Son of Daniel O'Dell and Frances George, of Sullivan Co., TN. In 1850, he married Jennet S. (Jane) Tate, the daughter of David Tate and Mary (Polly) Chamberlain, of Grainger Co. James was the father of at least four children: Mary V.; Frances George; Tennessee E.; and David A. Another child was stillborn. He was reportedly an officer in both the Mexican War and the Civil War, during which he served in the Confederate army and was taken prisoner at Fort Donelson.
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