This town is situated in the western part of Sac County on a branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. It was laid out by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company in 1877. M. H. Henipen is not only the first business man of Odebolt, but is one of the earliest settlers, having been engaged in selling supplies to the laborers before the town was laid out or the railroad completed. The first house erected in the town was built by W. Van Duesen, and served both as a store and dwelling. He was soon followed by Geo. McKibbin, and James Ross. The railroad was completed to this town in 1877. The first regular train reached this point November 19th, 1877.
- T. Martin is among the early settlers of Odebolt. He organized the first Sabbath School in December, 1877, and was the first commissioned Notary Public in the place.
The depot was built in 1877. J. T. Martin was appointed the first depot agent, and Miss Emma Martin was the first telegraph operator.
The town of Odebolt was incorporated in March, 1879, James Ross being the first Mayor, and J. M. Zane, Recorder; J. Flanders, J. Keterer, E. Geist, C. Dalbkymer, C. B. Hatfield, and J. Bowles served as Councilmen. James Ross still holds the position of Mayor, W. V. Sindt, Recorder; J. Flanders, J. Ketterer, E. Geist, H. Rheberger, J. W. Fairbanks, and C. S. Lee, are the present Councilmen.
The population of Odebolt is now estimated at 1,200 souls.
The Odebolt Reporter was started in Sac City in 1877, by W.W. Yarham, and was moved to Odebolt the same year. Frank Kelley purchased the paper from Yarham. It was afterwards bought by Taylor & Mann, and still later purchased by A. J. Mann. G. A. Kikok afterwards purchased the paper and sold it to F. L. Dennis in April, 1881. This paper is republican in politics, is an eight-column quarto, and has a circulation of 600.
The Ode bolt Observer is a neat six-column quarto weekly paper. It was started in July, 1880, by Martin & Bennett. Bennett soon bought Martin’s interest, and is now the sole proprietor. This paper is Democratic, and has a circulation of 500 copies.
The Central Western Iowa District Fair Association This comprises the counties of Sac, Ida and Crawford, and was organized August 1st, 1881, with W.W. Field as President, P. Coy, W. Van Duesen, H. C. Wheeler, AD. Peck, I. S. Bailey, E. P. Masser, E. A Benenett and S. Peterson as Vice-Presidents; P. L. Dennis, Secretary; W. J. Summerville, Treasurer. This society owns twenty-five acres of land, situated one-half mile north east of the town, and will hold their first fair in the fall of 1882.
Odebolt Fire Company The Hook and Ladder Company was organized in the spring of 1880, and consists of forty members, all uniformed. J. Mattes, Foreman; E. E. Hamlin, Secretary; W. V. Sindt, Treasurer; Dave W. Flack, Assistant Foreman. Odebolt boasts of a flax mill which was established in 1880 by Winslow & Son this is a large frame building with steam power. John Dement is the proprietor.
Odebolt has the finest public hall in Sac County. It was erected in 1881, by John Wright. It is a brick structure, 50×90 feet with five hundred sittings.
The business of Odebolt may be classified as follows: Seven general stores, three groceries, two harness shops, two hardware stores, three drug stores, two jewelry stores, two furniture stores, three restaurants, two banks, three hotels, three elevators, three lumber yards, four agricultural implement dealers, three livery stables, four blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, three millinery stores, three barber shops, two meat markets, one photograph gallery, two printing offices, one ready-made clothing house, one exclusive dry goods store, three saloons, post office.
Sac County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882