(formerly Russia, USSR). In the AD 15th century, nomadic tribes
inhabited what is now the Odessa region. Crimean Khanate ceded the area to
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the middle of that century. The city on the
Black Sea's northwestern seashore was officially founded in 1794 (first
called Odessa on January 10, 1795) as a Russian naval fortress (built on the
ruins of a mid-18th century Ottoman fortress Eni Dunia) in an old Turkic
town of Khadjibey. Khadjibey was taken by Russian forces in the
Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792, on 25 September 1789. |
An avant-garde commander in the battle over Khadjibey and Akkerman (now
Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy) and also the masterminded of the successful storming
of the nearby fortress of Izmail was a Spaniard (likely of the Catalan
Jewish converso origin) in Russian service, Major General (promoted to
Admiral in 1796) José de Ribas (Iosif (Osip) Mikhailovich Deribas). In 1793,
de Ribas together with a Flemish army engineer Franz de Volan created the
final plan for the port of Khadjibey. Osip Mikhailovich Deribas headed the
port, oversaw the building of it and also participated in the building of
the city of Odessa. The best known street in Odessa (and one of the few that
has never been renamed) is the main street of Deribasovskaya named after
Iosif Mikhailovich. The name "Odessa" itself, is likely to have been derived
(as was customary at the time) from the Greek name of an ancient Greek
colony of Odessos, which was thought to have been located somewhere nearby.
The new city grew quickly much to the credit of a Frenchman the Duc de
Richelieu, who served as the city's governor between 1803 and 1814. Another
Frenchman, Count Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron succeeded him in
office. From 1819 to 1859, Odessa was a free port (Porto Franco). Odessa
became the most cosmopolitan city in the Russian Empire with Russians,
Ukrainians, Jews, Romanians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Armenians,
Italians, French, Germans being well represented. Russia's most famous poet,
Alexander Pushkin, noted that in Odessa "you can smell Europe." By the
middle of the 19th century Odessa became Russia's largest grain-exporting
port. This explains why so many "New World" grain belt towns established in
the 19th century were happy to adopt Odessa's name.
As of January 1 , 2000 and for a term of 25 years, Odessa Sea
Commercial Port (the largest seaport in Ukraine) is again a special free
economic zone (Porto Franco). Currently, Odessa is the administrative center
of the region by the same name with its over 1 million inhabitants.
Abundance of oil is the factor that made Odessa, TX in Ector County stand
out among the many other towns by the same name founded in the19th century
America. It is certainly the reason why Odessa, Texas is undeniably the
largest of Odessas in the United States with 90,943 residents in the year
2000. Odessa metro area now also includes the town of West Odessa with year
200 population of 17,799.
Survey # 27 filed in Tom Green County, March 11, 1876 is what started it
all. The Texas & Pacific Railroad reached milepost 296, the future site of
Odessa, Texas in early July, 1881. The name originally sprung up at the same
time the Texas and Pacific tracks were set. In May 1884, a group of
Zanesville, Ohio investors were brought to the area by the T&P Railroad to
attend a sale of lots by the Midland Town Company. Headed by Colonel
Tileston F. Spangler, a colorful lawyer, real estate developer and promoter,
the Ohioans were impressed with the potential for profitable land sales and
promotion of settlement. Resolved to establish the "future great city of
West Texas," the group headed west in a private railroad car. An agreement
was made with the railroad involving 24 sections of land (15,360 acres) for
$53,760. The 640 acres in Survey 27 surrounding Section House 163 were
selected for the townsite. Other principals included James Herdman,
industrialist, railroad builder, large lumber company owner and manufacturer
of tile and farm implements. The prime mover and chief financial backer was
John Hoge, financier and industrialist. Hoge, with his cousin, Robert
Schultz, another Odessa founder, owned a large soap factory. The name
"Odessa" was selected by the founders for the "future great city" after
Odessa, Russia, a then prosperous and widely known wheat and wheat-seed
center and seaport. This name would be synonymous to "wheat country" in the
sales pitch made to farmers in the north and Midwest. Odessa got a post
office in 1885 - a year before the town was platted. It was officially
organized in 1891, but they didn't get around to incorporating until 1927.
The town was settled by Methodists preventing the opening of any saloons
until 1898. In fact, after the railroad sold the property to the Odessa Land
and Townsite company, the first efforts to prohibit liquor went into effect.
