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Ida Parrish Ireland
remembers Sodaville



 Mrs. Ida Parrish Ireland tells of early conditions in the Sodaville —Lebanon — Peterson Butte neighborhoods (119): 

“... I was born on the old Parrish farm about four miles south of Lebanon and one mile west of Sodaville in 1864. My parents were Jesse Busse Parrish and Delia Thorla Parrish. My father was born in Monongahela County, West Virginia, March 28, 1818, my mother in Noble County, Ohio, November 18, 1826. They were married November 5, 1842, in Ohio and come to Oregon in 1852; they had nine children, four born before coming west and five after they arrived in this state. I was married to James Selby Ireland on February 4, 1883, and we had four children. 

  “When my parents reached Linn County they settled on a claim about l-1/2 miles east of Albany. The house they built sometime between 1854 and 1859 still stands, north of the Santiam Highway. In 1864 my parents moved to part of the Reuben Coyle claim in the Lebanon-Sodaville neighborhood. What is left of the old Reuben Coyle house stands where the Crowfoot-Rock Hill road sends a branch towards Lebanon, on the rocky rise just above the southeast angle formed by the intersection. My father rebuilt the place, but the original old kitchen is still part of the east L. That is where I was born and grew up. The Coyles had built another house farther up the hill on what is now the Archie Campbell place, but that house is now entirely gone. There are still remains of an old orchard on the flat and among the trees are some of the old Peterson Plums. These plums are now scattered all over Linn County, but they are a true pioneer product, grown from seed by, and named for old Asa Peterson, after whom Peterson Butte is also named. A wonderful yellow plum-tree also grew on the Reuben Coyle flat; this plum has been much distributed locally, but never named. It is about the site of the Peterson plum but of very exceptional quality, mild and sweet when cooked, yellow with bright pink cheeks. Every one who tastes it goes to the old Coyle place to get a sprout from the old tree for a starter. 

 “I went to school for three terms at the ‘Dodge’ schoolhouse, there the Lebanon road turns north after joining the Crowfoot road. My first teacher was Don Byland. That was about 1872. My second teacher was Jim Mack.

 “The first school at Sodaville was on the Charles Snyder place, west and a little north of the present public school, across the highway from it. The log cabin was a church when I went to school in Sodaville, and I went to services there. Schooling was through the A B C’s, the primer, and to the 6th reader; besides we studied history, arithmetic and geography. Social diversions were spelling bees, singing bees, etc., and everybody went to church on Sunday. Neighbors were few and far between. Those we associated with in a circle around us were the Evans’, Kukendalls, Coyles, Jap (Jasper) Smeltzer and a few others. The Hen. Courtis Stringer now lives on what was the Sam Carl place, but the old house was far back from the road. The Usher farm is the first west of Oak Creek, a half mile west of Sodaville on the north side of the road. The original house is still standing. The upper story was formerly used as a dance hall, was popular for social events and people came there to dances from as far away as Brownsville, men and women riding horseback. The two Cheedle families lived farther towards Lebanon. The original Summers house was on the flat west of where the highway begins to climb into Sodaville, on the old road which circles the base of the hill. My uncle, Gamaliel Parrish took up a claim on the Lebanon — Brownsville road about four or five miles north of Brownsville. The old house is still standing. 

  “After I was married we lived at Sodaville for a time, just west of the present school building. At that time there was no road leading to our place and we were forced to climb the hill to the spring, then bump and wrack our way down the hill again, over logs and rocks to the bottom. The Klum home was directly over the hill to the south of the spring. George Klum was head of the family. Dennis Klum was George Klum’s son. Henry Klum, a brother or cousin of George, was one of the very last surviving Indian War veterans. The Evangelical Church was built about 1890, first as a Union Church. Rev. Plowman was the first regular pastor. The Free Methodist Church was built about 1893. I left Sodaville in 1894. At the time we left the town was burned out badly.

 Commenting on a very large family bible with some 25 pages of family records, Mrs. Ireland said: “This was the property of Edward Parrish, my great—grandfather, who was born August 20, 1748 and died April 13, 1813. His wife was Rachel Evans Parrish, born December 6, 1768 and dying September, 1819. Their home was in Virginia. Their son, Rev. E. E. Parrish, who inherited this bible, was born November 20, 1791. He came to Oregon and settled in the Parrish Gap region, east of Jefferson in 1846. He was the well known Methodist circuit rider, brought this bible with him and carried it for many years in his saddle—bags as he rode from place to place to preach. His full name was Edward Evans Parrish. Evans was his mother maiden name. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Parrish Knox near Knox Butte, Linn County.


Sodaville Quick Facts

Location:  Twp 12S, Rge 2W, Sect 36

Name Origin:  Descriptive of mineral springs in area.

Other Names:  Soda Springs, Summer's Soda

Post Office Established:  16 Apr 1873

First Postmaster:  William A. Peterson

Discontinued:  8 Dec 1933

Incorporation Date:  1880

Population 1999:  275


More Links: 

Reuben Stringer Coyle  and Hannah Carroll Coyle,  Emigrants of 1847


Town histories were  abstracted from:  "History of Linn County", Compiled by Workers of the Writer’s Program, Works Progress Administration, 1941.  See bibliography for above-cited references.  All photos from the collection of Lisa L. Jones, unless otherwise noted.  Lisa L. Jones contributed and is solely responsible for the content of these pages.  Copyright 2001.