Odumburg School History

Odumburg School stands in section 13 of Creal Springs Township on land Moses Odum laid claim to soon after he reached the county in 1815. Ben F. Odum of Creal Springs, who reached his eightieth milestone this year (1939), recalls a very different schoolhouse than we see today. He went one summer to a little log house in the woods, where his father had also been instructed.

Dempsey, Moses, and Thomas Odum came to the county in 1815. The first became important in county affairs and went to both Vandalia and Springfield as a legislator.

Moses Odum (1805-1871) tried one or two farms then settled in what is now Odumburg district. When the men of Crab Orchard enrolled under Captain Obediah West for the Black Hawk war, they elected Moses Odum corporal of their company. That began a military tradition in the family.

When the call came for volunteers for the Mexican war, Captain John M. Cunningham enrolled three of Moses Odum’s sons: John L., William L., and Britten Odum. The only service they had was the long military march to Santa Fe, where John L. Odum died October 14, 1847.

The Civil war called out every loyal man of physical fitness, and the younger sons of Moses Odum answered. Edward and Martin Odum enlisted under John A. Logan that day at Marion when part of the 31st Illinois infantry was raised. Addison Odum was visiting his brothers in camp at Cairo when orders came to embark on river boats, and he secured permission from Colonel Logan to take the place of Private Edward Odum, who was in hospital. The battle of Belmont was fought that day, and Citizen Addison Odum was wounded. He went home, and Private Edward Odum went to Fort Donelson, where he was killed February 15, 1862. Colonel Logan remembered both soldiers, and as United States senator secured a special bill that pensioned Addison Odum as a soldier of the Union.

Britten Odum took his brother’s place, and enlisted in Company B, 6th Illinois cavalry. He was captured and confined within the stockade at Andersonville prison. The soldier who enlisted at nineteen to fight the Mexicans, and left his young family at thirty-five to defend the Union died of starvation in that grim prison August 21, 1864.

Sergeant Martin Odum (1842-1932) returned wounded, but alive, from the battle of Atlanta. He was ordained in 1871 a minister of the Missionary Baptist church, was justice of the peace, county coroner, and township treasurer. In 1899 he was appointed postmaster at Palzo.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)