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Alcie Elizabeth O'DELL

Female 1903 - 1972  (68 years)

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  • Name Alcie Elizabeth O'DELL 
    Born 25 Oct 1903  Montgomery County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 18 Mar 1972  Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Walnut Ridge Cemetery, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) Elizabeth Ann Grubb:


      Elizabeth O'DELL was the first of her parent's children to be born outside of Laurel Co., KY. Her parents, five older brothers, and older sister, Sarah Hettie, had migrated to Indiana, following the example of her uncle, John Henry or "Uncle Bud" as he was called. Although she never lived in KY or TN, the family's strong mountain background greatly influenced "Lizzie's growing up.

      The family seldom lived more than a year in the same house. "Frank O'DELL" was not eager to put down roots in any one spot after he left KY. He traveled to various parts of the country teaching music by "shaped notes", leaving his wife and family for weeks at a time. Before spending the last 30-35 years of his life in Marshall and Fulton Counties in Northern Indiana, Frank took his growing family to Craig and Delaware Counties in Oklahoma where Elizabeth's 3 youngest siblings were born. One of these, a twin to her youngest sister, died as a baby and was buried in Craig Co.

      In spite of her keen mind, her love of learning, and an avid interest in poetry and literature, Elizabeth was forced to end her formal education at the sixth grade level to help her crippled mother with the housekeeping and care for the large family after her eldest sister took work outside the home.

      After her mother's death in 1924, Elizabeth worked at a local radiator factory in Marshall Co., IN. While employed there, she suffered heat exhaustion which caused her to be extremely sensitive to very warm temperatures for the rest of her life. Elizabeth's early experience with hard work and housekeeping was valuable to her in raising her own large family. Frequently, Virgil would have to work away from home during the week, returning only on weekends to relieve his wife from responsibility for the care of the animals and the garden.

      Elizabeth was described by her husband as a "good-looking young lady" at the time of their marriage. "She was tall (5'10") and thin (about 135 lb) and walked like a queen." Virgil once told this compiler, "You would be very lucky to be half as attractive as your mother was when she was 25 years old!" Elizabeth maintained her erect posture until illness bent her shoulders beneath the pain of cancer.

      After the birth of her youngest child in 1946, Elizabeth lost control of her weight which increased to well over 200 lb. and her height decreased by 1". Still, Elizabeth never left home without lacing herself into her boned corset, and when "dressed up", was a tall and proud-looking woman.

      Probably because of her mountain heritage, Elizabeth was not openly affectionate. Her philosophy was, "If you love me, act like it: don't tell me!" To her this meant deeds of love, not open expressions of affection. She appeared to be stern and demanding, and had a tendency to intimidate most people...especially her daughters' beaus and later their husbands. Her reddish-brown hair, snapping brown eyes, and Irish temperament contributed to this image; however, she had a keen wit and was well liked by the people in the community.

      She loved music and had a strong, but untrained soprano voice. Her repertoire of traditional hymns and mountain folk songs was extensive; few of her chores could be done without singing. Unlike her husband, she was not confident enough to perform for an audience, but her strong voice was missed in church if she were absent. Although three occurrences of cancer took toll on her body over a period of ten years, she did not submit to its effects until after Virgil died in April, 1971. Eleven months later, she went to join him. The medical cause of death was "invasive cancer", but her family knew that grief contributed greatly.

      * * *

      A TRIBUTE published in the pages of "THE EVENING NEWS, Jeffersonville, Indiana, AR 18, 1972


      * * *

      Entered into Eternal Rest

      * * *


      Mrs. Elizabeth (O'Dell) Gilchrist, 68, of 318 Mary St., Jeffersonville, died today at Clark County Memorial Hospital.

      Mrs. Gilchrist was a native of Montgomery County and had lived here for the past 31 years. She was a member of the Park Place Methodist Church and the Glenna Circle.

      Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Jean Killebrew, Jeffersonville, Mrs. Claudia Deen, Edwardsville, Mrs. Wilma Gill, Henryville, and Mrs. Ann Bryan, Carmel, Ind.; two sons, James Gilchrist, Jeffersonville, and Lt. Robert Gilchrist, Charleston, SC.; three sisters, Mrs. Sarah Warren, Jeffersonville, Mrs. Callie Williams, Plymouth, Ind., and Mrs. Lillie Huston, South Bend, Ind.; three brothers, Tom O'Dell, Plymouth, Ike O'Dell, Nowata, Okla., and Hubert O'Dell, North Manchester, Ind.; and 11 grandchildren.

      Friends may call after 6 p.m. today at the Scott Funeral Home where funeral arrangements are pending.

      The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the Park Place Methodist Church Memorial Fund or the University of Louisville Cancer Research (Fund).

      * * *

      July, 1994: Wilma GILL and compiler discovered the following poem between pages of the Bible that Elizabeth used during the time of Virgil's illness and death. The source is unknown.


      I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
      All's so happy, all's so bright!
      There's perfect joy and beauty
      In this everlasting light.

      All the pain and grief are over,
      Every restless tossing passed;
      I am now at peace forever,
      Safely home in Heaven at last.

      Did you wonder I so calmly
      Trod the Valley of the Shade?
      Oh! but Jesus' love illumined
      Every dark and fearful glade.

