Emil O. Odegard was born on May 17, 1884, to Andrew and Ingre Odegard on their farm in Polk County, MN. After his father's death in 1893, the family moved to Grand Forks, ND, where Emil graduated from Grand Forks High School in 1904 and attended the University of North Dakota. Emil began working at the Grand Forks Street Railway Company in June, 1909. He started as a bookkeeper and in l927 became general manager of the company
On June 25, 1913, Emil married Margreta Sande. They met while she was employed at a bank in Grand Forks. They had three children, Ruth Elaine, Helen Agnes, and Jean Marguerite. The family resided at 504 Chestnut Street, Grand Forks. Emil was a member of Banner Lodge No. 4, I.O.O.F., and was on the auditorium committee for the Norwegian Singers Association in 1916.
Emil Odegard died on August 21, 1959.