Oddenino Family History

Louise Ellen Oddenino was born Louise Ellen Cash on September 26, 1924 in Aroda, Virginia the daughter of A.J. Cash and Rosa Belle Armentrout Cash. Let's take a look at the family tree of Louise Cash (interesting to note that the Cook and Carpenter families on her mother's side are of the Germanna immigrant families):

Aroda, Virginia was the site of the childhood home of Louise Ellen Cash Oddenino and here is a photo of the house with the A.J. Cash General Merchandise store in the background:

Here is an older photo of the same house taken in about 1928 with Louise and her brother A.J., Jr., sitting on the porch:

Here is a beautiful view of the old store, the new store and the Cash family home in Aroda, Virginia:

Here is a photo of Louise and A.J., Jr. in 1923 with their fancy tricycle:
Here is a photo of the A.J. Cash & Son General Merchandise Store in Aroda in the 1940s:

This store was the social hub of Aroda for quite some time. I still remember the men sitting in chairs out front, taking a bag of Tom's peanuts and putting them in a bottle of Coke thus salting the Coke and then having sauteed peanuts after finishing the drink.

The above store was not the original one A.J. Cash built, as his original store was on Good Hope Road when the area was called Polo. The store in Polo on Good Hope Road was supplied by a train track from Orange, which track no longer exists. The second store was built on Route 230 and was also home to a U.S. Post Office in which A.J. Cash was the postmaster. At that time the area was named Aroda. This second store was later used as a storage unit. Here are photos of the first Post Office store in Aroda:

The above store used to have a front door on Route 230 between the two windows. Below is the old key to that door:

The country store photos below were taken at the country store museum display at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society headquarters in Dayton, Virginia. Although not an identical representation, they give a pretty good feel for what the inside of A.J. Cash's country store in Aroda was like:


Here is a nice close-up view of a map of Madison County, Virginia:
Here is a photo of A.J. Cash with friends, from left to right, Bill Colvin, Ned Gooding, George Cash and A.J. Cash:

A.J. Cash married Rosa Belle Armentrout, also of Madison County, on December 18, 1921 in Charlottesville, Virginia

This photo of A.J. Cash and Rosa Armentrout Cash was a fixture in our home for many years:

Rosa Armentrout Cash enjoyed the reputation as being one of the finest cooks in Madison County, Virginia. Bertha Cash Titus, niece of A.J. Cash, recalls that "Rosa made the best pies anyone could make. She made the best pie crusts from scratch."

I personally remember that she made the best blackberry pie I have ever enjoyed. Her grandchildren called her "Nanny Rodie" which was the result of my inability to pronounce "Granny Rosa" but Rosa preferred "Nanny Rodie" because she didn't think she was old enough to be a grandmother and "Nanny Rodie" was an acceptable substitute for her.

She was an extremely hard working woman who was able to milk the cows, work the farm, and cook like there was no tomorrow. I have many fond memories of spending time in the "country" and getting nothing but the best that one could hope from grandparents.

A.J. Cash, or "Papa," as the grandchildren called him, would allow us behind the counter at this store, would give us free candy, and allow us to climb the feed sacks which were piled high in the back of the store.

"Papa" and "Nanny Rodie" seemed like the storybook grandparents to all us grandchildren.

When A.J. Cash retired after 38 years of operating his general merchandise store, it made the news:

Rosa Armentrout Cash's mother was Elizabeth Cook, who descended from the Germanna immigrant, Michael Cook.

Rosa's grandfather was James Madison Cook, another Confederate veteran of the Civil War.

Here are the death certificates of A.J. Cash and Rosa Armentrout Cash:

Below is the tombstone at Walker's Church in Madison County, Virginia for A.J. Cash, Rosa Armentrout Cash and their son, A.J. Cash, Jr.

When Catherine Oddenino was three years old she was visiting this cemetery with her grandmother Louise Cash Oddenino who told Catherine who was buried there. Louise was cleaining out some of the growth around the marker and Catherine asked her "Nana" if Catherine could "help find them."

Below is a misty November morning photo of the same cemetery at Walker's Church.

A.J. Cash's grandfather was Joseph B. Cash, a Confederate veteran with an interesting Civil War history. Click on Joseph B. Cash to learn more.

A.J. Cash's father was John Benjamin Cash who was born on January 16, 1867, not long after the end of the Civil War. He was born in Louisa County, Virginia but lived most of his life in Madison County, Virginia. Here is a photo of John Benjamin Cash taken in Aroda, Virginia at the home of his son, A.J. Cash:

Another photo of John Benjamin Cash

John Benjamin Cash married Susan A. Richards February 14, 1889 in Madison County, Virginia:

John Benjamin Cash andSusan Ann Richards Cash
Here is a photo of Susan Ann Richards, wife of John Benjamin Cash, shortly before her death:

Louise Cash Oddenino remembers that before Susan Richards got sick she would give Louise coffee and let her put as much sugar in the coffee as she wanted because there was a sugar bowl there.

