of Oregon Trail pioneers who settled in South Clackamas County. It is available at Cutter's Pharmacy, Shortcake's Consignment, Meadowbrook Store, Mulino Store and Molalla Area Historical Society.