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Charles G. Davis

ODELL, TEXAS. Odell is at the intersection of Farm roads 2379, 91, and 432 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, fifteen miles northwest of Vernon in extreme northwestern Wilbarger County. Wanderers Creek borders the town on the west. The settlement, which began as a railroad station when the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway built into the area in 1908, was named for J. T. Odell, a New York civil engineer. Much of the town's initial population lived in Haulk, two miles away, but moved to land donated by T. H. Holloway when the railroad came. Charles W. Stults built the first store in the new town, which was granted a post office on April 27, 1909. By 1919 the town had thirty businesses, including two banks and a picture show. The first newspaper was the Odell News, which began in the early 1900s. Five churches were eventually built. The peak years came in the late 1920s, when the town reported over 800 residents. Incorporation occurred in 1928. Within a short time, however, a gradual decline began. In 1934 a number of fires destroyed several businesses, and by 1945 only eight businesses and 301 citizens were reported. The population fell to about 130 from 1960 through the 1980s. Odell lost its incorporated status in the 1970s. In 1986 the town consisted of a combination post office and store, two Baptist churches, and a county maintenance building. The local economy was based on cotton, cattle, grain, and oil. In 2000 the population was 131.

John Leeds Kerr and Frank Donovan, Destination Topolobampo: The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway (San Marino, California: Golden West, 1968). Wilbarger County Historical Commission, Wilbarger County (Lubbock, 1986).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Charles G. Davis, "ODELL, TX," accessed March 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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