Buyers of Odessa townsite lots found a clause in their deeds restricting the
"manufacture or sale of spirituous, vicious or malt liquor or any
intoxicating beverage whatsoever." If the clause was violated, the property
reverted to John Hoge, trustee of the Odessa Land and Townsite Company. In
American folklore the Texas Odessa is far-famed for a mystery mine owned by
one of the town's early settlers. He Was Old Ben Sublett who, each time he
felt like giving his burro a bit of exercise, used to come back to his
Odessa home with a load of gold from a shaft hidden somewhere in the
Guadalupe Mountains. Townsfolk and people from afar tried to follow Old Ben
to his bonanza, but calmly and skillfully he would shake off their greedy
pursuit. When offered $10,000 for a partnership in the mine, he laughed:
"Why, I could go out and dig up that much in less then a week's time."
Before dying, he told his son Ross to find the mine for himself: "You'll
just have to go out and hunt it down like I did." Such was the legendary
oldster of Odessa, Texas.
Odessa, Missouri (MO), USA.
When the Chicago & Alton Railroad built a track through this section in
1878-79, it went between two small settlements, Greenton to the north and
Mt. Hope to the south. When the right-of-way was finally picked, both little
settlements started packing their blacksmith shops and general stores and
moved to the railroad. When the president of the new railroad, Mr.
Blackburn, came to the j unction of the two settlements he asked what name
the town had. Both settlements wanted their particular name and left it to
the president to settle. Being a wise man, he picked neither and remarked
that the extensive wheat fields reminded him of Odessa, Russia, where he had
lately traveled. The railroad so designated the new town, and this was also
used by the post-office department which eliminated the Greenton and Mt.
Hope post-offices. Odessa is a suburban city in Lafayette County, east of
the Kansas City metro area. Population of 4,818 (year 2000 US census).
Odessa, Florida (FL), USA. Named in the 1880s by a Russian immigrant
Peter A. Demens, who was instrumental in financing the Orange Belt Railway,
which ran from Sanford to Trilby to St. Petersburg. He also named St.
Petersburg. Odessa was originally situated in Pasco County; today it extends
into northern Hillsborough County. The latest US Census data from 2000
indicates that the town has population of 3,173.
Lake Odessa, Michigan, USA.
Humphrey R. Wager, a capitalist from Ionia, Michigan developed Lake Odessa
in 1887. He suspected that the railroad would soon pass through the area, so
he purchased an 80 acre farm on the route. The Detroit, Lansing and Northern
Railway built their track to connect Grand Ledge and Grand Rapids. The first
train came in 1888. The village was incorporated in 1889. The village
was named for the two lakes, Tupper Lake and Jordan Lake, and the Township
of Odessa. The Village of Lake Odessa located on the edge of Jordan Lake is
a small part of Odessa Township. Population (year 2000): 2,272.
Odessa Township, Michigan, USA.
The southwest corner of Ionia County was made property of the United States
by the Chicago Treaty of August 20, 1821. This treaty was signed by
General Lewis Cass and chiefs of the Pottawattomie, Ottawa and Chippewa
Nations. The land was surveyed during October and November of the year 1830.
In June, 1839, Myron Tupper, of Monroe Co., N.Y., was in Michigan looking
for land, and at Jackson learning from Kirkenthal, the mail-carrier over the
Clinton trail between Jackson and Grand Rapids, that there was government
land to be had in the town now called Odessa, Tupper proceeded at once to
enter the southeast quarter of section 27, through which flowed a small
stream, and upon which rested the waters of a small lake. He returned
eastward at once, and, securing the companionship of Harvey Kibbey, moved
westward once more, and made no halt until the Odessa land was reached.
They put up a shanty and stopped long enough to chip five acres and put in a
little corn and potatoes. Having done that as the first attempt at
improvement in the present town of Odessa, they left the town to itself and
went back to New York State. As soon as he could Tupper gathered his
household goods, and with his family and Wellington Russell, an unmarried
young man, started once more for Michigan. From Jackson, Michigan,
they followed the Clinton trail until within less than a mile of their
destination, and that point they made without much more ado. This, then, was
the pioneer settlement in Odessa. Population excluding the Village of Lake
Odessa and based on 2000 census is 1,551 - all rural.
