The first cemetery in site Odell was where Diller-Odell High School is now, 506 Perry Street, the corner of Perry and Garfield Street, Odell, NE. The Odell Cemetery Association was formed on the 22nd day of April, 1881. Trustees elected were Wm. C. Jackson, Elias Arner, H. Langdon, J.D. Myers, Mat Brooks, G. Allen, and Geo. Thrapp.
The first two acres of the present cemetery were purchased from Perry and Lydia Walker. Walker reserved the privilege of buying those whose friend would not take care of them. Some were already buried in the Walker Cemetery.
The Trustees were to endeavor to raise the $26.00 for the two acres of land, by subscription, in 30 days. Three Trustees were appointed to draft a constitution. A committee fixed the price of lots at no more than $6.00 and no less than $2.00.Some lots were set aside for charitable purposes.The grounds were staked out in 1885 and were fenced with 50 oak posts.In March of 1889 a surveyor group was employed to set stakes at the corners of the lots.In 1896 the association decided to have trees planted at intervals of 20 fee on the outside line of the cemetery grounds.In June of 1900 Trustees were Instructed to buy 2 more acres to the south for $50 an acres.They purchased this parcel from Wm. And Laura Erickson.A county surveyor was hired to plat the new part, now known as the South Section.The original part of the cemetery is known as the North Section.The price of the lots was raised to $10.00 each.In 192 Charles W. Hinds was elected Treasurer of the Odell American Cemetery Association.It was at this time that the Gage County Court at Beatrice ordered a deposit of $25.00 from the estate of Wm. B. Homersham to be deposited in the Hinds State Bank.This was the beginning of the Endowment Fund.The cemetery Association was to be paid the interest every year for upkeep of the cemetery.Trustees were also instructed to solicit $25.00 for each lot sold.Some lots had been raised to $25.00 in 1908, but in 1921 a full lot, which measured 20 feet by 10 feet and accommodating 5 grave spaces, was priced at $50.00 plus $25.00 for the Endowment Fund.The price of half a lot was $30.00 plus $20.00 for the Endowment Fund and the price of a single burial space was set at $20.00 and $5.00 for the Endowment.In 1929 the Hinds State Bank closed.The Odell Cemetery Association had $1903.52 in the ban, which included the General Fund and the Endowment Fund. That year Charles Hinds offered to repay the lost funds to the Cemetery Association, but he didn’t follow through.At a special meeting in 1931 the Association met with a representative of the Depositor’s Commission (most likely the Depositor’s Guarantee Fund of the State of Nebraska).The representative of the Commission told the Cemetery Association that it was useless to take the matter of the lost funds to court and offered the association a settlement of $600.00, which the Association accepted.In May of 1943 the Odell Cemetery Association deeded 2 rods or 33 feet to the Bohemian Cemetery, a separate organization whose cemetery lies in the northwest corner of the original cemetery ground, for the price of $1.00.The next year the Bohemian Cemetery became the Czech Cemetery.The following years’ records of Odell Cemetery Association business indicate that most activity centered on cemetery maintenance and financial management.In 1982 the two cemetery boards decided to make the price of lots the same for the Czech and American Cemeteries the same, $500.00 per lot..In 1988 the price was raised to $550.00.In 1989 the Association began planning for the purchase of additional ground and by 1995 had made a agreement with Charles and Pat Masek for 4 acres, 2 acres for each cemetery.The Assocations held a spaghetti supper to raise funds for the land purchase.
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