The Moody-Echerd House – Part 1
Dora Moody & William & Fannie Echerd
524 East Main Street
1906 - 1933
by Gail J. McCormick
The Moody-Echerd House is located at 524 East Main Street in Molalla, Oregon. The architectural style is the Craftsman-inspired, Four-square, Classic Box, so popular in Molalla at the time. This large house, situated on Main Street, adds much to the aesthetic beauty of our Molalla town. The house has a truncated hip roof and a large hip roofed front porch supported by posts set on solid balustrade. The original narrow shiplap siding, made from old-growth Douglas fir, remains and is in good condition. The shutters were added later. A side wing is one story and has the same siding. There is a one-story rear wing. Local records indicate that this was the first home in Molalla to have water and electricity installed. Presently, the house is used as a bed and breakfast establishment and an espresso cafe. The home was completely restored by Nate and Tootie Smith, who purchased it in 2004.
In December of 1905, Dora Moody, who was listed as an unmarried woman on the deed, purchased the property from James S. and Maria C. Miller, for $450.00. In October of 1908, she sold the property to William T. and Fannie L. Echerd for $750.00. Dora was born in 1882, and was the daughter of Ira and Amelia Kliese Moody. Ira was born in Ohio and first showed up in Oregon on the 1860 U. S. Census for Champoeg, Oregon. In 1869, he married Amelia Kliese. They are listed on the 1870 U. S. Census for Upper Molalla, Oregon. Ira was a merchant and farmer. Their daughter, Dora, was the youngest of five children. One can only surmise why Dora built such a large house. On the 1900 census, she is listed as a boarder, at the Macleay, Oregon, home of John Waldo, an attorney. Her occupation was servant. Perhaps her intention was to open her own boarding house. On October 8, of 1908, she sold the property to William Thomas and Fannie Leona Echerd. This was the same month that she married Charles M. Biddle. The couple then moved to the Portland, Oregon, area. Around 1930, they moved to Huntington Beach, California, and spent the rest of their lives there.
William Thomas Echerd was born in 1869, at North Carolina. He was the son of Peter E. Echerd and Phebe Melinda Herman Echerd. In 1888, William married Fannie Leona Bowman. In 1898, they emigrated from North Carolina to Oregon and settled in Molalla. They lived at several locations in the area, before moving to the Moody-Echerd House. At that time, the house included a 15 acre tract where they operated a nursery business.
William is most noted for being the first rural mail carrier out of the Molalla Post Office. Filling in as his substitute was Otis Ray Daugherty. Prior to this time, patrons had to pick up their mail at the Post Office. The first mail route was started in 1905, when there were dirt roads. The mail was carried by a horse pulled cart or buggy. The horses were stabled in a barn behind the Echerd home. This barn has since been removed. The first “Free Daily Routes 2 and 3 went to Russelville, then back and west to Glad Tidings School, then to Mount Hope School and back to Wilhoit and then back to Molalla town. Around 1925, William’s son, Raleigh, took over the mail route and William went to work as a salesman for Dicken & Company.
In October of 1925, William and his sons, William, Raleigh and Peter started a fur farm at their home. They named their business “Molalla Silver Fox Farms”. Their foundation stock was a “very fine pair of dark silvers raised in the east and shipped to Oregon for exhibition at the Oregon State Fair where they won blue ribbons”. They raised silver and black fox, blue fox, mink, martin and rabbits.
William and Fannie Echerd were very involved in the community. They were members of several lodges and the Grange. William was a charter member of the city council in 1913, and at one time served as Mayor. He was serving as City Recorder when he died in 1933, at Molalla. Fannie died in 1948, at Oregon City.
Dora Moody, Clackamas County Deed Records, Book 106, page 100 & Book 94, page 301
“Dora Moody”, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 U. S. Census, Ancestry.com
“Daugherty Clan” by Otis Ray Daugherty, Mt. Hood Genealogical Forum, June, 1960
“Molalla Silver Fox Farm”, Molalla Pioneer, October 29, 1925
“Prairie House Inn”, 2018 Website
“William T. Echerd”, 1870, 1900 & 1910 U. S. Census, Ancestry.com
“Willliam T. Echerd”, Obituary, Molalla Pioneer, December 21, 1933
“William T. Echerd”, Record of U. S. Civil Servants 1905 Rural Free Delivery, $720 yearly, Ancestry.com
“William T. Echerd, U. S. Find a Grave Website
© Gail J. McCormick, 2019