James and Elizabeth (Avery) Odom, with their nine children, first lived in Story, Okla.; then in Alvarado, and then in Maypearl.
They came to Three Rivers in 1917 and bought land west of Three Rivers. They cleared the brush and built a home. They farmed and lived in this home until they passed away. Their children were Loyd, Verdie, Roy, Gracie, Ollie, Lee, Alva, Clarence and Eldon.
Gracie married Mitt Thompson and moved to Fort Worth. Roy followed the oilfield to Big Spring and settled there. Ollie worked in the oilfield also. He sustained a serious injury at a young age and died.
Loyd married Mary Taylor. They continued to live on his father’s farm, and he farmed the land. They had two sons, Vestal and Valter.
Valter served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was killed during the beach landing in Iwo Jima in World War II.
Vestal married Bernice Goynes, and they had 11 children. Vestal also farmed the land his grandfather and father farmed.
After Vestal died, Bernice and the children moved to the Corpus Christi area. One son, Byron, lived in Three Rivers for a time. The other children were Kenneth, L.D., Mary Ann, Valter, Rocky, Vesta, Teresa, Cary, Tom and Margaret. Mary Odom was a much-loved member of the Three Rivers community. She died at the age of 95 at Our Savior Lutheran Chuch while attending a Home Demonstration Club meeting.
Clarence married Gussie Holbrook. Clarence worked in the oilfield, and Gussie ran a beauty shop. They had three children, Randall, Lou Anne and Wayne. Wayne is deceased; Randall and Lou Anne live in San Antonio.
Eldon married Memie Carroll, and they had three sons, Ray, Floyd and Milton. Eldon worked for the city of Three Rivers in the water department for many years and also had a plumbing business. In his early years he also delivered bottles for the Three Rivers Glass Factory. Ray lives in Pasadena. Floyd lives in Austin and recently wrote a book, Nostalgic Reflections - A Journey of Memories, which includes the history of Three Rivers’ first 100 years.
Milton married Louise Herring, who had long worked for the Three Rivers Postal Department. They had four daughters and one son. Denise and her husband, Danny Garcia, live in Three Rivers. Michael works for the Valero Refinery. Tina married Josh Johanson and lives in Woodville. Lana married Sean Chatterton, and they live in Arlington. Milton and Louise’s son, Dustin, was killed in a tragic car accident in 2010.
Verdie married Joe Woolsey. They lived in Three Rivers and had three children, Aileen, Vernice and Roy. All the children moved away after high school.
Alva married Maggie Taylor. Alva also worked for the Three Rivers Glass Factory delivering bottles and later worked in the oilfield. Maggie had a beauty shop in her home. They had three children: Betty, who lives in Victoria; Winston, who lives in Dallas; and John Alva, who is deceased.
Lee married Bessie Ferguson, and they had three daughters. Evelyn lives in Blanco; Joyce lives in Athens, and Peggy is deceased. Lee first worked in E.J. Majors Drugstore, which was located in the present sight of Campbell Drugstore. He then worked for Carl Witt and managed the Ram Supply Company, which was between J.A. Gurwitz Department Store and Aubrey Lee’s Locker Plant. In 1949, Lee opened his own business, Lee Odom Hardware, which he owned and operated for 30 years. When he retired, he sold his store and lot to First State Bank, which used the property to enlarge the bank and provide a parking lot.
So, with this article we pay tribute to a family who has been in Three Rivers for 96 years and who contributed much to the growth of Three Rivers and who helped make it what it is today. The family served the city well.