History of Salem, Columbiana County, OH Part 2

From: History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

(By Ralph W. Hawley.)

The first school in Salem was opened about 1804. The teachers from that date to 1810 were Hannah Fisher, and Judith Townsend. A log school house was built in 1810, where Joseph Shreve and James Tolerton taught from 1810 to 1816. Shreve taught again from 1822 to 1833. The Friends erected a brick school house at the corner of Broadway and Dry streets in 1828, which for those days, secured a large patronage. Provision was made for the early schools by the parents and guardians subscribing to an article of agreement by which each subscriber agreed to send and pay for the tuition of one or more pupils. Back in the '40s Reuben McMillan, Jesse Markham and Lewis T. Park were successful teachers. In 1854 Alfred Holbrook was made the first superintendent. In 1861 H. H. Barnaby succeeded to the position. In 1863 William D. Henkle began a period of service which lasted for 11 years, except two years of a lapse during his term as state school commissioner. The superintendents succeeding Prof. Henkle have been William S. Wood, Myron E. Hard, W. P. Burris, Jesse S. Johnson and John S. Alan, who in 1926 had been superintendent for 13 years.

The high school of Salem was organized immediately after the adoption of the graded system in 1853. The first high school building on Fourth Street was razed for a new building, the finest in the state at that time, which was dedicated in 1897. Besides this there are three other buildings, used as grade schools, namely, McKinley Avenue, Columbia Street and Prospect Street, all brick structures. In 1916 all these buildings were so greatly congested by the increase in enrollment that a fine brick building was erected on Garfield Avenue, at the site of the old Hawley spring, which is being used exclusively for a high school. The Fourth Street building is now used as a junior high school and for grade school rooms.

An institution in which Salem may justly take pride is the Carnegie Library on McKinley Avenue. The idea for a library originated back in 1895 when 40 men and women met statedly as the "Monday Night Club" for self improvement. The need for books of reference was felt, and a movement started to secure the nucleus of a library. A stock company was organized and a charter secured. At the outset about 1200 volumes were bought and a room secured in the Gurney Block. In a year or two this room became too small and a larger one in the same building was rented. Then in 1899 the library was removed to rooms in the Pioneer Block, which were occupied until the removal into its permanent home in August, 1905. In 1898 it was made a free public library. The personnel of the original board of directors was: Walter F. Deming, president; Mrs. A. Carey, vice president; Elizabeth Brooks, secretary; Alice MacMillan, treasurer; Prof. G. C. S. Southworth, Josephine Taylor and F. J. Mullins. In February, 1903, application was made to Andrew Carnegie for a library building. He readily responded with a tender of $17,500, which later was increased to $20,000. The site on McKinley Avenue was purchased, the deed being dated June 19, 1903. On August 31, the library was dedicated. For many years Mrs. Ashbel Carey was librarian, she being succeeded in 1922 by Miss Margaret Vinton and under her direction greater interest on the part of the public was aroused and a great many new books were placed in circulation.

The first burying ground established by the Friends about 1805 was abandoned in 1817 or 1818. About 1818 a lot of about two acres on Depot Street was bought, which property was used as a burial place for 60 or 70 years. The Baptist Church also purchased property on Depot Street in 1809 which was used for a burial plot for many years. The Methodists used a plat of ground on Howard Street for a burying ground from 1830 to 1860. Hope Cemetery, on Garfield Avenue, was the result of a consolidation of what had originally been the Presbyterian Cemetery, Salem Cemetery and a five acre addition made in 1864 by Jacob Heaton, in all amounting to nearly nine acres. In 1900 the Salem Cemetery Association was organized. The old Beeson farm on Franklin Avenue was purchased and Grand View Cemetery was laid off and opened in 1901.

The Home for Aged Women is one of Salem's very worthy institutions. The inception of the movement was largely due to the active interest of Mrs. Joseph Koll. A movement was set on foot in 1886 which resulted in 1887 in the purchase of the Evans homestead on McKinley Avenue. Mrs. Eliza Jennings made the first donation. The home was opened in October, 1888, and has since furnished a comfortable abode for an average of from 10 to 12 inmates. In 1900 the building was enlarged to the extent of four rooms. The first matron was Phoebe Gruell.

