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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 608~



(Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Burton E. Odekirk included in source book)


Practical industry, wisely and vigorously applied, never fails of success. It carries a man onward and upward, brings out his individual character and acts as a powerful stimulus to the efforts of others. The greatest results in life are often attained by simple means and the exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance. The everyday life, with its cares, necessities, and duties, affords ample opportunities for acquiring experience of the best kind and its most beaten paths provide a true worker with abundant scope for effort and self-improvement.


Burton E. Odekirk is a native of Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where he was born on November 9, 1863, and is a son of William and Lurinda H. (Handcock) Odekirk, the former a native of Hoosick, Rensselaer county, New York, and the latter of Onondaga county, the same state. They were married in the latter county and in 1848 moved to Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, the trip being made by boat to Milwaukee and then by ox team to their new home. There Mr. Odekirk applied himself to the work of a frontiersman and in the course of time succeeded in clearing two farms, a considerable task. In 1868 he came to Center township, Fayette county, Iowa, and bought one hundred and fifty acres of land, and also forty acres of timber land in Westfield township. Here he made his home and spent the rest of his days, his death occurring on September 25, 1890, at the age of seventy-three years, six months and seven days. His wife died on February 3, 1908, at the age of eighty-four years, one month and six days. They became the parents of seven children, namely: Quincy A., Adelbert (deceased), Josie A. (deceased), Herbert E., Sarah L., Willard B. and Burton E. William Odekirk was a Republican in his political belief and served several terms as trustee as well as other township offices, being active in political affairs. He was an attendant of the Universalist church.


The subject of this sketch was reared on the parental homestead and as soon as old enough applied himself to the labors of the home farm. He secured a good common school education, supplementing this by attendance in the commercial department of the Upper Iowa University at Fayette. His active years have been devoted to agricultural pursuits and he has met with a gratifying measure of success along this line. He owns one hundred and thirty-six acres of the old homestead and on this he produces all the crops common to this section of the state, giving also some attention to the raising of livestock, which has proven the source of a considerable part of his income.


On February 6, 1889, Mr. Odekirk was united in marriage with Carrie A. Miner, who was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, on November 4, 1866, a daughter of Francis Brown and Eliza (Marvin) Miner. These parents were natives respectively of Vermont and Ohio and after their marriage they located in Ohio. In 1873, they came to Fayette county, Iowa, settling on a farm in Center township, their home now being in West Union. They are widely known and highly respected. Politically, Mr. Miner is a Republican and has served several terms as trustee of his township. Religiously, his wife is a Baptist, while he is liberal in his views. They became the parents of four children, namely: Carrie, Hattie B. (deceased), Ella Frances and Horace Clyde. To Mr. and Mrs. Odekirk have been born four children, as follows: One that died in infancy, Forest, Roy Francis and Robert William.


Politically, the subject of this sketch is an exponent and supporter of the Republican party, though in no sense a seeker after public office, while in religion he holds liberal views. Because of his business ability, his sterling integrity and his honesty of purpose in all the affairs of life, Mr. Odekirk has won and retains to a marked degree the confidence and esteem of all who know him, his friends being in number as his acquaintances.


Francis B. Miner, father of Mrs. Odekirk, enlisted in the Sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on October 14, 1861, in which he served three years, and was discharged October 15, 1864, while in camp before Petersburg, Virginia. He was a bodyguard of General Fremont and received a silver medal for bravery. He was quartermaster sergeant. On his way home, this medal was stolen from him by some one who wanted the silver more than the medal."



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