Interesting Salem City, New Jersey Facts

Bill Haley
Bill Haley (of Bill Haley and the Comets) married Salem native Dorothy Crowe and lived in Salem in the early 1950's. He occasionally played at the (now gone) Parish Hall on 5th Street. (Source book: Sound and Glory)
John Chowning
Retired Stanford professor John Chowning (born 8/22/1934, Salem, NJ) is the founder of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at the University. His research led to the development of the Yamaha DX7, the most popular synthesizer series ever.
John S. Rock (1825-1866), born of free black parents in Salem, was one of the younger members of the abolitionist movement. He was a physician, dentist, and lawyer, and first African American admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
His 1850 letter to the editor on enfranchisement.
(source: Salem County Historical Society)

Quaker abolitionists Elizabeth and Abigail Goodwin established their Salem City home at 47 Market Street as an Underground Railroad Station in 1838. The history of the house as a place of refuge is documented through a diary maintained by the sisters' nephew. (Interpretive sign outside house.)

Omega Mason helped found the first black Girl Scout troop in Salem City (The Way It Used To Be, Vol.1, No.8). Later, Mary C. Arnold & Rebecca Henry Stewart organized the first integrated Girl Scout Troop in Salem City. (Today's Sunbeam 7/4/2001)


Ellen Harris Smith, 1866-1920
Ellen Harris was born in Lower Alloways Creek Township and received her medical degree in 1892 from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She practiced in Brooklyn, where she married Dr. Winfield Scott Smith. They moved to Salem and opened a practice at their home. She became the first woman member of the Salem County Medical Society in 1916. Dr. Smith, who encouraged women to enter the medical profession, died in a tragic automobile accident in 1920.

(Source: [Hutner, GR] "Ellen Smith. Salem County." New Jersey Medicine. 87(3):223, March 1990.)

Professional football running back Lydell Mitchell was born in Salem on 5/30/1949.

Salem High football and basketball star; was All-America and led the nation with 174 points and 29 TDs at Penn State in 1971.
His professional career began in 1972 with six years with the Baltimore Colts, two years with the San Diego Chargers and his final year with the Los Angeles Rams. He was a 3 time Pro Bowler.
Salem resident George Wazo aka Wazo the Wizard, had for more than 30 years a traveling show and performed in vaudeville in the US, Cuba and Mexico.  (Source: Salem Standard & Jerseyman 3/7/1935 & Todays Sunbeam 8/4/2001)

His son had a pet goat that followed him to school!

Father and son are buried in St. John's Episcopal Church.

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Leon Allen "Goose" Goslin
born 10/16/1900, Salem, NJ; died 5/15/1971, Bridgeton, NJ)

National Baseball Hall of Fame. Elected 1968.
Played for: Washington Senators (1921-30, 1933, 1938), St. Louis Browns (1930-32), Detroit Tigers (1934-37).

Five American League pennants in a 12-year span.
.316 lifetime average, recorded 2,735 hits.


Join the Salem Free Public Library!
112 West Broadway, Salem

History note: John Tyler Library, established as Salem Library in 1804 said to be the 3rd oldest public library in NJ.

J. P. Bruna & Co. sold ice cream & cake from their "Confectionary Saloon" at 192 E. Broadway in Salem around 1870.  He was best known for planning excursions for the public to Atlantic City and other venues.

His wife and children are memorialized in two stained glass windows of St. John's Episcopal Church on Market Street.

Veterans Memorial Park

The Salem American Legion Band was formed about 1947 by returning WWII veterans, one of whom still plays with us. The Band, however, is more or less the direct descendant of the first Salem Band in 1822. The Band doesn't march anymore like the Salem Legion Band that won top honors in Atlantic City back in the 50's, but will do a parade on the back of a flatbed trailer, and play in churches, meeting halls, parks, and cemeteries. (source: Noel Kemm, 2002 band member) TRENTON (May 7, 2003):  The Board of the New Jersey Historic Trust approved a list of recommended awards to preserve 60 historic sites with funding from the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Salem County, Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, Salem, $10,875 to the church for the preparation of a preservation plan that will address future community use and accessibility to this c.1871
historic house of worship.
Richard Risley Carlisle, (born Salem, NJ 1814, died Philadelphia 1874). By 1844 "Professor Risley" had created his novelty circus acrobatic act of juggling & flipping co-performers, now commonly known as "risley." oak3.gif (15242 bytes)
The Salem Oak has been designated a Millennium Landmark Tree by the national non-profit organization America the Beautiful Fund in July 2000.
Nobel Laureate Charles Pedersen