Printing in Salem was first done in a log house that stood on or near the place where A. M. Carr's storeroom was built on Main Street, now the C. S. Carr hardware store. Joseph Shreve was then the teacher of the Friends school and his brother Thomas was studying medicine under Dr. Stanton. They came from Pennsylvania and had some knowledge of Robert Fee who in Brownsville had published The Western Reporter. In this he appears to have made a failure and was then induced by the Shreve brothers to come to Salem and start a paper. In the latter part of March, 1825, he issued the first number of the Salem Gazette and Public Advertiser. The Gazette came to an untimely end in July, 1826.

Some time in 1835 William F. Stewart came and issued his prospectus for the Salem Visitor. In the spring of the next year, P. F. Boylan bought The Visitor and changed the name to The Ohio Mercury. Then followed irregular issues until the publisher left the town suddenly.

Early in 1842 Benjamin Hawley (ancestor of R. W. Hawley, present editor of The News) James Eggman, John Campbell and John Harris associated themselves as an editorial committee with Benjamin B. Davis and Joshua Hart as publishers. A press and other printing materials were procured and on April 12, 1842, the first number of The Village Register was issued. The well known character of the editorial staff helped it much.

After the paper had been fairly started B. B. Davis became editor. In 1844 Joseph Painter rented the office and continued the paper. He retired in about two years and Mr. Davis again took charge of the paper. He took Aaron Hinchman into partnership in 1846 and in a short time Hinchman became sole editor and proprietor. He changed the name to The Homestead Journal.

In 1854 J. K. Rukenbrod and Jesse Hutton purchased The Journal, Mr. Rukenbrod shortly becoming sole proprietor. In 1857 the paper having become identified with the Republican party, its name was changed to The Salem Republican. In 1889 Mr. Rukenbrod sold the paper to The Salem Publishing Co. In 1873 Dr. J. M. Hole began the publication of the Salem Era, a weekly newspaper. In the following year he sold a half interest in the paper to Ed F. Rukenbrod and a little later transferred the other half interest to J. B. Park. Later still Mr. Park sold out to his partner, then J. D. Fountain acquired a half interest, within a year selling to Mr. Rukenbrod and the latter in turn in 1889, sold to Stanley & Co., who afterward aided in the organization of the Salem Publishing Co. This company then consolidated the Republican and the Era and for several years the paper was published weekly, then semiweekly as the Republican Era.

Meanwhile, in 1889 J. W. Northrop had established The Salem Daily News and it also was taken over by The Salem Publishing Co. and became part of the consolidation. November 24, 1894, Louis H. Brush bought a controlling interest in The Salem Publishing Co. and has continued until the present day to publish The News.

April 9, 1890, D. D. Kirby issued the first number of The Salem Democratic Bulletin. From July, 1890, to July, 1894, H. W. McCurdy was a partner; but during the greater part of the time Mr. and Mrs. D. D. Kirby were sole proprietors of the publication issued from what was for years known as The Salem Herald office. The Daily Herald was established May 12, 1891, and in 1896 the name of the weekly edition was changed to The Weekly Bulletin. The political complexion was Democratic. George H. Gee was editor of The Herald for a number of years and later Walter W. Beck acquired an interest in the company.

In 1918, The Herald was purchased by The Salem Publishing Co., which consolidated the two publications, continuing the publication of The News as a daily paper. For some time Frederick W. Douglass was editor of The News. He was followed by William B. McCord, R. B. Thompson, R. W. Hawley, D. S. Kintner, Rev. C. L. Smith. In 1921 R. W. Hawley, who for eight years had been associated with papers in other cities, returned to Salem, purchased an interest in The Salem Publishing Co. and, again associating himself with L. H. Brush, became editor of the paper.

In 1915 R. B. Thompson and associates purchased The Lyle Printing Co. and began the publication of Farm & Dairy, a weekly farm publication which Mr. Thompson continues to edit. This company also publishes the Ohio State Grange Monthly, of which Mr. Thompson is managing editor.

