Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.
James R. Odom
For some time the CHRONICLE has been trying to get a picture of Postmaster Odom of Edgewood. A few days ago he finally complied with the request and we present it to our readers. He has been for many years a resident of Van Zandt and his record as a citizen of the county, neighbor and friend is unblemished. When asked for a sketch of his life he said:
I was born on the red hills of Georgia, January 30, 1837, and reared in the swamps of Louisiana. Joined the Pelican Rifles, 2nd Louisiana Infantry, April 27, 1861. The first soldiers I saw slain in battle were at Big Bethel, VA., in June 1861 (have forgotten the exact date.) Fit, bled and died at the second battle of Bull Run or Manasses. Paroled in 1865. Am now living in God's country, the "Free State of Van Zandt." Been a resident of Edgewood since 1889 and if the Good Lord is willing will spend the remainder of my days here. Have been helping Uncle Sam with his business since 1890, and when the last roll is called I hope to meet Lee, Stonewall, Gordon and all true Confederates that have gone on before."
"Dad," as he is familiarly known about Edgewood, has been postmaster since the office was established. He took it and kept it for many years when no one else would have it and has seen it grow from an office that did not begin to pay for the trouble it was to one that now makes a fairly good living. During these fourteen years he has always been the same accommodating official and all the children and all the old folks and everybody else knows "Dad."
Published in the Wills Point Chronicle, August 11, 1904
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