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In 1867, Odum was originally known as Haslam, named for a sawmill owner. One year later, its name was changed to Satilla for the nearby Satilla Creek.

In 1870, it was known as Number Five for its railroad station. Then in 1880, the town was given its current name, Odum, in honor of an early settler, Godfrey Odum.

The General Assembly of the State of Georgia incorporated Odum as a town on August 22, 1907. At that time, the corporate limits extended three-fourths of a mile in every direction and the corporate authorities were given the authority to modify, alter, change, and rectify the corporate limits.

The municipal government of Odum consisted of a mayor and five aldermen. The first mayor was Dr. J.T. Colvin and F.C. Gurr, J.B. Clary, D.I. Carter, J.M. Bloodworth, and J.A. Odum were appointed as aldermen.

The first election was to be held on the third Wednesday in January 1908. At that time, a mayor and five aldermen were to be elected to serve a term of one year.

The mayor and aldermen had the power and authority to elect marshals, clerks, treasurer, and other necessary officers to properly carry on the affairs of Odum; prescribe the duties and fix the compensation of such officials; make and pass ordinances, by-laws, rules, and regulations which are deemed necessary for the good order, peace, health and government of Odum; have exclusive jurisdiction over the streets, alleys, sidewalks, drives, parks, and other property of Odum; keeping the same in good order, removing all obstructions of the same at the expenses of the person obstructing; construct and maintain waterworks, drainage and sewage systems, and other modern improvements, issuing bonds to pay for such expenses; establish and regulate police, fire and sanitary protection for Odum; grant municipal franchise; raise revenue by taxation and grant licenses to defray the expense of government; regulate the sale and barter of merchandise within the limits of Odum, and the exhibition of shows.

In addition, the mayor and the aldermen have the power to enforce its ordinances, rules, and regulations by fines not exceeding fifty ($50.00) dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Also, they have the authority to levy a special tax for educational purposes.