Odell, Illinois

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Odell is a village in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,014 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Media

In October 2006, Odell was featured on the USA Food Network's "Riding Old Route 66", which visited the Standard Oil station

Geography

Odell is located at 41°00′13″N 88°31′20″W / 41.003624°N 88.522135°W / 41.003624; -88.522135.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.9 km²), of which, 1.1 square miles (2.9 km²) of it is land and 0.88% is water.

History

Founding

Dwight was laid out by Sydney S. Morgan (25 January 1823 - 5 April 1884) [2] and Henry A. Gardner (2 April 1816 – 27 July 1875) on 10 August 1856. [3] Both men were railroad engineers who had worked on the survey and construction of what soon became the Chicago and Alton Railroad. For a time Sydney S. Morgan divided his time between Joliet and Odell, but soon settled in Odell on a permanent basis where he became the town’s chief promoter. [4] Gardner was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts and had begun his railroad career working as a rodman on an extension of the Great Western Railroad in Massachusetts. He rose quickly through the ranks until he became chief engineer of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad. Gardner came west in 1853 to work assistant engineer to Oliver H. Lee on the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad, He purchased land near Dwight and later went on to become Chief Engineer on the Michigan Central Railroad. Gardner was never a resident of Odell. [5] The town was platted when it became clear that the railroad would pass through their land. This Railroad was originally known as the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad, but quickly became The Chicago Alton and St. Louis, and then the Chicago and Alton. An excursion train ran through the town on 4 July 1854 regular service began in August of 1854. Before the coming of the railroad, the land which became Odell Township was completely unsettled. Between 1852 and 1855 almost all of the land in the township was entered and farms were rapidly developed. The land on which the town would soon be erected had been first purchased from the government by. James C. Spencer and Henry A. Gardner on 4 May 1853. Through a series of quick transactions, Spencer sold his land to William H. Odell who then transferred it to Sydney S. Morgan. [6]

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