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.”