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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 9
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

We’re still browsing amongst the pages of old Moultrie Observers….which is fun!

I just found an interesting article about Mr. James M. Odom…Jim Mack. I hope you all know that Jim Mack Odom was the husband of Ellen Payne Odom…and that Odomfarms is the reason that The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library exists today. The article about Jim Mack says: When an agricultural economy was carved out of a pine wilderness in Colquitt County in the latter half of the 1800s, one of the earlier farms to take definite shape was that established near Berlin by James McFarland Odom. That was in 1872.

Today (and this is June 16, 1976), that successful agricultural enterprise, considerably expanded, diversified and mechanized to handle scientific operations, is owned and operated by James Malcolm Odom and his wife, the former Ellen Ashby Payne. It is widely known as Odomfarms and the diversified program includes corn, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, hay and purebred Hereford cattle – some of the finest in the Southeast. Georgia and adjoining states are the primary markets of the crops and livestock produced at Odomfarms.

As the years have passed, Odomfarms has added acreage for peanuts, tobacco, tomatoes and other vegetables and cattle breeding (an operation which Odom initiated in 1950). The owner and operator, James Malcolm Odom, who comes from a pioneer Colquitt County family, was born, reared and still lives in the same home near Berlin. He was educated in the county elementary school and Moultrie high schools. He attended Norman College and Mercer University. He served as principal of the New Elm school while still farming and is a former chairman of the Colquitt county Board of Education.

At various times, Odom served as president of the Moultrie Rotary Club, president of the Colquitt County Farm Bureau, chairman of the Colquitt County Forestry Board, an organizing vice president of the Georgia School Board Association, director of the Georgia Uplands Cotton Association and member of the Second district Democratic Executive committee. Mr. Odom also served as Justice of the Peace in District 1020 in the early 1920s and currently is a director of the C & S Bank here and a director and vice president of the Federal Land Bank Association of Tifton. In addition, he was a lieutenant colonel on the staff of Carl Sanders while the latter was governor of Georgia. Mr. Odom, who has operated Odomfarms since 1924, has served as deacon, clerk and Sunday School superintendent in the Berlin Baptist Church.

The growing of pimiento peppers was added to Colquitt County’s agricultural income in 1953.  County Agent Harold Brown estimated in March of that year that 2,000 acres would be given to that crop in the county. At least three packing firms were contracting the crop. More than one million pimiento plants had been shipped to the State Farmers Market from Bartow, Florida. Yields went as high as nine tons to the acre and the companies were contracting at $100 a ton. Today (remember, we’re in 1956), very few, if any pimientos are grown commercially in the county.

Doerun had a bad, bad fire in 1901. What was described as Doerun’s worst fire in its history, occurred on the night of September 30, 1901. The blaze, discovered about 1 AM, and believed to have been of incendiary origin, destroyed the Veal Brothers Bar and quickly spread to Harrell Brothers Drug Store and from there to McGraw’s Barber ship and from there to Chamber’s Livery Stable. Losses were reported in excess of $5,000 with on a portion of the damages covered by insurance.

We’ll browse amongst the pages of the old Moultrie Observer’s again next time.

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