Philander Odell
Researched by: Elden Johnson, East Jordan, MI., e-mail:

This stern looking gentleman is Philander Odell. He seems to have arrived in Whitewater Twp. in the middle 1850's. His wife was Fidelia.

The children that we know of include:
Betsey J., born circa 1845, who married Aaron Essex in 1862 at Elk Rapids before John B. Spencer, JP, with Sylvia and George Wood as witnesses and Henry, born circa 1841, who enlisted in the Civil War.

James was born about 1848 and married Mary McVicar, the daughter of Alexander. Another daughter, known variously as Lilon or Sylvia, born around 1840, married George Wood in 1856. She later married Frederick Burberry in 1866.
Francis was born circa 1851 and married Vestaline Case, daughter of Daniel Case in 1892.


Fidelia died in Jan. 1859 and an infant died at the same time. In 1865, Philander married Lydia Schofield. Philander developed cancer of the upper lip. When he became unable to care for himself, Sylvia took him into her home where he died May 9, 1883.

Hiram, pictured left, is the best documented son and was born at Chatauqua Co., Pennsylvania in either 1838 or 1840. He enlisted in the Civil War at Traverse City. In 1865, he married Anna Melissa Wood, the daughter of Amos.

Hiram and Anna Melissa had 12 children. Susan McGlynn, a descendant of their 12th child, Nellie Jane Odell, and a member of the Society was kind enough to provide these pictures of Philander and Hiram.Hiram also developed cancer and went to the Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids for treatment for a time and came back home to die. He was one of the founding members of the Methodist church in Kewadin. In his early life he had a shingle mill near Williamsburg. In latter life he lived at the corner of Cairn Highway and Odell Road.