In Memory

John Odell

In the death of John C. Odell, Carroll county suffers a distinct loss. The passing of a pioneer who has been so closely and so notably connected with the history of the county is like the removing of a substantial pillar from beneath a time honored structure in the community. By such men as John C. Odell has every community been pioneered that ever gained a noteworthy place in the affairs of the human race. He possessed those sturdy qualities that enabled him to overcome obstacles and rise above discouragement and disappointment to higher and higher grounds each day of his life. Every community has its outstanding men, its prominent families who have been the history makers of the social, economic, political and religious institutions that serve the public. John C. Odell and the Odell family have occupied this position with other prominent men and families of this county. He has filled his niche in life well. In every commendable activity of life, he will be missed from this community. Mr. Odell was the son of James Odell, who was born in Wayne County, Ind., in 1810. The father was one of the first white settlers in Carroll county. His home was always open to the weary traveler and was noted for its genuine hospitality. To James and Sarah Hatfield Odell were born six children: John C., Elisha, Cyrus, James D., Sarah J., and Frank—all of whom with the parents have now passed away. John C. Odell was the last of the original Odell family of this county. John C. Odell was born in this County, December 6, 1838. He received a common-school education in the country schools and in the Delphi public school. He attended the Battleground Collegiate Institute under Prof. E. H. Staley, in 1858 and 1859. He attended the Asbury University in 1860 and 1861. This later became De Pauw, and Mr. Odell was to have been a special guest at the De Pauw picnic in this city July., 10. He taught school in Camden in 1872 and 1873. In 1863 and 1864, he was the editor and publisher of the Delphi Weekly Times. In April, 1865, John C. Odell was married to Euphemia Noland, of Virginia, who died in October, 1866. He was deputy clerk seven years, and was admitted to the Carroll county bar in November, 1879. He has been engaged in the practice of law through the years, and only recently was forced to give up because of ill health. He was elected prosecuting attorney for the thirty-ninth judicial district in 1896. He also served eleven years as the deputy prosecuting attorney for Carroll county, and was efficient and conscientious in his work. Mr. Odell was married to Elizabeth R. Noland, of Virginia, a sister of his first wife, September 11, 1873. Five children were born to them; three died in infancy; two are living, Charles N. and Josephine Ruth, who have been devoted in their care of their father, during his illness. Mrs. Odell died in September, 1923—just a few days after the observance of their golden wedding anniversary. Mr. Odell was a member of the Delphi Baptist Church. He was a member of Carroll Lodge No. 174, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, for over fifty years. He was secretary of the Old Settler’s Society of Carroll county for forty years, and under his direction the Society prospered as never before. He gave of his strength and his talents freely, willingly and without any financial recompense in this service. Mr. Odell was vice president of the Carroll County Historical Society and was one of the organizers of that society. Mr. Odell was a writer of ability. He wrote a history of Carroll county, which is considered an authority today in matters pertaining to the county and its residents. From time to time through the years, he contributed valuable historical articles to state and local newspapers. No one realizes more than newspaper folk, the loss in a historic way that this county sustains in the death of Mr. Odell. When information was desired concerning any phase of Carroll County history, immediately someone suggested, “Ask John Odell.” And he could always furnish the desired information. The life of John C. Odell exerted an influence over the community not easily estimated except by those who have talked with him and worked with him during the activities of his life. The beautiful background to his modest and retiring life was his honesty, his sterling worth and his dependability. Funeral services were held from the family residence Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock, the Rev. E. M. Martinson, pastor of the Delphi Baptist church, and Rev. F. R. Pittman officiating. Interment was made in the Masonic cemetery.

Delphi Citizen July 11, 1925