The Old Salem Community
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, June 6, 1991
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.

This community is located about seven miles southwest of New Boston and two and a half miles south of Malta.  The boundaries are generally accepted as being Anderson Creek on the west and south, Highway 98 on the east and just a little north of Farm Road 1840 for a north line.

The original headright grantees included in this area were LeRoy W Ross, M D Godley, Peyton S Wyatt, Charles Lewis, Jessie B Everett, J L Terrell, J W Askew, Jacob Lacy, William B Poer, and Josiah Bingham.

Salem was the name given to the community by early settlers.  A community just to the north was settled and they called it New Salem.  The original Salem became known as Old Salem, later New Salem became Friendship.

Early family names of Old Salem included Winberly, Wright, Terrell, Ownes, Askew, Sturgeon, Walker, McCright, Marbut, Hamby, Garrett, Hillis, Hanna, Williams, Jones, Thomas and Vaughn.

Isaac Houston Hillis in 1903, began the second Sunday in June Homecoming.  Donations are received this day to pay for upkeep of the cemetery.  Mr Hillis Promised his wife that this event would pay for the grave care of a child they had just lost.  The cemetgery how has over five hundred graves.  All residents, former residents, kinfolks, and friends are invited to this annual event.  Bring your lunch, spread it with us and have a great time visiting this Sunday.

Pine Lake School, built in 1890 and Friendship Schook were consolidated in 1912.  The new school became Old Salem School District #31.  In 1938, Old Salem was consolidated into James Bowie School District.

The first church services were held in Pine Lake School for about twelve years.  In 1902 a church building was built in the cemetery by the grave of Mrs Hannah Jones.  In 1918 a new church was built across the road.

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