Fred M. Odom
|Frederick Marion "Fred" Odom, Sr.
Associate Justice of the
Louisiana Supreme Court
January 1, 1932 – December 20, 1944
Louisiana State Appeals Court Judge
1924 – January 1, 1932
|Born|| April 4, 1871|
Union Parish, Louisiana
Resident primarily of Bastrop in Morehouse Parish
|Died|| August 17, 1960 (aged 89)|
|Resting place||Christ Church Cemetery in Bastrop, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)|| Emma Inez Scogin Odom (married 1905-1955, her death)|
|Children|| Emily Dean
Frederick Odom, II
|Alma mater|| Northwestern State University|
Frederick Marion Odom, Sr., known as Fred M. Odom (April 4, 1871 – August 17, 1960) was an educator, attorney, and judge originally from Union Parish in north Louisiana though he spent most of his adult years in Bastrop in neighboring Morehouse Parish.
The son of James Marion Odom (1847-1926) and the former Sarah Dean (1852-1884), he married in 1905 the former Emma Inez Scogin, the daughter of the sheriff of nearby Morehouse Parish. The couple had four children: Emily Dean, who died in infancy in 1907, Frederick Odom, Jr. (1910-1987), Lina Garland Odom Siefert (1911-1978), and John Scogin Odom (1914-1978). He spent the first twenty years of his life in Union Parish except for three years in Logan County in northwestern Arkansas.
In 1894, Odom graduated from the then normal school, Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and was employed as a classroom teacher at Morehouse High School in Bastrop from 1894 to 1897. He spent a year from 1897 to 1898 as the principal of the public school in Bonita, a village in Morehouse Parish before moving the next year, 1898 to 1899, to become the principal of Morehouse High School. From 1900 to 1914, he was a school board member in Morehouse Parish.
While working in professional education, he "read law" and was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1899 at a time when physical attendance at a law school was not required. He launched his law practice in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish in 1900. He held various political offices as a Democrat at a time when Louisiana was a one-party state. From 1901 to 1902, he served on the Bastrop City Council; then from 1902 to 1908, he was the Morehouse Parish Police Jury, 1902-1908. From 1908 to c. 1916, he was the district attorney for the 4th Judicial District. He was subsequently elected a district judge for Morehouse and Ouachita parishes. He presided over a 1922 case involving the Ku Klux Klan in Morehouse Parish. In 1924, he was appointed to the Louisiana Court of Appeals, with service until January 1, 1932, when he became associate justice of the seven-member Louisiana Supreme Court, which convenes in New Orleans. As an associate justice, he declared unconstitutional controversial amendments to primary election laws which gave Governor and U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr., virtual control over Louisiana elections.
Upon his retirement from the bench on December 20, 1944, Judge Odom returned to his farm near Bastrop. Shortly before his death, he entered a rest home in Monroe, Louisiana. He was a Southern Baptist and worshipful master of the Masonic lodge; Knights of Pythias. He died in Monroe at the age of eighty-nine and is interred at Christ Church Cemetery in Bastrop. The tombstones of Judge Odom shows his first name spelled as "Frederic", but A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography spells the name as "Frederick." The grave marker for his namesake son, spells "Frederick Marion Odom, II." Perhaps, he was "Frederic" but added the "K" for his son, who was still Frederick Odom, Jr.
- Odom, Frederick Marion. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 17, 2020.
- 'A Dictionary of Louisisana Biography uses for the article on Judge Odom these sources: The New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 21, 1944; Vertical file, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection, Special Collections, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, and Alcée Fortier (Tulane University), ed., Louisiana, Vol. 3, pp. 647-648 (1914).
- Frederick Marion Odom. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2020.