Robert A. Odell
(1888 - 1905)
"He always has shown a memorable interest in whatever tends to promote the moral and intellectual growth of the community in which he lived, and may fittingly be called the "Father of the County".
The Daily News, St. Paul, MN April 8, 1906.
Robert A. Odell was born in Essex County, New York on October 11, 1835. He left his early home in 1859 and went to Iowa, where he engaged in teaching. The following year he came to Wisconsin and engaged in mercantile business in Galesville, Wisconsin. He was one of the first merchants in Galesville. He continued in business until 1865, moving later to Whitehall.
In the fall of 1876 Odell was elected to the office of the Clerk of Court which he held for 10 years. In 1888 he was appointed to succeed Judge Mulligan. He was repeatedly elected to the office at succeeding elections for twenty years.
Judge Odell was twice married. His first wife being Emma Clark, daughter of William Clark, a Galesville pioneer. She died in 1878. He remarried in 1882 to Louisa Boardman. In 1907 they moved to Tulare, California.
After then years his ties were still strong as he wrote in 1917, "...I do not think a day has passed since we left Whitehall that we have not called to mind our many friends who are back in the old home. We had taken root there and no other place and no other people and no other friends will every be so dear to us." Judge Odell died in 1919.