Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Visit to Salem, Kentucky

Salem is one of historic towns of western Kentucky. As the seat of justice of Livingston County from 1809-1842, it was a town of lawyers and merchants doing a thriving business around the courthouse square. Among the early business men of Salem were Sion Bass, Christopher Haynes, Blount Hodge, Allen Hodge, James Hodge, Joseph Watts, Isaac Shelby and George Fisher.

When the county seat was moved to Smithland in 1842, many of these business people moved too. Today Salem is a little village with a few businesses lining U.S. Hwy. 60, the main street.

Salem Business District

My grandparents, Herman R. and Nettie C. (Vaughn) Croft, lived one block from the business section. Just up the alley from the house was my grandfather's business, Salem Feed Mill. He bought the business in 1946 and operated it, along with two of his sons, for a number of years.

Salem Feed Mill

Herman Croft Sr., Haskill Perrin, Herman Croft Jr.
Inside Salem Feed Mill

My grandfather died in 1970 and is buried in Salem Cemetery, along with his wife, sons, Dennis, Oakley and Herman Jr.and a daughter, my mother, Lavern. A son, James H., is buried at Lola Cemetery. Another daughter, Melva, is the only surviving child of this family.

Salem is not the busy town it once was, but it occupies a special place in the hearts of many people.

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