Clay County

Biography - Caleb Odell

CALEB ODELL, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Hoosier Prairie, was born September 29, 1827, in Lawrence County, Ind. His father. Joseph Odell (deceased), was a native of Randolph County, N. C. Mr. Odell was brought up on the farm, and attended a subscription school. In the fall of 1852, he came to this county to improve his 200 acres of land, which he had previously entered. This constitutes a portion of his present beautiful farm on Levitt's Prairie, in Hoosier Township. He did not settle on his land, however, until early in 1853, when he built a rude log hut and began making other improvements. Like other pioneers, Mr. Odell became much disheartened by sickness, and used every possible effort to sell his possessions and leave the country; at one time he proposed to Henry Conley to trade him his 200 acres of land for a team and wagon and $200 in money, but it seemed out of the question to sell, and as he had nothing with which to go away he was compelled to remain. When he began life, he had a wagon and two ponies, and $115 in money. He has been eminently successful, and now owns 340 acres of valuable land, well stocked and improved, and has the finest brick residence in Hoosier Township. He had three brothers, all of whom were soldiers for the Union in the late war. In 1862, he held the office of Assessor for Hoosier Township. In religion, he is a Baptist. Mr. Odell was married the first time on the 9th of November, 1848, to Nancy J. Higginbotham, by whom he had ten children; of these eight are living, viz., Joseph, Rebecca, Martha J., Sidney, Hugh, Caleb, Elizabeth and Frederick. Mrs. Odell died March 2, 1877, and on the 2d day of the following June he married Mrs. Nancy A. Maxwell, who had been twice married before. By her he has had four children, three of whom are living, viz., Valentine, Perley and Bertha. This last wife had two children by her first husband, viz., Lurinda and Ella Herley. We should have mentioned that Mr. Odell owns a very fine traction engine and thresher, which he operates each season.

Extracted 26 Jan 2020 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 188.

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