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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HENRY W. ODELL, one of the proprietors of the Chautauqua Lake stock farms and an oil producer of northwestern Pennsylvania, is a son of John and Theodosia (Hodges) Odell, and was born in the town of Busti, Chautauqua county, New York, July 6, 1852. The Odell family is of English descent. John Odell (father) was born in 1818 and removed to Cattaraugus county, New York, where he has been engaged for many years in the grocery, oil and lumber business. He was formerly a republican in politics, but a few years ago joined the prohibition party. He married Theodosia Hodges, daughter of John Hodges, a farmer and stock raiser near Cambridge, Pa., and who was a member of the Cambridge Presbyterian church. Mr. and Mrs. John Odell had two children: Henry W. and Theodosia, wife of Eugene Pearce, a merchant and coal dealer of Olean. After the death of his first wife John Odell married Euphemia Odell. To this second marriage were born two children: James and one which died in infancy.

Henry W. Odell was educated in the common schools of the town of Busti, and in Oberlin college, Ohio. After he left college he became a contractor for drilling oil wells in Pennsylvania. After several years’ experience as a contractor he embarked in the oil producing business, which he has followed successfully ever since. In October, 1889, he removed to Jamestown, and became partner with T. J. Vandergrift in the purchase of the Chautauqua Lake stock farm, containing some two hundred acres of land, on which they propose to raise none but the finest horses. They now have about fifty head of very fine horses.

Mr. Odell married Lena Carr, daughter of Thomas Carr, of Portage, Ohio. To their union has been born one child, a son, Lewis.

H. W. Odell is a man of energy and business tact and has always supported the Republican party.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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