Another article in the forthcoming AROUND The COUNTY: Histories of Washington County, Arkansas
Long forgotten villages dot the maps of Washington County, places like Floss, Sugar Hill, Clyde, and Arnett. Odell is another, no longer existing as more than a place name. For a time in the 19th century, this village was a tiny but important commercial center in that vicinity the southwest county. School No. 69, Shady Grove, was located there as well as a blacksmith shop, general store, and post office, all along a long established roadway mostly following the ridge tops in this western edge of the Boston Mountains.
Both Confederate and Union troops used this road, now County Road 295, as an alternative to the more heavily traveled routes like the Old Wire Road up the middle of the county, or the route later to become Highway 59 along the state’s boundary with Indian Territory, or the newly marked-out Cove Creek Road which rose from the depths of Crawford County and led directly to Prairie Grove.
Noah West, the owner of the Odell general store circa 1900, stands proudly at its entry with his extended family, a moment and place captured for all time.