      And He came Himself to meet me
      In that way so hard to tread;
      And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
      Could I have one doubt or dread?

      Then you must not grieve so sorely,
      For I love you dearly still'
      Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
      Pray to trust our Father's will.

      There is work still waiting for you,
      So you must not idle stand;
      Do your work while life remaineth--
      You shall rest in Jesus' land.

      When that work is all complete,
      He will gently call you home;
      Oh, the rapture of the meeting!
      Oh, the joy to see you come!

      * * *

      [The following is a letter Elizabeth wrote to compiler February 14, 1961. Compiler was in her senior year of college, at Central Institute for the Deaf/Washington University, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO. and had been offered a summer tutoring position by the U.S. Ambassador to Bermuda, whose son attended CID during the school year.]

      "Dear Ann.

      It is a busy day for me so I'm..."(written at the top of a verse printed inside a "Thinking of You" greeting card. the verse read, "Taking just a moment to send a card your way-- To say, 'Hello! how are you?' I'm thinking of you today!") "No the truth is Im out of envelopes so this was the best I could do this A.M. I really Do have another busy day though I'm doing Claudia's washing. I did mine and Wilma's yesterday. Wilma is having back trouble again. I ironed for her Sat. and wash & iron for her this week.

      Well washing's all done again now I must get at the ironing. It is almost lunch time now though.

      Your Father & Brother (Jim) think you should go to Bermuda. I say its your problem to answer for it's you that will or won't be happy. The only thing I can say is, and I don't know how to say it without you taking the wrong meaning. But here it is. We are "flat" broke or will be when we pay taxes. Our taxes came as quite surprise they are about $900.00. We have enough to pay them and by really skimping and saving Dad can take SMALL jobs 'till we get caught up again. I'm not telling you this to cause you to worry but to let you know we are not going to be able to give you much money. I hope we can figure out some way for your spring clothes for graduation and we may hit a streak of good luck for a change. Dad says he refuses to worry for God has taken pretty good care of all of us and he will continue to do so. We really aren't worrying about it. I don't understand MYSELF. but I'm not worried.

      Now don't say anything about this Dad didn't want any of the kids to know, but of course Bob Deen had to know, he figured the taxes. And Claudia told Jean and she told Jim so that just leaves Wilma not knowing. He just don't want the kids worring about us. We are in no means suffering. it's just keeping him from bidding jobs of any size.

      Today is a beutiful day so was yesterday. I just hope it lasts. It was good to talk to you Sat. You are almost as bad about writing as I anymore.

      Jean has a Valentine party at school this afternoon and I think Gladys Killebrew is down there.

      Well I must fix Dad some lunch and get this in the box. Write soon. Lots of love.


      * * *

      Elizabeth added the following to Virgil's letter to compiler on 3 MAR 1961

      "Aren't you surprised? I was when he told me he had written this. He has gone to take Bob to church (M.Y.F.). Just talked to Jean she is going back on Mrs. Wheeler's case again tonite. I think I told you about her falling down the church steps at Wall Street. Jean took her case from 11-7 the first week then gave it to Doris Maloney. Margaret Collet has the 7-3. Her boy is an officer for Silver Creek Ball Team so she wanted to see them play yesterday. Jean worked for her. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler talked her into coming back 11-7. She says she will try again for awhile. She is so afraid she will neglect her family. I will wash for her tomorrow. It seems Dad has told you all there is to tell so I will just say. We miss you and will be glad when you are home again. Love Mom"

      * * *

      March, 1996: Hubert O'DELL, youngest brother of Elizabeth's, has loaned compiler some Family Record Sheets from his mother's Bible. Listed ninth on a page with all Frank's children is the entry:

      "Alcie E. O'dell were Bornd Oct. 25 1903." In a darker ink has been added, "Darlington, Ind." (This is the first time compiler has heard the name of the town of her mother's birth. The only location known until now was "Montgomery County, near Crawfordsville.")


      1. Elizabeth Ann (GILCHRIST) GRUBB (daughter and compiler of record)

      2. Claudia (GILCHRIST) DEEN (daughter)

      3. Copy of Obituary from "The Jeffersonville Evening News" 18 MAR 1972

      4. Callie O. O'DELL WILLIAMS, Pa. Ave., Plymouth, IN, sister

      5. Letters owned by compiler.

      6. Family Record Sheets from the Bible of Virginia Margaret PHELPS O'DELL. Sheets owned by Hubert D. O'DELL, P.O.Box, 213, Mentone, IN 46539.
    Person ID I2682  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 23 Jun 2022 

    Father William Franklin O'DELL,   b. 12 Aug 1859, Tazewell, Claiborne County, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Feb 1948, Plymouth, Marshall County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Mother Virginia Margaret PHELPS,   b. 19 Oct 1870, Laurel County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 1924, Plymouth, Marshall County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 27 Oct 1889  Laurel County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3456  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Virgil James GILCHRIST,   b. 28 Mar 1900, Rochester, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Apr 1971, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 25 Oct 1927  South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Wilma Opal GILCHRIST,   b. 11 Dec 1930, Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 2012, Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     4. James Bruce GILCHRIST,   b. 1 Jan 1933, Richland Center, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jan 2004, Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     5. Living
     6. Living
    Last Modified 23 Jun 2022 
    Family ID F1869  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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