Office Dates: Jan 01, 1901 - Jan 01, 1905
Born: Jan 14, 1854
Passed: May 09, 1926
Birth State: New York
Family: Married twice—Estelle Crist, Linda Crist Traphagen; three children
School(s): Columbia College
National Office(s) Served: Representative
BENJAMIN B. ODELL, the thirty-seventh governor of New York, was born in Newburgh, New York on January 14, 1854. His education was attained at the Newburgh Academy, and at Columbia College. He became a successful businessman with holdings in the tractor and steamboat industries. Odell first entered politics in 1895, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held four years. He also was a member of the Republican State Committee for ten years, as well as serving as chairman of the executive committee of the Republican State Committee. Odell next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 6, 1900. He was reelected to a second term in 1902. During his tenure, fiscal restraint was initiated in state management; funding was secured for redevelopment of the Erie Canal; and the first dental school in the nation was opened in Rochester. After leaving the governorship, Odell retired from political life. He continued to stay active in his various business ventures. Governor Benjamin B. Odell passed away on May 9, 1926, and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in New Windsor, New York.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.