She thought Grandma Richards was really neat because she gave her coffee while her mother (Rosa) didn’t allow her to have coffee.

Louise Cash Oddenino remembers that her mother and dad would drop her off at Uncle Payton’s house when they went to visit Grandma Richards after she got sick becasue she couldn’t take the noise of all the kids when AJ and Rosa would visit Susan Richards.

Click here for more on Susan Ann Richards and the Richards family.

John Benjamin Cash operated a general merchandise store at Twyman's Mill, Virginia in Madison County.

Louise Cash Oddenino remembers visiting John B. Cash at the University Hospital in Charlottesville in April 1933 when she was eight years old:

"I remember him sitting up and talking to us and I thought he was looking so good. I was shocked to learn the next day that he died as this just didn't seem possible. I thought that people had to be in worse shape to die."

The obituary for John B. Cash appeared in the Madison County Eagle on April 28, 1933 (page 4):

John B. Cash of Twyman’s Mill passed away at the University Hospital at Charlottesville April 21, 1933, aged 66 years, 5 months and 3 days. He had been in declining health for several years. He leaves to mourn his loss five sons and one daughter, and a host of friends. The sons are E.W. Cash, of Schenectady, N.Y., George W. Cash of Albany, N.Y., K.E. Cash of Burnt Tree, J.D. Cash of Radiant, and A.J. Cash of Aroda, and the daughter, Mrs. Delmar Gooding of Twyman’s Mill. There are 13 grandchildren. His faithful wife and his children’s loving mother passed on to the great beyond, October 10, 1930.

Mr. Cash was well-liked and esteemed by all who knew him, having spent most of his life in Madison County near Twyman’s Mill, where he spent his time farming and in the mercantile business.

He was taken to the hospital April 12 for treatment. There his condition was found to be very serious. All was done for him that was possible to do.

He was conscious of his death until a few hours of the end. All six children were at his bedside when the Saviour called him home.

He united with the Methodist Church when a boy and led a Christian life, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He was a son of the late Joseph B. Cash and Lucy E. Cash.

Funeral services were conducted at Walker's Church Sunday April 23 at 11 a.m. by his former pastor, Rev. E.M. Higginbotham with a host of friends and relatives present. The pall-bearers were his five sons, E.W.Cash, K.E. Cash, J.D. Cash, A.J. Cash, and G.W. Cash ad son-in-law D. Gooding. Honorary pall-bearers were: W.R. Marshall, C.M. Morris, Q.J. Berry, T.J., Deakin, G. Tatum, G. Donald, W.P. Armentrout and B.J. Twyman. Burial was in the church cemetery. Mr. J.C. Clore was the funeral director. The floral pieces were very beautiful.

Here is the death certificate of John Benjamin Cash:
Here is the tombstone for John B. Cash and Susan Richards Cash at Walker's Church in Madison County, Virginia:
The children of John B. Cash and Susan Richards were Jesse Cash, Kenneth Cash, Edgar Cash, Albert John (AJ), Dora Cash Gooding and George Cash

Louise Cash Oddenino also recalled that:

"After grandpa died, things started missing from the store. They couldn't figure out how the things were missing because the doors and windows remained locked and there was no sign of forced entry. Then they went up on the roof and discovered that a hole was cut in roof by thieves with a trap door for entry and exit. They then set up a shotgun wired to the trap door so that it would go off if someone tried to enter that way again. Sure enough, it went off once in the evening and they did find some blood but no body. After that no one ever broke into the store again."

While such a device was illegal even then, the authorities in Madison County, Virginia in 1933 didn't seem too concerned about this form of self-help law enforcement, of course, nobody ever reported the "crime."

Below is an old photo of the store at Achsah, Virginia, near Twyman's Mill


Photo of the old Twyman's Mill School in Madison County, Virginia. This photo was taken on October 22, 1992. From left to right George Cash of California (son of Edward Cash and nephew of AJ Cash), Frances Cash Johnson (daughter of Edward Cash and niece of AJ Cash) and George Cash of Virginia (son of Jesse Cash).
Jesse Cash, AJ Cash, Dora Cash Gooding, and George Cash
Dora Cash Gooding and AJ Cash (siblings), and Frances Cash Johnson (daughter of Edgar Cash and Mildred Cash). Photo taken on October 17, 1939
Jesse Cash and wife Gertie Turner Cash, AJ Cash and wife Rosa Armentrout Cash. The children from left to right are Warren Cash, George or Louise Cash, A.J. Cash Jr. and Bernard Cash. Photo taken in approximately 1925.