Interesting Outline of the Founding of a Harrison County Village, Six Miles From Cynthiana
The first house in Oddville was built by Rev. Josiah Whitaker in 1799. He owned over 1000 acres of land around Oddville, most of which was in timber. The house is built of logs. In 1850 it was weather boarded and an upstairs added. Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Whitaker now live in it.
Rev. Josiah Whitaker married a Miss Honey, of Bourbon County. To this union were born 12 children. Some died in infancy. To each of those that were married he gave a farm.
To his son, Parker, he gave the farm where Noah Kendall lives; to Mrs. Suzanna Brannock he gave what is known as the Ewing place; to Mrs. Nancy Crow, the farm now owned by Mr. Jeff VanHook; to Mrs. Cole Hayes the farm Mr. Lush Hayes owns; to Mrs. Elizabeth Garnett, the farm where Mr. Wm. Burden lives; to Mac Whitaker, J. J. Whitaker’s father, all the land around Oddville.
The first store was built in upper Oddville in 1849. In 1850 it was named Mt. Washington and was granted a post office; but as there was another Mt. Washington in Kentucky, the name had to be changed. Rev. J. C. Crow, son-in-law of Josiah Whitaker, gave it the name Oddville because it was such an odd little village.
Rev. J. C. Crow built the house that Dr. J. R. Baston now lives in. In 1859 James Hodson and wife came here from Cincinnati. He bought a lot from H. M. Whitaker and built the first store in lower Oddville.
In 1860 the pike was built from Oddville to Cynthiana. In 1853 Dr. J. D. Baston came from Ohio and married Suzannah Crow, granddaughter of Josiah Whitaker. He built the house now owned by Dr. J. R. Baston.
H. Mac Whitaker built the house where Mac Fowler lives, where Mr. Jenkins lives and the house torn down by Mr. Orie Hays to make way for his new house.
Mr. Hodson sold the store to Rev. Lancaster in 1862 and built another store on the opposite corner, which was torn down to make room for our school ground.
About 40 years ago the pike was finished to Claysville.
The first church was built of logs in the valley near the Ewing place. It’s first pastor, Rev. Josiah Whitaker.
In later years, H. Mac Whitaker gave ground for a cemetery, church and school house. The site for the church was the same as at the present time.
The first school house near here was built of logs on the opposite side of the pike from Mr. Albert Kearns residence. The next school house was built in the church year. In 1879 it was moved to the hitchlot of the church. About 30 years ago a new building was erected where Charley Maharney now lives. In 1915 our present building was erected.
In the early 60’s there was a wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, cabinet maker’s shop, a saw mill, a grist mill, lime pit and coal pit here.
Mr. Tom Whitaker, a nephew of Josiah Whitaker, made coffins and furniture. Rev. J. C. Crow was a cabinet maker.
Fifty or sixty years ago you could have anything made at Oddville, from a cradle to a coffin.
Mrs. H. Mac Whitaker, Mrs. Rachael Cole Hays and Mrs. Nancy Crow spun wool into yarn for stockings and jeans for men’s clothing, striped and plaid linsey for dresses, and blankets. They spun flax into thread and made cloth for sheets, pillow cases and towels
H. Mac Whitaker saved lumber to make houses, coffins and furniture; burned rocks to make lime and burned wood to make charcoal.
Mr. Thomas Hays, son-in-law of Josiah Whitaker, was a shoemaker. There was a tailor to make men’s clothing and a dress maker.
Now we have a doctor, a preacher, a church, a high school building, a blacksmith shop and that is all.
For forty years we had two stores in Oddville. Now we can’t buy a shoe string, and what can we have made?
Thirty-five years ago there was a tobacco market here. Mr. Henry Wheeler bought and prized tobacco in upper Oddville and Mr. Richard Rees in lower Oddville.
We also had a wool and stock market, but now we have to sell our butter and eggs to the huckster and take everything else to Cynthiana except our veal calves.
We sell the to Messrs. Joe Mathers and Orie Hates, the great, great, grandsons of Josiah Whitaker.
The decendants of Josiah Whitaker now living in and near Oddville, are- The Basters, Hays, Mathers, Kendalls, Leslies and Toadvines.
John Whitaker, Sr. was born May 24, 1753, in Virginia and died October 27, 1833 near Beaver Baptist Church and is buried in Beaver Baptist Cemetery, Harrison Co., Ky. Ann, his wife was born June 18, 1760 and died July 5, 1842.
He called to fight in the Revolutionary War, and won aquaintancy for bravery. After the war, he settled at what is now Paris, Ky. It was then a wilderness.
He was the father of ten children; Josiah, John Wesley, Peter, Issac and Simeon; Susannah, Amelia, Ann, Margaret and Mary, and reared nine adopted children.
Most of the Whitakers of Kentucky are his descendants. For at least a half century every one in or near Oddville were descendants of Capt. John Whitaker.
Oddville has both the oldest and youngest Whitaker living. Benjamin F. Whitaker, aged 83 years and 5 months, son of Garrison Whitaker and grandson of Peter Whitaker, and J. J. Whitaker, 81 years, 6 months, son of H. Mac Whitaker and grandson of Josiah Whitaker.
The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Whitaker, born June 30, 1923, grandson of Columbus Whitaker, great grandson of Archibald, Alexander, Asburry, James, Johnson, January, Marcus De LaFayette Whitaker, and great, great grandson of Peter Whitaker.
Written by Ruthanna Leslie, a great great granddaughter of Josiah Whitaker.