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Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday  9am-noon

Offices are located in the upper level of the Dale Shaffer Research Library

Mailing Address:
208 South Broadway Ave
Salem, OH 44460

Sunday Tours 1-4pm
(May through October)

Tours are also available by appointment, call 330-337-8514

Sunday Tours begin at the rear door of the Pearce House in the old meeting room on Shaffer Way.

Trolley Tours begin at the lower level of Dale Shaffer Library on South Lundy Ave.

The Salem Historical Society
Main Entry for Meeting Room and Gift Shop in the lower level of
Dale Shaffer Research Library

239 South Lundy
Salem, OH
(330) 337 - 8514

....keeping and making history

The Salem Historical Society

Salem Historical Society names 

2017 "Citizens of Honor"

During the 2006 Salem Bicentennial, Salem Historical Society announced the first "Citizens of Honor" awards. 24 people with Salem connections were initially acknowledged. Each year during Founder’s Day activities in April, we add two more bringing this year's total to 44.  A photo and short biography of each person is featured on an exhibit in the  Pearce Building.

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Citizens of Honor, Roy Wells Harris and Frank J. Yengling. 
They will be officially recognized during the April 25th Founders' Day dinner at the Salem Community Center. Since this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Salem Historical Society, it is fitting that these two men, credited with the founding of the Society in 1947, be recognized.
The Salem Historical Society was conceived following a chance meeting of two old friends. Those ‘old friends’ were Frank Yengling and Roy Harris. It was probably not their first time to discuss the need to preserve Salem’s history for future generations, but this time they did something about it by calling for a meeting of others who felt this was essential. Roy and Frank met again in Roy’s print shop and exchanged more ideas. Mr. Harris arranged the details of the first meeting. The Society was formed on a sultry evening, July 29, 1947, at the Memorial Building with 8 interested citizens attending. Minutes show that Roy Harris was selected as ‘acting chairman’. Joining him were Milton Critchfield, Raymond Morrow, Frank Headland, Mrs. C. E. Libert, Percy E. Harris, Frank Yengling and Mrs. L. E. Beery. Several committees were formed. Their object was to “study the history of Salem and make interesting facts of record.” Eventually they would hold exhibitions and seek a permanent home for the memorabilia and artifacts from Salem’s impressive past.

Roy Wells Harris was born in 1872 and came from a family of
printers.  Dr. John, Augustus, Charles W.,  and C. Dixon Harris
owned Harris & Company. Roy’s father, Jesse Harris learned
his trade at The Anti-Slavery Bugle and then worked under
C.W. at Harris & Company. In 1906, Jesse started his own shop.
Roy joined him and eventually took over the business.
They moved to the familiar North Lincoln Avenue location in
1921. They also sold school supplies in the front of the shop.
In 1937, Roy’s son, Nathan, became the third generation to own
the firm. Nate and his wife, Martina, had three children who
lived just up the street from the print shop. John, Catherine,
and Lydia all graduated from Salem High School. Roy remained
active in the printing business until his late 80s. He was
already 75 years old when elected first President of the
Salem Historical Society. He held leadership positions as
an officer and board member until his death in 1968.

Frank John Yengling was born in 1877 in Salem, the son
of John Yengling and Mary Strawn. He grew up on
North Lincoln Avenue in the brick house his father
built along with his siblings, Homer, Isa and Cora.
Frank was the nephew of Dr. A. C. Yengling, Commander,
Department of Ohio, Grand Army of the Republic.
The family later moved to a tract on Jennings Avenue.
Frank married Lucy H. Shinn in 1901. They had two sons,
Ross Homer (1906) and John Herbert (1909). In these
generations, the Yenglings were related to many of the
County’s early families including the Strawns,
Amblers, Careys, and Bixlers.  Frank was already 70
when he and Roy undertook their endeavor.

In 1962, Frank’s widow, Lucy, wrote a letter to the Society recounting our formation. “Mr. Roy Harris asked Frank if he would help him get a society started. He thought it an excellent idea and we met in the Library in the Memorial Building for a number of meetings. One of the last places Mr. Yengling went before his death was to the May meeting in 1948. He died June 5th.”
Who could have imagined that 70 years later, SHS would achieve its current size and scope. Had it not been for the chance meeting of old friends, there might not have been a Salem Historical Society and Museum.

Gift Certificate
Please join us to
celebrate this year's Citizens of Honor
at our

47th Annual Founders' Day Dinner

held at the beautiful Salem Community Center
on Tuesday, April 25

Doors open at 5pm
Dinner will be served at 6pm
Tickets are $25
Make required reservations until Thursday, April 20 by calling 330-332-8514

Program begins at 7pm

Open to the public and includes a performance of music from the 1940's

Don't miss this wonderful yearly event!

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