Isaac Dietderich

Old names fade out and new ones arrive on the scene. An example of a once-prominent name in Clark County not so well remembered now is Dietderich.

Isaac Dietderich was a pioneer lumberman and mill operator, and two sons later were businessmen in Vancouver. Several other Dietderichs also lived in Clark County, but not as much is known about their activities.

Isaac Dietderich, a Civil War veteran, was born in Ohio and cross the plains in 1868 by horsedrawn wagon with his wife, Elizabeth Harris Dietderich. They settled in 1869 on a timbered farm in the Glenwood area. Three of the Dietderich children died in one day in 1871 from diptheria.

In 1875 Dietderich started a sawmill on Salmon Creek and moved there.

At the 1880 census his occupation was listed as lumbering.

Dietderich’s brother, Peter, also a Civil War veteran, was living in Clark County in 1880. His parents, Frederick and Margaret Dietderich, were residing with him.

Isaac Dietderich bought a dairy farm in 1889 west of Vancouver. He and his wife, Elizabeth, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1907, and Isaac died in 1908.

A son, Lewis Dietderich, bought an interest in 1906 in a clothing store that had been started by M.S. Cohen in 1905. Another of Isaac’s sons, Clayton D. Dietderich, bought out the interest of Lewis about 1907, and the firm then was known as Cohen and Dietderich.

In 1922 Cohen sold his interest to Dietderich, who sold the store at 508-510 Main St. in 1925 to J. Weiner of Portland, to be part of a chain of stores.

Clayton Dietderich then bought an interest in a sawmill at Kelso, and he was killed there by a train about 1930-31.

One of Isaac’s sons, E.M. Dietderich helped his father on the dairy ranch until 1900 when he bought the place. As early as 1907 Dietderich was trying automation. The Columbian reported he had purchased two milking machines for his cows six miles downstream from Vancouver. He expected to reduce the number of his employees from five to two after installation of the machines.

In 1915 E.M. Dietderich rented the ranch and moved to Vancouver. About 1919 sold the property.

Dietderich worked in the shipyards and did other work in Vancouver about the time of World War I.

He bought a hardware store, which had been known as the Brooker Implement Co. and later the Wilde Pump Co. The name was changed to McKay and Dietderich, and about 1920 the firm was renamed Dietderich and Sander. At the end of 1927 Dietderich became sole owner of the business at 317 Main St.

In the 1930s he was a sanitary inspector for the local health department.

Lucille Weir, daughter of Clayton and Margaret Dietderich, is reported to be the last member of her family living in Clark County.

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