2020 All School Reunion

The Odebolt-Arthur All School Reunion
will be June 12, 2020. 

We are looking for volunteers to help organize the reunion. We are also wanting updated addresses and email addresses. We would appreciate using email addresses to save on postage costs.  Please contact Stephanie Reinhart or Deb Reinhart at oaalumniassn@gmail.com


Stockyard location

There has been some discussion about exactly where the Odebolt stockyard was located. The below image, taken from an 1899 Fire Map of Odebolt, shows its location. You can see Main Street on the upper right, and Walnut at the bottom. The stock Yards are just below middle on the left side. You may click the image to enlarge it slightly.

If you wish to look at historic maps, go to "Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps" at


Odebolt Stockyards

Click the photo to enlarge it.
This photo was found on an online auction site and is one that neither of the editors had seen before. It appears to be looking toward the northwest, and I believe you can see North Main houses on the far upper right.The photographer was James Traver (see bio below). Traver must have climbed up an elevator to get the shot!

Before graveled roads and stock trucks, farmers had to herd their livestock to the stockyards in Odebolt where they would be fenced in while waiting to load onto train cars bound for Sioux City, Chicago, or other destinations.  In the early days farmers shipping to Chicago rode along with the cattle to make sure they were watered, fed, and not left on a side track to freeze or overheat.  There are lots of news bits in the old papers about shipping by train.


The Chronicle, Thursday, February 26th, 1903
The railroad figures show that more grain and stock are shipped from Odebolt than from any town in Iowa of 2,000 population. 

The Chronicle, Thursday, April 8, 1915.
W.H. Horan shipped a car load of horses, containing twenty-two head to Sioux City Tuesday. The horses were bought for war purposes in Europe.

A number of cars of stock were shipped out the past week. F.J. Gilbert shipped one car of cattle and one mixed car, cattle and hogs; J.C. Gosch, one car of hogs; Allie Paul, one car of hogs; John and Henry Meyer one car of cattle; S. V. Buehler, one car of sheep - all to Chicago. Herman Reis shipped one car of cattle to Pilger, Nebr.; W.H. McWilliams shipped in one car of feeders from Sioux City.

The Odebolt News, Thursday, February 14, 1918
Dave Huston and James Scotthorn and John Luft each shipped a car of cattle to Chicago Saturday. Huston and Luft accompanied the shipment to the city

About the photographer:

James Traver was born at Logansville, Wisconsin, March 2, 1864. In 1883 he came to Sac County where he married a cousin, Miss Harriet Traver of Odebolt. The young couple moved to the Dakotas, and in 1887 returned to Odebolt, They had one son, James Traver, Jr.  Mrs. Traver died in 1898.  Later in 1898 James Traver married Miss Etta Ballard of Odebolt. Mr. Traver conducted a barber shop in Odebolt for some time and was also night watchman. About 1911 the Travers moved to Webster City where James opened a photography studio and became one of  the town's leading photographers. He passed away suddenly on August 31, 1925 and is buried in Odebolt Cemetery.

Also see:
The Odebolt Chronicle, Volume 64, Number 6, February 7, 1952

Landmark Razed--Old Water Tower Is Torn Down in Railroad Yards 

The Odebolt train depot off Main Street between 1st Street and Highway 175.


New Museum Tour

Please visit this new photo tour of the Odebolt Historical Museum!

Click for the tour!

Odebolt Historical Museum Roof Replacement

The museum building is in dire need of a new roof; the Board has received an estimate of $35,000 from Elevate Roofing.  The museum board has been busy researching and applying for grants and fundraising for the project.  

In order to apply for grants the museum needs to raise matching funds, so the museum is asking for your help by contributing to this worthwhile project.  The museum houses a wealth of Odebolt history and is a wonderful asset to those that do family research and to the community.  

Please consider making a donation to protect this resource
Donations may be sent to ...
Odebolt Historical Museum
P.O. Box 362
Odebolt Iowa 51458.