In earlier days Salem publications covered a wide field, including the following: The Anti Slavery Bugle, established by the American Anti Slavery society in 1845, Milo Townsend being the first editor;. The Salem Journal, established by John Hudson, the first number being printed Feb. 17, 1865; it passed through many hands and finally was sold by J. R. Vernon to Major R. W. Snyder and shortly afterwards discontinued; The Ohio Educational Monthly, a Columbus publication, was purchased in 1870 by William D. Henkle and removed to Salem; The National Greenback, a radical weekly newspaper, started in 1878 by a stock company, G. W. Cowgill's name appearing as publisher and editor; The Buckeye Vidette removed from Bryan, Ohio, to Salem by J. W. Northrop in 1883; The Salem Weekly Democrat started by Asa H. Battin and Thomas Dillon in 1854 and continued just one year; in the latter '80s. J. D. Fountain started the Salem Tribune, a weekly Republican newspaper; earlier in the century The Dollar Age, a weekly started by Alfred Sipe, survived but a few months; J. R. Murphy and J C Kling bought the outfit and started The Salem Times which lasted but a short time; Dr. Hardman issued at intervals a nondescript publication which he called The Clipper; in January, 1896, Willis Whinnery started publication of a paper entitled The Swine Advocate, in the interest of the business in which he was engaged; The Daily Holiday News, established in the '70s by J. S. Rentz, was issued intermittently for many years daily for the week in each year preceding Christmas; in 1902 Charles Bonsall and J. S. Rentz began the publication of The American Worker and it was discontinued in 1903.

As early as 1814 an attempt was made to form a company for manufacturing purposes. In that year a stock company was formed to be called The Manufacturing Company of Salem. The purpose was to manufacture cotton, wool, ironware and for merchandising. John Street, Nathan Hunt, Jacob Gaunt, Samuel Davis, David Gaskill, Israel Gaskill and Richard Fawcett were elected as the board of directors. A brick building was erected in which to house the enterprise, and preparations made to begin operations in June, 1815, but for some reason the scheme fell through.

John Stanley erected and set in operation a woolen factory which was destroyed by fire in 1827. Stanley rebuilt the factory on the present site of the Baptist Church. Robert Campbell bought this concern in 1830 and followed the business of carding and spinning and weaving woolen fabrics. In 1838 Campbell sold to Zadok Street who having engaged Thomas Pinkham for manager, continued the business until 1849.

In 1839 a woolen factory was built by George Allison in the western part of town between West Main and West Green streets, which was purchased that same year by James Brown, who continued to operate it until 1849.

About 1825 Amos Kimberly started a carding machine on what is now Ellsworth Avenue, the motive power for which was furnished by a large treadmill worked by oxen. Mordecai Dorian bought this mill in 1832 and operated it until 1839.

John Street operated an extensive tannery on the square now bounded by Depot, West Main, Howard and Dry streets.

Four brothers, sons of Joel Sharp, Sr., who located very early in the century at Salem, laid the foundation for the largest single industry which the city possessed for many years, that of engine building and for which it acquired a world wide reputation. All the brothers, Thomas, Simeon, Clayton and Joel, were natural mechanics. In 1842 Thomas Sharp opened a shop for the building of steam engines and that same year turned out his first steam engine. In a year or two Thomas was joined by his brothers, Simeon and Clayton, and in 1848 the fourth brother, Joel, returned from Cleveland and entered the firm. Between 1848 and 1850 they took from the Ohio and Pennsylvania railroad projectors the contract for furnishing ties and stringers for eleven miles of the railroad which was then being built between Alliance and Pittsburg.

In 1851 Thomas Sharp withdrew from the firm and started a shop on West Main Street, which continued to turn out work until, in 1894, it was destroyed by fire. On Thomas Sharp's withdrawal from the original partnership in 1851, two of the remaining brothers went into a new organization styled Sharp, Davis & Bonsall, the members of the concern being Simeon and Joel Sharp, Milton Davis and Joel S. Bonsall. The concern became known as the Buckeye Engine Works. The new firm quickly achieved fame through the improvements introduced on the early steam engines. April 27, 1865, the works burned to the ground and the next year was rebuilt. Milton Davis and Simeon Sharp retired from business in 1892 and D. W. Davis became vice president of the company. Joel Sharp died in 1898 and Joel S. Bonsall succeeded him as president, C. S. Bonsall becoming superintendent. Joel S. Bonsall died in 1902 and was succeeded as president by H. H. Sharp.

