Named for the only community in the township Odessa
Location: Bottom row, second township from the west
North line 115th Road
South boundary is south channel of the Platte so the entire
river is included in Buffalo County.
Includes extra land (one to two miles wide) across the south side because of
the Platte River
West line no road, Dunbar Road runs most of the way
north/south, a half mile from the edge of the township
East line Evergreen Road
Many, many section lines do not have roads.
Odessa and Eagle roads (Eagle is 1 mile east of
Odessa Rd) are the only roads inside the township that go all the way north
from Highway 30.
Only the Odessa road goes all the way to the river.
Eagle does not.
100th Rd, a mile south of the north boundary, I-80 and
Highway 30 the only ones going east/west clear through the township.
56th St. only goes 2 miles into the
township to Eagle Rd.
Streams: Generally speaking the watershed division runs roughly
east-west through the middle of the township with the streams on the north
draining into the Wood River; those on the south into the Platte.
The stream labeled Beaver Creek in 1919 is labeled Turkey Creek in 2007
Kearney Canal goes through the township north of Highway 30
Geography: South to north goes from fertile farm land in Platte
valley up into hilly grassland of northern half of the township.
Most of the population lives in the south half of the township
Union Pacific Railroad goes east-west through the bottom row of
sections in the regular 6x6 township.
Highway 30 follows the Union Pacific, north of the railroad.
I-80 goes east-west through the farthest south sections, about half a
mile from the main channel of the Platte. The north channel of the Platte is
north of the interstate
Odessa Road between Odessa and Amherst was in existence in 1919. Not
section line straight, possibly a route dating back before the establishment
of roads on section lines.
2007 - Now straightened to follow the
Schools: 4 country schools north of Odessa
Dist. 93 (Section 7) about 4 miles
north of Highway 30 near west edge of township
Dist. 67 (Section 10) about 2 ½
miles east & 1mile north of 93 Midway School
Dist. 115 (Section 23) about 1 mile
east & 2 miles south of Midway School
Dist. 78 (Section 24) about 2 miles
east of 115 Macedonia
Odessa School Dist. 12 [organized
early, about 1874]
south Odessa Dist 12 attendance center
2 miles east of Odessa, on south side of railroad track
Only the Odessa School remains.
Became an attendance center for
Kearney last year
Bassett mentions unorganized religious services in 1874 in Crowellton on the
Sunday School was held in the
"was attended by everybody in the
An Evangelical church in 1885
Moses Sydenham conducted church services & organized Sunday Schools around
1895 - "special Missionary Work" at
Cottonville, a cluster of tenant houses near the Cotton Mill.
300 people in
desecrating the Sabbath by 'tearing around' like a lot of heathen."
School, which had averaged 25 increased to 83
began to dwindle among the younger members
Reverend Gill, a "Revivalist" preacher from Odessa.
The evangelist "shouted and sweated to good effect".
evangelical church of 60 members was established
building moved from Kearney was to serve as a church
two private burial sites
Section 11 [the section 11 near the river not the one up
north] A stone in a fenced area
MOORE, Albert 10 Sept 1837 20
July 1898 son of Edward, born Delaware Co. N Y
(land owned by Archie Holoubeck in
Section 21 [may be the cemetery marked in the ne corner of
Sec. 28 in the 1919 atlas]
This area was set aside for burial
of the people living in what is now Odessa area from 1869-1900. Most of
these people were moved to the Kearney Cemetery and surrounding cemeteries.
There are no headstones in this location in 1979."
It has been told that the following
children were never moved.
Originally 10 miles west of Kearney; now 8 miles
Originally called Crowellton
Named for the first two men to file homesteads in the
township, in 1871.
Post office name changed to Odessa on Feb. 29, 1876
Hadassah Grant Seaman managed the Post Office after she and
her husband arrived in Buffalo County in 1873. It has been a family story
that Odessa was named for Hadassah.
UP station house completed in fall
New school building
In 1890 population 50 blacksmith shop, no other businesses
A Double Murder in Odessa
Mr. Dinsmore Came to Odessa from Louisiana in August 1898
Worked as an agent for the Omaha
Traveled a lot rented room from Mr.
& Mrs. Laue
Year later (July 1899) married
Lillian from Chicago, acquainted 12 years
Dec. 4 Called Dr. from Kearney to
come to the Laue home
He said Mr. Laue killed Lillian and
then shot himself in head
Lillian was lying on kitchen floor, no wounds - Dr. wanted an autopsy
Mr. Laue on bed, right arm over edge, gun beneath his hand
Lillian had died after ingesting either prussic acid or cyanide potassium
Dinsmore was arrested
Mrs. Laues surprising confession - Dinsmore had murdered both her husband
and his wife.
Dinsmore was a hypnotist who had
placed "hypnotic powers" over her
These "powers" began the previous May
and included sexual relations between the two.
Mrs. Laue claimed that Dinsmore,
unhappy with his marriage, became infatuated with her and proposed that they
run away together.
She refused his offer.
Dinsmore then suggested that they
kill their spouses.
Mrs. Laue rejected the idea at first,
Dinsmore threatened violence if she
did not comply.
Also he used
his "unaccountable power" over her to make sure she kept quiet about his
On the night of the murder, Mrs. Laue said Dinsmore came down from his
upstairs room and told her that he had killed his wife.
He went into the Laue's bedroom and shot Mr. Laue as he slept.
Then he arranged the bodies
Threat of vigilantes - Under the cover of darkness, Sheriff Funk and two
deputies escorted Dinsmore via train to Lincoln County jail in North Platte
until his preliminary hearing.
His lawyers got a change of venue so the trial was held in Lexington
His replacement on the job found
prussic acid in the desk drawer
Business cards were found at the
Dinsmore, Professional Hypnotist, Odessa, Nebraska."
Dr. testified that the blood from
Laue's wound ran from the temple to the back of the head and that he found
the body lying on its side, an impossible position to be in if Laue had in
fact pulled the trigger himself. Dr. Bell concluded that Laue's body must
have been moved after he had been shot
Dinsmore's attorneys attempted to
persuade the jury that Mrs. Laue was the real killer.
Dinsmore as the one who had been hypnotized, not Mrs. Laue
Prosecution focused on the testimony
of Dr. Bell
Guilty sentenced to hang on July 20, 1900 commuted to life pardoned on
July 4, 1919
History of Buffalo County, Vol. I by Samuel Bassett, p117-118
Early Days at Odessa, from
Ten Generations of Grants by Myron
Scott, March 1979, narrated by John Marshall Grant to Myron at
Marysville, Washington in September of 1925.
A Double Murder in Odessa: The
State of Nebraska vs. Frank Dinsmore by
Ross Huxoll, Buffalo Tales,
Vol. 29, No. 2, March-April 2006.