About the Author
Joseph W. Yoder was born on September 22, 1872, the son of an Amish preacher, Christian Z. Yoder, and Rosanna McGonegal Yoder, an Irish Catholic orphan who was raised by an Amish maiden woman. Following his graduation from Brethren Normal School (now Juniata College) in 1895, he served for two years as principal of Milroy (Pennsylvania) High School. Joseph was invited by John S. Coffman to teach at the Elkhart Institute (now Goshen College), where he served as an instructor in English, music, and Greek from 1897 to 1901. He returned to Juniata College in 1901 where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1904. Following his graduation he taught at Lock Haven (Pennsylvania) Teachers College from 1906 to 1919. Joseph taught music classes for Brethren, Mennonites, Methodists, River Brethren, and Amish Mennonites, and he became a widely known musical director at schools in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Virginia. He wrote his mother’s story, Rosanna of the Amish, and published it himself in 1940. Joseph died on November 13, 1956.