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Odell, Nebraska

December 19, 2012

Category: city


Odell, Nebraska: Celebrating History, Tradition, Pride and Progress.

Before the southwest corner of Gage County was home to Odell, it was part of the 10-by-25 mile Otoe Indian Reservation. But a bill by U.S. Senator Algernon Paddock, and the subsequent move of the Otoes to Oklahoma, opened the area up for development.

The railroad made the first purchase of land through the reservation in the late 1870's, but no towns sprouted until William LaGorgue, who settled in southern Gage County, bought a large amount of the reservation. He founded the town of Charleston on the south side of Indian Creek, a village that sported a number of businesses, a school and about 20 farmers.

The Burlington Northern Railroad, however, chose to build its railroad track on the north side of the creek. The mile move was made by most Charleston residents to what would eventually become Odell, which was named by James D. Myers, the town's first banker. Myers offered to deed the family of the first-born baby in town a lot if he could name the baby. The name given was Frank LaGrande Odell Triska, after one of the owners of the Lincoln Land Company, which owned the land in town. It was decided to call the town Odell as well.

Odell now has a population of approximately 300 people and supports many different businesses. For the history of the Odell bank visit the State Bank of Odell website. For more history of the area visit the Old West Trails Center.