From Michigan County Atlas
In 1880, the site of the present village of Lake Odessa was farmland. A prosperous village existed one mile north, named BONANZA, which included several homes, a hotel, blacksmith, and a general store operated by Horace Miner, the leading citizen. Suddenly, H.R. Wagar appeared, bought Samuel Chapman's farm on the banks of Jordan Lake, and platted a village named Lake Odessa. Around 1886 it became general knowledge that the railroad would overlook Bonanza and run through the new village.
Mr. Wagar gave the railroad a depot site, and the P.M. Railroad came through in 1887. For a time Bonanza stood off the competition of its neighbor, but when Mr. Miner moved his store to Lake Odessa, Bonanza was doomed. The entire village moved south to be near the tracks and depot. Lake Odessa incorporated as a village in 1889, named for its location in Odessa Township, and the neighboring lakes, Jordan, Tupper, and August, which were named for early settlers. The name Odessa comes from a city in southern Ukraine, on Odessa Bay, an arm of the Black Sea, the site of an ancient Greek colony that disappeared around 300 A.D.
From Michigan Place Names
Humphrey R. Wager, a capitalist from Ionia and Stanton, developed the Russell Settlement into the village of Bonanza, which he so named because he saw great promise for it. Horace F. Miner became its first postmaster on May 17, 1880; when the Pere Marquette (now C. & O.) Railroad came through, the village was moved about a rnüe southwest and renamed Lake Odessa, as was its post office on Aug. 10, 1880; incorporated as a village in 1889; named after Odessa Township and its three lakes, Jordan, Tupper, and August, all named for early settlers [Marjorie Hershiser; Schenck; PO Archives] .