Codell is notable for its exceptional tornado history. On May 20 in 1916, 1917, and 1918, it was hit by tornadoes. The 1918 tornado was the most destructive, and the town never fully recovered.
It lies in the middle of the township, south of the city of Stockton (the county seat of Rooks County) and near the southeastern corner of Rooks County. The community lies along the banks of Paradise Creek and an abandoned railroad line. The nearest city, Plainville, lies approximately 9 miles (14 km) away to the northwest by road; the community is connected via 24 Road to a state highway, K-18, which lies approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north.