A new model gas engine was produced in 1905 and several years later, the steam engine business having declined, the plant was sold to Edwin S. Griffiths of Cleveland who later sold it to The Bliss Co., with headquarters in Brooklyn, N. Y. This company operated the plant as a machine shop during the period of the World War, later dismantling it. It resumed operations early in 1926.

Some time in the early '30s Nicholas Johnson started a foundry and in 1834 or '35 Zadok Street bought the little plant which was located on Dry Street and gave to that locality the name of Foundry Hill, which it still bears. In 1847 the foundry was purchased by Snyder & Woodruff, who began the work of casting stoves. The establishment was burned in 1856 and the firm bought a site on lower Depot Street, rebuilt and continued the business of stove founding. In 1871 the Snyders retired from partnership and the firm became J. Woodruff & Sons. The business was continued for many years, being discontinued about 1910.

In 1854 Levi A. Dole invented a hub boxing machine. A. R. Silver, who was then foreman of the Woodruff Carriage shop, became interested in the invention and the two men in the fall of that same year rented a part of a little shop on High Street in which a lathe and a. blacksmith's forge were placed; and then and there was born what later became the Silver & Deming Manufacturing Co. In 1865 John Deming bought a third interest and Dole died in 1866. In that year the firm became Silver & Deming. Early in 1890 A. R. Silver and his sons retired and organized a new enterprise, and the Demings reorganized as The Deming Co. In 1880 the Silver & Deming Company had started the manufacture of hand and power pumps and after the reorganization the Deming Co. continued along the same lines. It branched out into the manufacture of other pumps and at present, in 1926, is one of the largest pump manufacturers in the country, producing several hundred different kinds of pumps.

In 1890 the Silver Manufacturing Co. was organized and located at the foot of Broadway. For many years they produced specialties such as carriage makers and blacksmiths tools, band saws, butchers tools, "Ohio" hand power fed cutters, ensilage cutters and blowers, metal bucket chain elevators, feed mills, root cutters, etc. In 1905 a new machine shop was built and new lines of manufacture were added.

In 1868 a stove foundry was established on Depot Street by Henry King, Furman Gee and Henry Schaffer, under the firm name of King, Gee & Co. In 1869 the company incorporated as The Victor Stove Co. The smaller interests were soon taken over by Daniel Knoll and Furman Gee, who continued the business until 1879, when it passed into the hands of Daniel Kohl and Sons. This company is still producing coal and gas stoves and furnaces on a large scale.

In 1867 a third company under the name of Baxter, Boyle & Co., built the Perry Stove Works and in 1881 the plant was removed to Mansfield.

As early as 1872 decorative cornices, vases, busts and metal statuary were made in Salem by Kittredge, Clark & Co., which firm laid the foundation for the large business in later years of the W. H. Mullins Co. The business was carried on until 1882 and at that time W. H. Mullins of Salem, purchased an interest and the firm name became Bakewell & Mullins. Mr. Mullins bought out his partner in 1890 and continued the business in his own name, entering almost exclusively into the manufacture of statuary. Later the lines of manufacture were extended to include sheet metal architectural ornaments, boats and launches. In 1905 the company was incorporated as The W. H. Mullins Co. Later the motor boat and canoe business became a small part of this company's output as it entered into the steel stamping business on a larger scale, producing automobile bodies, fenders and other parts. The name of the company was changed to the Mullins Body Corporation in 1922 and W. H. Mullins retired as active head, becoming chairman of the board of directors as C. C. Gibson, long secretary of the company, succeeded him as president. In 1926 this company had the largest manufacturing plant in Salem, employing 1,200 men in the manufacture of bodies and parts for about 16 automobiles.

"The Industrial Works" were established in 1872 by Edwards & Morlan. In 1875 M. L. Edwards became sole proprietor. Among the products were meat choppers, lard and tallow presses, and blacksmith's tools.

