DAVID ODAM. - David Odam has for thirty-one years been a factor in the business life of Springfield, and since 1868 has made his home in this city, where he is now engaged in the manufacture of harness and saddlery, and is also a retail dealer in horse furnishings. His long connection with manufacturing and mercantile interests indicates that his business has yielded to him a good living and that he enjoys not only the patronage, but also the confidence of the trading public.
Mr. Odam was born in the British Army at St. Johns, Canada, April 1, 1843, and comes of a family of Irish ancestry, noted for longevity. James Odam, his father, served for twenty-one years in the Seventy-first Regiment of the British Army, which was a regiment of picked men from the highlands of Scotland. He was in the quartermaster's department. On the Emerald Isle he was united in marriage to Catherine Delaney, and about 1846 they came to America. Mr. Odam died in Canada of cholera in the year 1849, and his wife passed away in 1856. In their family were seven children, of whom three died in infancy. The others are: Mary, who died in Litchfield, Illinois, in 1885; James, of Dubuque, Iowa; David; and Catherine, the wife of P. M. Earle, of Washington, D.C.
David Odam was born in the barracks occupied by his father's regiment, was educated in its schools and was accorded all the privileges of the barracks that would have been given his father had he lived, including the same rations. He remained with his mother until her death, which occurred in Kingston, Canada, and afterward he came to the United States, locating in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1862. He had previously worked in a grocery store in Canada and he accepted a similar position in his new place of residence. Later, however, he apprenticed himself to his brother-in-law, George H. Morrell, who was a harness maker, and thoroughly mastered the trade. In 1868 he came to Springfield, where he worked in the employ of others for four years as a journeyman, and then began business on his own account at the corner of Seventh and Washington streets. In 1873 he removed to his present location, beginning business on a small scale, but gradually developing a good trade, which has long since reached profitable proportions. He stands today as one of the oldest established harness makers of the city. He makes a specialty of fine buggy harness, and in this department of his business has been very successful because of the excellence of his output, which is noted for durability and fineness of finish.
On the 6th of September, 1871, occurred the marriage of David Odam and Miss Alice E. Brainard, who was born in Ohio, October 16, 1841, and died on the 8th of October, 1899. They had three children: Marcia M., Alice L. and Charles H., the last named a contractor and builder of Douglas, Arizona. The children are graduates of the public schools of Springfield and Marcia is now society editor of the Springfield News. The family home is at No. 1510 South Sixth Street. Mr. Odam is connected with the Fraternal Crystal Light and is a member of Christ's Episcopal church. He is a Republican, but has never had any aspirations for official honors, and is a man of domestic tastes, giving his time and attention to his business and the enjoyment of home pleasures. He is a man of temperate habits and high moral worth, who has lived peaceably and honorably with all men, and his record is one of fidelity to principle.