While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


ODELL, WILLMOT MITCHELL (1878–1932). Willmot Mitchell Odell, United States district attorney and University of Texas regent, son of James Mitchell and Arabella (Murchison) Odell, was born at Cleburne, Texas, on March 16, 1878. He received his LL.B. degree at the University of Texas in 1899 and his LL.M. at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1900. While in school in Austin he was a clerk for the attorney general, and in Washington he was private secretary for Senator Charles A. Culberson. Odell practiced law in Cleburne from 1901 to 1917. He was chairman of the Johnson County Democratic Executive Committee and in 1916 was on the state Democratic Executive Committee. From 1917 to 1919 he was United States attorney for the Northern District of Texas. In 1919 he moved to Fort Worth, where he was a counselor for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway. Odell was a member of the Texas Prison Board from July 1927 to May 1929; from April 1929 to September 1932 he was a member of the board of regents of the University of Texas. His wife was the former Rita Harris of Fort Worth. Odell was a Baptist and a Mason. He died at the home of his father-in-law, E. W. Harris, at Fort Worth on November 14, 1932, and was buried in Cleburne.

Dallas Morning News, November 15, 1932. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "ODELL, WILLMOT MITCHELL," accessed May 30, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fod01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...