The attractiveness of Delaware county as a place of residence is indicated in
the fact that many of its native sons have remained within its borders, finding
here the opportunities which others seek elsewhere. Such an
one is I. C. Odell, who is a native of Elk township, born on the 20th of April,
1857, his parents being Job and Mary Odell, mentioned elsewhere in this volume.
They carefully reared their family and I. C. Odell therefore had the benefit of
good home training. He attended the public schools and from an early age worked
in the fields.
Upon attaining his majority I. C. Odell took
charge of the old homestead farm, bending his energies to its further
development and improvement until 1902, when he purchased the farm upon which he
now lives situated on section 17, Elk township. He
has two hundred and fifty acres of arable land. The soil is naturally rich and
productive and responds readily to the care and labor which he bestows upon it.
He raises various cereals and in addition makes a specialty of stock raising,
feeding, buying and shipping, and is known today as one of the foremost stockmen
of this part of the state. His judgment in regard to the value of farm animals
is seldom if ever in error and his success is due to his wise investment and his
judicious management of his business interests.
In 1883 Mr. Odell was united in marriage to Miss
Emily Smithyman, a native of Wisconsin and a
daughter of William E. and Eleanor (Hughes) Smithyman,
the former a native of England and the latter of Wales. Mr.
Smithyman came to America in 1860 and in 1853 his wife crossed the
Atlantic. They had but two children, Mrs. Odell and Eleanor, now the wife of
Fred Wishart, a resident of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs.
Odell have become parents of five children: Edwin J., who was born December 16,
1883, and died in May, 1884; Nellie, born March 8, 1886; William S., April 4,
1889; Lincoln L., August 2, 1892; and Florence H., born March 28, 1900. The
parents are believers in the cause of education and have given their children
good advantages in that direction, the youngest daughter being now a pupil in
the high school. Mrs. Odell attends the Christian church.
Mr. Odell has membership in the Masonic
fraternity, in which he has attained high rank, and is now connected with the
Mystic Shrine. His political endorsement is given to
the republican party and for about fifteen years he
filled the office of assessor. He is now treasurer of the school board, having
occupied that position since 1893. No public trust reposed in him is betrayed in
the slightest degree and he has made a creditable record in office. His years
have been filled with business activity, his energy has carried him beyond the
point of mediocrity, and he is today numbered among the prosperous
agriculturists of Elk township as the result of his
ambition and determination.