Odessa Texas in 1901
History from The Odessa American   [ Read 20 century at the OAOA.com]

September 24, 1999


Compiled by Kaitlin Trowbridge

First Methodist church was organized with 38 charter members.

On Feb. 3, 1901, the Baptist church held a meeting to address local social evils. The minutes from this session contain the following report: "A motion was made and carried that the church declare herself against dancing in all forms and it having been reported that some of our members have been dancing a motion was made and carried that the moderator appoint a committee of three sisters to see the offending ones and try to get them to come and make acknowledgments to the church for their wrongs and Sisters Blakenship, Annie Henderson and Emma McGee were appointed as a committee. A motion was made and carried that the church declare herself against profane language and intoxicating drinks as a beverage. Also against gambling in all its various forms, and against all ungodly conduct."

Odessa Pioneers: Pioneer rancher W.A. Massey and his family arrived in Odessa on June 1, 1901 from Fisher County. Massey’s daughter, Elizabeth, then a young girl, remembered making the journey across Texas on horseback with a small herd of cattle. She remembered few buildings in the young town, including the four-room brick schoolhouse, used until about 1910, and a small post office. In 1908, Elizabeth married Bernard Hendricks, a businessman who over the years owned a livery stable, a freight drayage, a hardware store and an undertaking firm. They lived in the same house on the corner of

Sixth and Texas Streets for more than 40 years. In characterizing Odessa’s early days, Mrs. Hendricks recalled a close-knit community where people knew how to look after each other.As an example of the town’s traditional neighborliness, Mrs. Hendricks described a harrowing incident in which a train hit her husband’s freight wagon as he was crossing the railroad tracks. The team of horses were killed instantly and the wagon destroyed, but Mr. Hendricks managed to jump to safety, suffering only a sprained ankle.

  The telephone operator, Mrs. J.E. Witcher, witnessed the accident from the second story window of the Citizens National Bank building, where the telephone exchange was housed at that time. She immediately phoned Mrs. Hendricks to notify her of the accident, and to let her know that her husband was all right.


-- Koehler Hotel built in Fort Stockton. In 1955 it became the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum, named in honor of the hotel’s long-time owner.

-- Texas Legislature prohibits the practice of issuing free railroad passes to public officials after more than 270,000 were issued during the year.

-- On Jan. 10, a gusher brought in the Spindletop Field near Beaumont, the first great oil strike in Texas.

-- During visit to Pan-American Exhibition, President William McKinley assassinated in Buffalo on Sept. 6 by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley dies Sept. 14 and is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

-- Henry Ford organizes the Ford Motor Company.

-- Southerners protest when President Roosevelt invites black educator Booker T. Washington to visit the White House in October.

-- The United States Steel Corp. is created in March, becoming the first billion-dollar corporation.

-- Willie Anderson won the U.S. Open golf tournament in June, and in the fall the U.S. successfully defended the America’s Cup when the yacht Columbia defeated the British challenger Shamrock II.

Information is drawn from news accounts, archives and other historical record

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Updated 02/13/2003