History of Salem Township, Shelby County,
From: History of Shelby County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
By: A. B C. Hitchcook, Sidney, Ohio
Published by Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill. 1913
The organization of Salem township took place June 5, 1826, when the county commissioners ordered that all that
part of Perry township lying on the northwest side of the Miami river be formed into a new township and named Salem.
It lies in the eastern tier of townships and its boundaries are Franklin and Jackson townships on the north, Logan
county on the east, Perry and Clinton townships on the south and Clinton and Franklin townships on the west.
The first white settler in what is now Salem township is supposed to have been Charles Weeks, who located in section 20 about 1810 or 1810. He was followed several years later by the Hathaways and Gilberts. Prior to 1810 the following people had come as pioneers: Jesse Jackson, Alexander Jackson, Elisha Kirtland and Caleb Goble: Adam Counts and Jacob LeMasters came in 1810 and within the next two years followed William Roberts, Samuel Taylor, George Morrison, Benjamin Beden, Joseph Donaldson and William Skillen. John Hathaway, in 1814 or 1815, built his log cabin near the spring at Port Jefferson. Alexander Jackson had the distinction of building the first hewed log house and. John Johnston of erecting and living in the first frame one. The first road in Salem township was the Sidney and Bellefontaine road, which was surveyed by a Mr. Thompson. Later surveyors and civil engineers in Salem were Daniel G. Hull and Col. J. Counts.
Of the three towns surveyed and platted within the confines of Salem township, Port Jefferson, Tileton (now
Maplewood) and North Salem, one — North Salem, platted in 1836, has long since disappeared.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
Although it was not until 1858 that Port Jefferson was organized as a special school district, schools had been maintained in the township for many years previously. At first they were subscription schools, each householder paying his due proportion of the expense. Later taxes were assessed for school purposes. It was a long time before adequate buildings could be provided and even then only through some particular display of public spirit, while at the same time it was often a difficult matter to secure competent teachers. After the organization of the special school district at Port Jefferson, a one story brick structure was large enough to accommodate the students, but later it was enlarged to two rooms, and in 1877 a fine brick schoolhouse was built, at a cost of $7,745, exclusive of furniture. At the time of erection of this building, which was at that time One of the most modern and complete in the county, the board of education was made up of the following members: R. B. Conklin, M. J. Winget, J. B. Nettleship, J. F. Miller, J. C. Ogden and William Manning. An account of the present educational facilities in Salem township, with interesting details in regard to the number of schools, enrollment, etc., may be found in the chapter on education.
Methodist Episcopal Church. — The records of the first organized society of Methodists at Port Jefferson have
not been preserved but antedate 1830. The earliest church edifice was of log construction and stood near the old
cemetery east of the town. Later it was removed to give place to a frame building, which sufficed until 1862, when
a new building was completed and dedicated by Rev. R. D. Oldfield, then pastor. A Sunday school was established,
which proved an important factor in the growth of the church and the building up of its membership.
Salem township has never had any disturbances concerning its government. Its present trustees are: H. J. Stockstill,
John Stout and S. M. Snoop, while H. L. Haney, of Port Jefferson, is township clerk. Its justices of the peace
who have served in the interim between 1836 and 1911 have been representative men, as follows: A. K. Hathaway,
1836; S. Gamble, 1837; A. K. Hathaway, 1839; Theodore McGinnis, 1840, resigned in May, 1842; James Gilfillen, 1840;
Thomas Robbins, 1842; Elias LeFevre, 1843; A. Knox, 1844, resigned, 1845; Silas A. Thompson, 1845; Vincent Guerin,
1845; Vincent Guerin, 1848; Joseph Comer, 1849; Vincent Guerin, 1851; Reason Butt, 1852; James Haney, 1852; George
J. Mitchell, 1853; George J. Mitchell, 1856; Joseph Corner, 1858; Daniel Ferree, 1858; H. M. Stout, 1859; William
Shinn, Jr., 1861; H. M. Stout, 1862; J. P. Forsythe and William Shinn, 1864; G. J. Mitchell, 1865; Robert Simpson,
1866; J. P. Forsythe, 1867; G. J. Mitchell, 1868; Robert Simpson, 1869; John P. Forsythe, 1870; Jacob LaFevre,
1871; William Dunlap, 1871; H. M. Ailes, 1872; W. H. Mitchell, 1872; Robert Simpson, 1873; F. L. Manning, 1873;
H. M. Ailes, 1875; A. A. Dunson, 1875; R. B. Conklin, 1876; S. L. Manning, 1878; A. A. Dunson, 1878; R. B. Conklin,
1879; B. McCormick, 1881; S. L. Manning, 1881; S. L. Manning, 1884; J. F. Thompson, 1884; S. B. Redinbaugh, 1887;
James Haney, 1890; A. S. Retter, 1890; Albert Clark, 189o; James Haney, 1893; Jacob Epler, 1893; James Haney, 1896;
A. S. Retter, 1896; James Haney, 1899; A. S. Retter, 1899; E. L. Harrison, 1900; Jacob Epler, 1903, appointed to
fill vacancy caused by refusal of W. E. Smith to serve; E. B. Honnell, 1903 to 1906; A. S. Retter, 1903; John Reeves,
1904; A. S. Retter, 1906; A. S. Retter, 1908; John Reeves, 1908: John Reeves, 1911; A. S. Retter, 1911.