Salem Township, Daviess County, Missouri

Salem township comprises five-sixths of congressional township sixty-one and six sections off of township sixty-two, in range twenty-eight. It is bounded on the north by Harrison county; on the east by Washington township; on the south by Marion and Grand River; on the West by Benton. The principal streams are Cypress Creek, Hog Creek and Brushy Creek. All of these flow southward and empty into the Grand River. Probably two-thirds of the township’s soil consists of high, undulating prairie; but there is an abundance of timber sufficient for the wants of the people. The township contains twenty-three thousand and seven and fifty-two one-hundredths acres.

The Village Of Salem

The principal and only town in Salem township is the village of that name. Salem was laid out by B. H. Coffey, in the fall of 1856. The first building erected in the place was a frame store-house, which was built by Brown & Westfield. They put in a stock of general merchandise, such as is usually found in a well regulated country store. The first dwelling was a frame, and was built by Edwin McIntire. The first blacksmith shop was built by William Triplett, who worked at his trade therein. William Gillespie built the first cabinet shop, and worked in it himself.

Valuation, Etc.

In 1870 the assessed valuation of Salem was $5,320, and it was then the third town in size in the county.

In the spring of 1876 the place was supplied with a daily mail, which passed “up in the morning and down in the afternoon.” Professor Walrad was postmaster at the time. A correspondent of one of the Gallatin newspapers said of him: “He keeps everything usually found in a first-class drug store. You can here get the purest spirits for medicinal purposes and pure juice of the grape for medicine or sacramental purposes.”

A business directory of the place in 1877 contained the following names: R. W. Handy, D. W. Handy, general merchandise; G. M. Walrad, drugs and books; F. L. Reed & Co., drug store; Dille & McIntyre, furniture; J. & J. Taylor, harness; A. G. Adams, shoemaker; Benjamin Phillips, Young & Hendricks, blacksmiths; William Yarbrough, hotel keeper; H. W. Githens, wagon-maker; Mrs. Martha Evans, Millinery; John H. Killough, M. B. McClung, physicians.

The following is a list of business firms in the village at present (1881): Smith & Kavanagh and Weldon Bros., dealers in dry goods and groceries; Keown & Co., hardware, farm implements and sewing machines; F. L. Reed, drug store; E. McIntire, furniture store; S. A. Bryant, blacksmith shop; J. W. Rupe, harness-maker; H. W. Githens, wagon-maker; Samuel Griffin, proprietor Griffin House, hotel; M. B. McClung, physician. The population of the place in 1880 was seventy-five.

The school-house for District No. 3, is in Salem. It was built in 1869. J. W. Laird is the present teacher of the school, and the number of pupils enrolled is eighty-five. The district has nine months’ school in the year.

Back to: Daviess County

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