In 1875 William J. Clark & Co., established a factory for making novelty oil tanks, shipping tanks, elevator buckets, hose couplings and general plate and sheet metal work. In 1885 other specialties in the lines of hardware and woodware, including door and window screens were added. This company continued in business until a few years ago, when it was purchased by the Mullins Body Corporation.

In the early '80s Carl Barckhoff established a church organ factory. In 1896 he retired. The Wirsehing Church Organ Co. was established in 1887. After the company had operated for about ten years, Phillip Wirsching took over the business and continued it in his own name until 1904 when the factory was destroyed by fire. After this a stock company was organized, which was incorporated in 1905 with William Deming as president.

The Salem China Co. was organized in 1898 by six practical potters of East Liverpool, E. J. Smith, William Smith, Patrick McNicol, T. A. McNicol, Cornelius Cronin and Daniel P. Cronin. T. A. McNicol was president. That year the company built a six kiln pottery in Salem and a very successful business in the manufacture of white ware has since been conducted. A few years ago Frank A. Sebring of Sebring purchased the plant and his son, Frank H. Sebring, became president, filling that position to the present day.

Among the later manufacturing plants to locate upon "The Flats" are: The Salem Tool Co. and the Pittsburgh Foundry & Machine Co. The Salem Tool Co. was established in 1900 and manufactures miners' tools. Henry Wilson is president and his son, James H. Wilson is secretary treasurer. In 1902 The Pittsburg Foundry & Machine Co. was established here. Its home office is in Pittsburg. A general line of job castings is made here.

J. B. McNab in 1875 embarked in the fruit canning business and in 1891 added the manufacture of artificial ice. He also was interested in the mining of coal, operating the McNab mine east of the city. Following his death a few years ago Miss Sallie Roessler, who had been his secretary, organized the Salem Builders Supply Co., which occupies the old McNab factory. She is the only woman in the industrial field in Salem. She has built up a thriving business.

H. A. Tolerton and sons in the fall of 1905 built a large artificial ice plant. Later Mr. Tolerton retired and today his sons, W. W. and C. E. Tolerton, operate the plant, also dealing in coal, under the name of The Citizens Ice and Coal Co.

Among the permanent and stable manufacturing improvements of Salem is that which was organized as the Salem Wire Nail Mill Company which was incorporated in 1885. The original company was headed by Joel Sharp. In 1889 the company absorbed a plant of the same capacity at Findlay, Ohio. The Salem mill was one of the first taken into the original wire combine, The American Steel & Wire Co., upon its formation in 1898; and on the absorption of the wire combine by the United States Steel corporation in 1901 the Salem plant became a part of the larger concern. The Salem plant has been operated continuously since that time as one of the best in the steel corporation. Robert C. Garrison is superintendent.

The Grove Company, manufacturers of chewing gum, organized in 1890 and built a three story building on lower Broadway. This was operated by S. Grove, Jr., but a few years ago it suspended. The building is now occupied by the George H. Bowman Co. of Cleveland as a glass cutting factory.

In later years other stable industries were added to the city. These include the National Sanitary Manufacturing Co., who operate a flourishing business in the manufacture of bath tubs and lavatory fixtures; The Salem Rubber Company, manufacturers of automobile tires and tubes; The S. C. Jessup Pattern works; Andalusia Dairy Co., producers of ice cream and dairy products; The Justice Manufacturing Co., manufacturers of washing machines; The Electric Furnace Co., operating in the plant built by and formerly occupied by the American Cash Register Co.; Peoples Lumber Co.; George S. Foltz, operating the City Flour Mills; C. B. Hunt & Son, manufacturers of hose couplings; Salem Furniture Co., over stuffed furniture; Cadwallader Manufacturing Co., operated by L. B. Carson, successor to Thomas Cadwallader, the founder, in the manufacture of poultry markers and serial numbers for auto tires; Church Budget Envelope Co., established by J. A. Pidgeon in 1915, printed envelopes for church budgets; L. F. Schilling Co., auto camp and touring equipment; L. B. Silver Co., originators and breeders of O. I. C. swine.

