The town of Odenton was named after former Maryland Governor Oden Bowie who held that title from 1869 to 1872. The town of Odenton was formed in 1868 with the beginning of construction for the Baltimore Potomac (B&P) Railroad that connected Baltimore to Washington, D.C. A train station and telegraph office were also constructed and named after Governor Bowie. Train service to the station began in July 1872. At the site of the current MARC station at Odenton Road, Odenton's first commercial center was built. The Watts and Murray general stores served railroad workers and farmers, and in 1871 a post office was constructed. The town of Odenton grew near this commercial center and housed many railroad workers and farming families. After Odenton began to expand, Methodist church was dedicated in 1891 and a grade school opened in 1892.
With World War I approaching in 1917, Odenton's growth was fueled by the the US Dept of War's construction of Fort Meade. The federal government purchased nearly 19,000 acres of land west to develop a training camp. The purchase of this land displaced many farmers, merchants and public and private enterprises. Many of these displaced families and businesses moved to Odenton. Odenton's growth became even more evident in the 1950's with the construction and establishment of the nearby National Security Agency and BWI airport. Odenton still maintains its railroad history through the Dennis F. Sullivan Maintenance Facility, operated by Amtrak, which maintains track, bridges and other structures on the Amtrak/MARC line between Baltimore and Washington. The general expansion of the Baltimore and Washington D.C economies have allowed Odenton to continue to grow and has transformed the area from a farming industry into a thriving residential and industrial center within Anne Arundel County.