Randolph County Indiana Biographies Surnames Starting with O
THOMAS W. ODLE
, retired citizen of Ridgeville, has lived a long and useful life of eighty-six years, and is one of the few Indiana survivors of the men who as boys were in the Union army during the Civil war. He was born in Ward Township, Randolph County, December 7, 1844, a son of David and Elizabeth (Jack) Odle. His father was born at Deerfield, Indiana, in 1820, just a year after his parents, William and Elizabeth (Franklin) Odle, came from the Scioto Valley of Ohio and entered a tract of Government land in this portion of Eastern Indiana. Elizabeth Jack was born near Lebanon, Ohio, in 1817, and was thirteen years of age when, in 1830, her parents, Robert L. and Rebecca (Ferris) Jack, settled in Randolph County. Mr. Odle's paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Franklin, was descended from a brother of Benjamin Franklin. His grandfather Odle was one of the pioneer justices of the piece at Winchester, and treasurer of Randolph County in 1831, where he also conducted a business as a merchant. David Odle was a farmer and died of accidental injury when only twenty-eight years of age, his son Thomas being then about three years old. Thomas W. Odle's mother, in 1851, became the wife of Harrison Wilmore. He remained with his mother and step-father until February, 1865, when he enlisted in Company A of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry. During the last weeks of the war he was engaged in guard duty in the Shenandoah Valley and received his honorable discharge in August, 1865, at Boliver Heights, Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Prior to his army service he had taught a term of school in Randolph County, and after leaving the army he attended Liber College, in Jay County, and at intervals continued teaching until April, 1867. At that time he married Miss Leah A. Waltz, who was born at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1848. Her parents were David and Elizabeth (Schreckengohst) Waltz, also Pennsylvanians. Following his marriage Mr. Odle located on a farm near Deerfield, and gave nearly forty years to the active work and supervision of his farming interests, building up a highly improved farm of 253 acres. When he left the farm he built a modern home in Ridgeville. For ten years he was a director of the Ridgeville State Bank. Mr. Odle for fourteen years served as a justice of the peace at Ridgeville. He is a Republican and was a member of the Grand Army Post as long as it was in existence. Mr. and Mrs. Odle lived together for sixty years, death terminating their companionship on July 18, 1928. The oldest of their children is Elmer, of Ward Township, who married Elsie Veary, and they have three daughters: Doris, a dietician in a hospital at Mercer, Pennsylvania; Lucille, Mrs. David Shockney, of Ward Township; and Bernice, a student in Purdue University. The second child is Ned, a Ward Township farmer, who married Margaret Ulrich, and their three children are Lee A. and Edith, both graduates of Purdue University, and Mrs. Vera Warren, of Jackson Township. Alice, the third child, is the widow of Ara Harlan, and her three children are Mrs. Nilah A. Brookings, a teacher, Nelda and Mary. Harry Odle, of Ward Township, married Grace Eltzroth and has a son, Charles, who is a graduate of Purdue University and has been a teacher since 1925. Mr. Odle's youngest daughter is Miss Hazel.