Salem, New Jersey resident Charles "Charlie" J. Pedersen (1904-1989) is the first career DuPont scientist to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research in "crown ethers."

At the 1987 Nobel Prize ceremony
Does anyone know the James Rumsey connection to Salem City? Contact the .

Fitch was granted his patent after a battle with James Rumsey over claims to the invention (of a steamboat). In a 1787 letter to Thomas Johnson, George Washington discussed Fitch's and Rumsey's claims from his own perspective.

Mr. Rumsey . . . at that time applying to the Assembly for an exclusive Act . . . spoke of the effect of Steam and . . . its application for the purpose of inland Navigation; but I did not conceive . . . that it was suggested as part of his original plan . . . It is proper however for me to add, that some timeafter this Mr. Fitch called upon me on his way to Richmond and explaining his scheme, wanted a letter from me, introductory of it to the Assembly of this State the giving of which I declined; and went so [far] as to inform him that tho' I was bound not to disclose the principles of Mr. Rumsey's discovery I would venture to assure him, that the thought of applying steam for the purpose he mentioned was not original but had been mentioned to me by Mr. Rumsey . . .
George Washington, November 22, 1787.
George Washington Papers, 1741-1799

(Source: Library of Congress)

Salem Standard and Jerseyman, September 1951: Sheds at Greens Hotel are being removed in modernization program. Salem Standard and Jerseyman, September 1951: Newest postal device placed on Salem curbsideautomobile drop box.
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General George McClellan campaigned politically in Salem City.
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The original name for Salem City's first telephone exchange "935"  was "Yellowstone."

Suffragette Susan B. Anthony gave a lecture in Rumsey Hall in January 1880.
Dr. Benjamin Archer practiced in Salem from October 3, 1807 till his death in December 15, 1845. (Source: Cushing & Sheppard 1883)
Salem, Virginia possibly named by William Bryan, who moved there from Salem, NJ. (Source: Roanoke Times 12/31/1987)

Salem City is the oldest, continuously inhabited English speaking community on the Delaware River. Salem's 325th Birthday

Men's 200m. Olympic Games 1924
1 Jackson SCHOLZ (USA) 21.6   
2 Charles PADDOCK (USA) 21.7 
3 Eric LIDDELL (GBR) 21.9
4 George HILL (USA) 22.0
5 Bayes NORTON (USA) 22.0
6 Harold ABRAHAMS (GBR) 22.3

George Hill of Salem City and Mannington Township came in 4th in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Great Britain's 3rd place winner Eric Liddell is known for his refusal to perform sports on Sunday as told in the movie "Chariots of Fire."

Does anyone know Architect Benjamin Latrobe's connection to Salem City?

In 1804 Benjamin Latrobe surveys the route for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Please notify the .

Local circuit riding preacher Reverend Benjamin Abbott (1732-1796) is buried in the First Methodist Church cemetery on Walnut Street. (
Link to 1846 Temperance Movement in Salem City
David and Frank Pettit were members of the "David Pettit & Co.", Ornamental Iron Works, Philadelphia. The firm lasted from 1879 to ~1938. (Sources:1882 The Industries of PA and 1938 PA Industrial Directory) William John Hughes,  (born Salem, NJ 10/17/1932) was U.S. Representative from NJ 2nd District 1975-1995. Appointed Ambassador to Panama 1995.
Harry Oliver Maul (born Salem City 10/4/1905) was a mold maker & engraver at Salem Glass/Anchor Hocking. He received a commendation for his outstanding design and workmanship on a 1964 NJ tercentenary mold. (source: Today's Sunbeam 9/2/2001) Mvc-001e.jpg (10164 bytes)
Local artist Donna Robinson's Old Oak and Bilderback House wall mural at Garwood House restaurant.
John M. Dickey
Architect for 1975 Market Street restoration.