Odessa, Washington (WA), USA. The
Odessa territory was first settled around 1880's by cattleman who felt the
bunchgrass covered land, with Crab Creek running through the center, was one
of the best rangelands in the Northwest. One such man George W. Finney,
later known as the founder of Odessa, who once homesteaded land upon which
the town now stands. In 1892, the Great Northern Railroad was built through
this part of the country, with a sidetrack known as the Odessa Siding. The
Great Northern Railroad officials selected the name of the Black Sea port as
suitable for a place in the highly productive wheat country. In order to
attract settlers to Odessa and ensure themselves of future success, the
Great Northern Railroad offered immigrants free passage and the opportunity
to obtain homesteads. By 1898, Mr. Finney, realizing the potential for a
town, donated his land and platted the town site. 80% of immigrants settling
in Odessa were Volksdeutsche Germans from Russia. Many settlers heard
of the new land through friends and relatives already living in areas south
of Odessa, such as Ritzville and Colfax. These German families, living
along the Black Sea and the Volga River in Russia as wheat farmers for the
past 100 years, were discouraged by increasing taxes, government harassment,
and forced military service. Entire families came to the Odessa area,
bringing with them the German culture they strove to retain throughout the
many years of hardships under Russian domination. In October 1902, Odessa
was incorporated. The town continued to grow reaching approximately
1200 people at its peak and was home to 957 people, according to the 2000
New York (NY), USA.
This village in Schuyler County is approximately 25 miles southeast of
Ithaca. In 1824, Phineas Catlin Jr., son of Judge Phineas Catlin, born on
the homestead near Millport, N. Y., in 1795, purchased 200 acres of land,
where the present village of Odessa is located. Sometime between 1824 and
1827, the town was surveyed and laid out with the aid of John Foster, a
surveyor. It was known for many years as "Catlin's Mills" from the fact that
Phineas Catlin had bought both the grist and saw mills that were already
built, located near each other on this property. It was home to 617 people
Odessa, Nebraska (NE), USA. Odessa is a township in Buffalo County, west
of the Kearney metro area. Population of 398 (year 2000 US census).
Odessa, Delaware (DE), USA. Indian Village Appoquinimi. Part of a large
grant to Alexander D'Hinoyossa, Vice-Director of New Amstel. Edmund
Cantwell, second owner of the tract in 1673. Village named Cantwell's Bridge
in 1731. Once important grain shipping centre. In 1855, by vote of the
people, in town meeting, the name was changed from Cantwell's Bridge to
Odessa-after Odessa, Russia, a large grain port on the Black Sea. Year 2000
US Census population of Odessa, DE: 286 people.
Odessa, Minnesota (MN), USA. A very small town (year 2000 population -
113) in western Minnesota's Big Stone County, approximately 5 miles east of
the border with South Dakota.
Odessa, North Dakota (ND), USA. A township in Ramsey County. 90 miles
west of Grand Forks. The population, at the time of the 2000 census, was 56.
Odessa, North Dakota (ND), USA. This township in Hettinger County was a minor
station along the route of on the Northern Pacific railroad. Born in the wave of
19th century peasant migration from what is now Ukraine; especially immigration
of Volksdeutsche (those of German decent) from villages in the south of Russia -
around Odessa and the Crimea to south-central North Dakota. 80 miles west
of Bismarck. The population, at the time of the 2000 census, was 17.
Odessadale, Georgia (GA), USA. Located in Meriwether County 55 miles southwest
of the Atlanta metro area.
Odessa, Georgia (GA), USA. Located in
Wayne County 55 miles southwest of Savannah.
Odessa, West Virginia (VW), USA. Located in Clay County, in the
suburban area northeast of Charleston. Named by Joel R. King, who was a
soldier in the Spanish-American War. He named it Odessa, for that was his
girlfriend's name. He had met her while in service, and when he came home he
submitted her name to the Post Office Department, and it was chosen.
New Odessa, Oregon (OR), USA. A Jewish socialistic (but without reflecting a
strong political ideology) agrarian colony in Douglas County near Portland
existed from 1882 to 1887 and was also known as Novaya Odessa. William Frey
(Vladimir Geins), a Russian idealist of much contemporary renown, settled
the colony with a score or two of his followers, but hard times and
ideological differences caused its demise after five brief years of life.
Odessa, Ontario, Canada. (south-west of
This small Canadian town made news recently, when 2 teenage girls were
charged with conspiracy to commit murder after making threats against students, teachers and administrators of
their school in Odessa over Internet chat. More on that here.
Odessa, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Nova Odessa, Brazil.
Nova Odesa, Ukraine