As Salem has been prosperous industrially, so her financial institutions have been characterized by stability. The oldest of these institutions in the city is the Farmers National Bank, organized in 1846. Simeon Jennings was the first president who was succeeded by J. J. Brooks and the latter by his son, J. Twing Brooks. In 1865 the Farmers Bank was reorganized as a national bank. On the death of Mr. Brooks, Robert V. Hampson became president and upon the latter's death William B. Carey became president and today he holds that position. B. L. Flick is cashier.

The First National Bank of Salem had its original organization in 1862. The first president was Alexander Pow. At Mr. Pow's death in 1879 Furman Gee was chosen president and served until his death in 1901, when Richard Pow succeeded him. A few years later Fred R. Pow became president upon his father's death and continues in that position today. W. F. Church is cashier.

Thomas & Greiner started a private banking business in 1853. They were succeeded in 1864 by Hiram Greiner. In 1866 the firm was Greiner & Boone and in 1871 H. Greiner & Son. In 1903 the last named firm wound up its business. The same year the Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co. was organized, becoming a state bank. Joseph O. Greiner is president and Karl L. Webster is cashier.

The Salem Savings & Loan Association was organized in 1891, with L. H. Kirkbride as president. Later this company was reorganized into the Salem Building & Loan Association with Edgar Satterthwaite as president. In 1924 The Home Savings & Loan Association of Youngstown purchased this business and continues to operate it in Salem.

The Mutual Savings & Loan association was formed in 1924 and now is operated under the management of S. E. Mackintosh.

Salem was incorporated as a town by an act of the general assembly of Ohio passed Jan. 8, 1830. In 1842 the village contained a population of 1,000. The village government then consisted of a president, a recorder and five trustees. John Campbell was the first president in 1830, and Alfred Wright, the first mayor, in 1852, when the town became an incorporated village.

From this small beginning Salem has grown into a city of about 12,000 souls, with well paved streets, modern mercantile establishments, municipal waterworks and sewage disposal plants, two volunteer fire departments and paid fire and police departments, with T. W. Thompson as chief of police and Vincent Malloy as fire chief. For many years street cars were operated from the Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station up Depot Street and out Main Street, with a branch line out Garfield Avenue to Hope Cemetery. For nearly 18 years this line has not been operated and the rails have been removed from the streets.

Salem's institutions include a large and beautiful City Hospital, erected by the people of Salem on McKinley Ave., near the city limits, in 1912, the former C. S. Bonsall home across the street having been donated by W. H. Mullins as a nurses home; a private hospital started in 1921 on Chestnut St. by Dr. H. K. Yaggi and known as the Central Clinic Hospital; a World War memorial building on McKinley Ave. just west of the Public Library, erected in 1924 with funds donated to the citizens of Salem by W. H. Mullins and used as a community center and recreational building; a beautiful Masonic Temple opposite the Memorial Building, and many other lodge homes.

Although Salem has been strongly Republican in politics, it elected Al Carlile, a prominent Democrat, as mayor for several years and after his retirement elected J. S. McKay, a Socialist, for one term. Since then it has returned to the Republican ranks. George E. Russell is mayor; D. L. Augustine, president of council; John S. McNutt, auditor; E. S. Walker, treasurer; Cecil K. Scott, city solicitor; F. A. Rinehart, service director; Ernest Schmid, safety director. There are four wards and city council is composed of seven members, three at large and one representing each ward. For the first time in its history, the city elected two women to office in 1925, Mrs. Stanton Heck, representing the Fourth Ward, and Mrs. Joseph R. Stratton. the second ward in city council, which took office January 1, 1926.

The city's civic organizations include a Chamber of Commerce, of which E. M. Peters is president and George H. Mounts secretary; a Rotary Club, of which R. W. Hawley is president; a Kiwanis Club, of which C. E. Sweney is president; a Quota Club, of which Miss Martha Wire is president; a Country Club, with a lake and beautiful grounds just west of the city, W. S. Atchison being president; a Salem Golf Club, W. H. Dunn president, with a nine hole course two miles south of the city on the Lisbon Road; a Community Service Association, C. C. Gibson, president; Boy and Girl Scout organizations, Red Cross Chapter, Salvation Army, and various patriotic and fraternal organizations.

Also see Salem Ohio part 1.

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