Clipped From The Daily Plainsman

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DECEMBER 2 1929 SAW MILL REVIVES TOWN IN HILLS, DESERTED 30 YEARS HOT SPRINGS, Dec. 26. -- (IP) -- 1 Odell, almost forgotten "ghost town," located seven- miles cast of. here, where for more than 30 years crickets crickets chirped unheard and unmolested on hewn-stone 'hearths, and where tottering chimneys have reminded oc- cislonal visitors of a once prosperous prosperous quarry camp, Is again resounding to the hum of Industry and the echo of children's laughter, Fred Schuler, who from his ranch home on the Cheyenne river watched the little town flourish, then wane, .has assured-it a- new cycle of life. Last June he had a Bawvmlll erected In the historic old canyon which 'bounds Battle mountain on the north. .Log cutters soon commenced work. ·Families folloved them. A s-ohool was started. For a brief p'..-?id, at ; least, civilization again reigns in the rugged pass. At the mouth-, of Odell canyon, where it begins to broaden Into the plains, once flourished the village oi Odell. Maps back in the nineties designated designated it as conspicuously as Buffalo Buffalo Gap, Oelrichs or even. Hot Springs. 'A colony of Nebraskans, led by the ambitious Sam Odell, had settled there, and for several years laboriously laboriously quarried the white sandstone found In the vicinity and teamed it Jown four miles of rough trail to the railroad. In widely separated parts of Nebraska, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and South Dakota, Dakota, churches, stores and public buildings of pure white, sandstone now stand that'could tell eloquently of pioneer industrial hardships, could they but speak. In Hot Springs, only th3 March lower-town store Remains of the once numerous Odell-stoiie buildings. Then, the same came when white sandstone wasn't longer, wanted. And Odell died. Only old-timers remember it nowadays. nowadays. Yet, back in the nineties today are overgrown ruins. And at least five died there. Today they sleep In the lonely grass grown cemetery, cemetery, on a gentle southern slope, near the pine trees. There, burled side by side are the ii-months old child Jay* O'Banion, Elizabeth Odell, who had passed three score and ten. Little Diana Johnson, a tot of four when the- bite of a rattlesnake cut ehort her life, and Jim Carmichael, .'cowboy, .'cowboy, killed hy a bucking horse -- fr ntler figures, all. There is the weathered old school- louse--probably once red. Preserved from marauding cattle by a fence, It still looks sturdy. Now, for the first j time ia more than thirty years, children's children's feet tread upon its rough floor and tiny hands scrawl alphabets alphabets upon Its cracked blackboard. Few other reminders of the old village village remalnd, save In the minds ot men. Judge M. L. Kanable, Hot Springs jurist, is one of the few. He remembers remembers It well, for he came to Odell when he was but a youth. And Hucbner. He homesteaded on a quarter quarter section alongside the ' thriving, bustling- little quarry city. The jaow mournful schoolhouse stands on land which he donated to the cause of civic enlightenment. When economic life o£ the village flickered, - then burned low, John reclaimed some of its lumber. -That's how he started the buildings on College Hill Iff Hot Springs now known as Huebner hotel. Odell is alive again. But probably not for long. Lumbering camps spring up, thrive and their end comes soon. Thirty years from 'now. antiquarians following the- immortal train blazed by General Custer on the gold discovering discovering expedition of 1S-17, which skirts the Black Hills not far away, will point over toward Battle Mountain and say: "Used to be a rip-tearing little lumber camp over there once, back in twenties. Yes. sir, an almost iorgot- of more than fifty nersons lived where tea 'ghost town.'"

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Plainsman,
  2. 26 Dec 1929, Thu,
  3. Page 7

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