Gov. Odell’s first ever automobile ride was in Hamburg, 1903

       By Steve Cichon

The first time Gov. Benjamin Odell ever rode in an automobile, was his 1903 trip from Buffalo to Hamburg, to have lunch at the Wanakah home of John T. Roberts.

Along the way, he toured the nearly complete Lackawanna Steel plant that would one day become Bethlehem Steel.

In an address at the Erie County Fairgrounds seen by thousands, he talked said of Hamburg and the surrounding area that “nowhere else could be found a more advantageous location than here where railroad and water facilities bring us in close touch with all parts of the civilized world.”

Published by

Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.