Walter G. Schroeder began working for the Extension service in 1949 as an Agriculture Agent in Coos County, after receiving his B.S. from Oregon State College. After being drafted into the armed services at the beginning of the Korean War, Schroeder spent two years stationed in Germany. After being discharged, Schroeder returned to his position at Coos County. In 1956, he returned to school to seek a graduate degree, and received an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1957.
After receiving his master’s degree, Schroeder returned to the Extension Service, working at the Lane County Extension office in Florence until the office closed in 1962. He was then transferred to the Extension headquarters at OSU and became an Extension Agent-at-Large, where he helped develop 4-H camps and the training of future extension agents. During this period, Schroeder was invited to Washington D.C. to advise the U.S. Department of Agricultural Extension Service concerning outdoor recreation.
In 1965, Schroeder was transferred to Washington County; in 1967, to Curry County. Schroeder frequently worked with the 4-H club and on the development of community resources in agriculture, forestry, and marine science. In 1977, Schroeder became the Curry County staff chair.
Schroeder retired and was granted Emeritus status in 1983. Today, Schroeder lives in Curry County with his wife, Sally, whom he married in 1953. Schroeder’s post-retirement interests have included politics. He was elected to the State Legislature, where he held office from 1985–1993. During this period, he also began writing about Curry County and his genealogy. His published works include Curry County Agriculture: the People and the Land: an Oregon documentary (1998), They Found Gold on the Beach: a History of Central Curry County: an Oregon Documentary (1999), and Characters, Legends and Mysteries of Curry County, Oregon (2007).