Salem City documents

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Union Fire Company

Walnut Street

Below are from
Jonathan B. Ingham, of Salem, N.J. Delegate to 1860 Republican National Convention from New Jersey. W. Orvyl Schalick, of Salem, N.J. Alternate NJ delegate to 1944, 1948 Democratic National Conventions. Thomas Shourds, of Salem, N.J. New Jersey Delegate to 1856 Republican National Convention. D. Harris Smith, of Salem, N.J. Alternate NJ delegate to 1924 Republican National Convention.
John A. Waddington (born 5/10/1911, Salem, NJ) was State Assemblyman 1953, State Senator 1956-68. Collins B. Allen (born 8/9/1866 in Salem County, NJ) was a resident of Salem City. State Senator 1915-23. William H. Chew of Salem, NJ was the alternate NJ delegate to the 1904 Republican National Convention Thomas Grieves of Salem, NJ was the alternate NJ delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention.
Hires, George (1835-1911) of Salem, N.J. Born in Elsinboro Township, NJ, 1/26/1835. Salem County republican member of NJ state senate 1882-84; U.S. Representative from NJ 1st District, 1885-89; delegate to NJ state constitutional convention 1894; NJ delegate to Republican National Convention 1896. Died 2/16/1911. Interment at First Presbyterian Cemetery, Salem, NJ. See also: congressional biography. Hires, Lucius E. of Salem, N.J. New Jersey delegate to 1900 (alternate) & 1916 Republican National Convention. Burial location unknown. Hires, Nathaniel S. of Salem, N.J. Alternate NJ delegate to 1912 Republican National Convention. Burial location unknown.
Dr. Samuel Dick, a Delegate from New Jersey; born in Nottingham, Prince Georges County, Md., November 14, 1740; received a classical education; studied medicine in Scotland, and commenced practice in Salem, N.J., in 1770; member of the New Jersey Provincial congress in 1776; was appointed colonel of the First Battalion, Salem County Militia, in 1776; assistant surgeon in the Continental Army in the Canadian campaign; member of the first State general assembly; appointed collector of customs for the western district of New Jersey in 1778; Member of the Continental Congress in 1784 and 1785; delegate to the New Jersey State convention in 1787 to ratify the Federal Constitution; surrogate of Salem County 1785-1804; died in Salem, Salem County, N.J., November 16, 1812; interment in St. Johns Episcopal Churchyard. (Source:
Please assist the in sourcing this info.

John Vining Esq. was Delaware's representative to the Second Continental Congress and one of the author's of the Second Amendment.  Son of Benjamin Vining, one of the founders of the Episcopal Church on Market Street.  Check the markers at the front of the church.  John Vining was born in Salem in the late 1700s

  Heavyweight Boxer Jack Gross  
Alias Johnny Gross
Hometown Philadelphia
Birthplace Salem, NJ
Division Heavyweight
Date of Birth 1905-08-01
Height 6' 1"

Won 43 (KOs 29), Lost 8, Drawn 1, Total 54  


Former Professional Boxer & Bridgeton Magistrate Jack Gross

In 1763 Francis Hopkinson worked as a customs collector in Salem. While representing NJ at the Second Continental congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence.
John BURTT, poet, born in Scotland, 26 May 1789. A collection of his verses was published before he came to this country (Glasgow, 1817), and was republished, with additions, under the title "Hor,e Poeticae" (Bridgeton, New Jersey, 1819).Ordained by the presbytery in 1824 and became pastor of a church at Salem till 1830. In 1859 he retired to Salem, where he remained until his death on 24 March 1866.

1930 Gunboat Williamsburg PG-56 was converted into a floating restaurant in 1969 and berthed in the Salem River. It was sold and is presently for sale for ~$38 million.

Updated 2/7/2005

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