The Hardin family, the first to settle on the current location of Odenville, moved there in 1824 and established a blacksmithing/cabinet-making business, giving the settlement its initial name: Hardin's Shop. The first school, consisting of one room, was built in 1864. The first post office was established in 1874, and the name of the town changed to Odenville, probably after a local family or a member of that family. The area's economy was centered on agriculture, primarily cotton and produce. The first cotton gin was built there in the early 1890s.
The Seaboard Railroad began constructing a line through Odenville in 1901, finishing it in 1905. A new multi-room schoolhouse was constructed in 1906. The first bank in town was established in 1908, and the first telephone service came around 1912. Odenville incorporated in 1914, after a failed attempt to do so in 1910. Odenville was chosen as the site of St. Clair County's first high school in 1908, which was completed by 1909. Students who lived too far to make the trip daily boarded at a local hotel. This high school served the area until 1962, when it was condemned and a new was one built.
Odenville's population according to the 2010 Census was 3,585. Of that number, 94.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.3 percent as black, 2.1 percent as Hispanic, 1.5 percent as two or more races, 0.7 percent as Asian, and 0.3 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $53,936 and the per capita income was $22.464.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Odenville was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Retail trade (17.9 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (16.6 percent)
· Construction (10.7 percent)
· Manufacturing (10.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (10.7 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (9.6 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (7.2 percent)
· Wholesale trade (6.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (4.5 percent)
· Public administration (2.7 percent)
· Information (1.6 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (1.4 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.4 percent)
Leading employers in the area include Four Star Companies, Inc., PSH Line, Jack's Family Restaurants, Globe Communications LLC; and the Town of Odenville.
Public schools in Odenville are part of the St. Clair County School District; the town has approximately 1,925 students and 120 teachers in one elementary school, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school.
U.S. Highway 411/State Highway 25 runs northeast-southwest through town. State Highway 174 runs north-southwest through the town.
Odenville holds a Christmas Parade a week after Thanksgiving each year. The city maintains one park with a walking trail.
The James Forman House is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
St. Clair County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of St. Clair County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
Whitten, Joseph L. Odenville, Alabama: A History of Our Town, 1821-1992. Cullman, Ala.: Gregath Publishing Company, 1992.
James P. Kaetz
Published March 21, 2012
Last updated February 28, 2013