Hardwick Tunnel in Odenville The Hardin family, the first to settle on the current location of Odenville, moved there in 1824 and established a blacksmithing/cabinet-making business, giving the settlement its initial name: Hardin’s Shop. The first school, consisting of one room, was built in 1864. The first post office was established in 1874, and the name of the town changed to Odenville, probably after a local family or a member of that family. The area’s economy was centered on agriculture, primarily cotton and produce. The first cotton gin was built there in the early 1890s.
The Seaboard Air Line Railroad began constructing a line through Odenville in 1901, finishing it in 1905. A new multi-room schoolhouse was constructed in 1906. The first bank in town was established in 1908, and the first telephone service came around 1912. Odenville incorporated in 1914, after a failed attempt to do so in 1910. Odenville was chosen as the site of St. Clair County’s first high school in 1908, which was completed by 1909. Students who lived too far to make the trip daily boarded at a local hotel. This high school served the area until 1962, when it was condemned and a new was one built.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Odenville recorded a population of 3,705. Of that number, 98.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 0.9 percent as two or more races, 0.7 percent as Hispanic, and 0.2 percent as African American. The town’s median household income was $75,625, and the per capita income was $27,461.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Odenville was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (16.4 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (12.0 percent)
- Wholesale trade (9.6 percent)
- Manufacturing (8.7 percent)
- Retail trade (8.4 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (7.8 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (7.5 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (7.0 percent)
- Public administration (6.9 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (5.8 percent)
- Construction (5.5 percent)
- Information (2.5 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.8 percent)
Public schools in Odenville are part of the St. Clair County School District; the town has one elementary school, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school.
U.S. Highway 411/State Highway 25 runs northeast-southwest through town. State Highway 174 runs north-southwest through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Odenville holds a Christmas Parade a week after Thanksgiving each year. The city maintains one park with a walking trail.
The James Forman House is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
St. Clair County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of St. Clair County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
Whitten, Joseph L. Odenville, Alabama: A History of Our Town, 1821-1992. Cullman, Ala.: Gregath Publishing Company, 1992.