Noah N. Odell
Posted By: Pat O'Dell (email)
Date: 8/1/2010 at 21:36:55
Noah N. Odell
From the Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. The Lewis Publishing Company. Chicago, 1892. pp. 407-408.
Noah N. Odell, who resides on section 2 in Nodaway township, is one of the pioneers of Adams county, and one of the oldest residents of his township, the time of his coming having been in November 1856. There were then but few families in the township. He was born in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1826, the son of Eli Odell, a native of Vermont, who removed when a boy of eleven years with his parents to New York, thence to Canada, and from there went with an uncle to Crawford county, Ohio in 1822, when he was a youth of nineteen years. There he married Miss Asenath Parcher. In 1854, Eli Odell removed with his family to Winterset, Madison county, Iowa, where they lived until death. They were the parents of two sons and five daughters who grew to mature years. The two sons and three daughters are now living.
Noah N. Odell, the subject of this notice, settled on section 16 in the fall of 1856, and there, in that year, erected a steam sawmill. This was the first steam sawmill in Adams county, which was an entirely new mill when Mr. Odell bought it at Mt Vernon, Ohio, and had it shipped to the place where it was erected. An effort was made about the same time to erect an old steam sawmill at Brooks, but it was not a success, so that Mr. Odell's mill may properly be said to be the first steam sawmill erected in Adams County. He removed his mill to Brooks in the spring of 1859, and in 1863 to Washington township, having sold it to Christopher Hardier. This mill has now disappeared, as the man to whom Mr Odell sold it disposed of various parts to different person, who removed the same from the county. Mr. Odell has carried on farming ever since his mill experience but in connection there with was also engaged in carpentering and building for many years. His father was a carpenter and he very naturally learned that trade. He has done much building in Adams county, having built the first frame barn of any importance; this was on what is known as the "Billy Wilson" farm in Quincy twp. The largest barn he built was on the Vernon place near Corning. In fact he has erected a large number of both dwellings and barns in Adams and Montgomery counties. He has resided on his present farm since 1866. He has a fine farm of 200 acres, and has also given land to his sons.
Mr Odell was married in 1847 to Miss Lydia A. Field, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Selden Field, a native of Connecticut. Her mother's maiden name was Lydia Ketchum, a native of Vermont, but reared in the state of New York. Mr and Mrs Odell have seven children, six sons and one daughter, and have lost four daughters by death. In his political affiliations Mr Odell has been a Republican ever since the organization of that party. His first presidential vote was cast for Martin Van Buren. He voted for General Fremont in 1856, and for General Harrison in 1888, and all Republican presidents between those two. He was reared in the Abolition school of politics, his father having belonged to that party, and in his early days, in Ohio helped many escaping slave on his way to freedom. He and his wife have long been faithful and consistent members of the Christian church.
We have thus endeavored to give a biographical sketch of Mr Odell, one of the best known pioneers of Adams county, who with his wife came here when the country was new and have done their part in contributing to the growth and development of the county. The lives of such as they are well worthy of preservation in the annals of the county with which they have been so long and closely identified. Cordial and genial in disposition and ever generous and hospitable they have the esteem and respect of all.
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