The location of Salem was significant because it is near one of the two entrance routes to Hill County.The land was not deeded wholly for the use of a Cemetery, but for a church, school, parsonage, and burial.
It was deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church South in district North West Texas Annual Conference of Said Church.In September 9, 1876, R.M. Graham and wife Sophia; W. J. Graham and wife Martha; and F.M. Reed and wife Nancy gave one acre each to be used as a cemetery.Later more land was purchased.
Copy of 1876 Land Deed Download (234kb filesize in pdf format)The first burial was in 1871, the infant sons of E. & P.J. Sheets.Cynthia Green was buried August 9, 1871.
The first of 1872 a log building was built, and was used as a church and school.Reverend James T. Armstrong was the preacher at Salem then.
The first thirty-four years the Cemetery was maintained by people in the community each year.
On February 22, 1904, the Salem Cemetery Association was organized and the Constitution was drawn up and set the meeting date. Minutes dated Feb 1904 Download (159kb filesize in pdf format)
The Reverend J.F. Harris presided over the meeting. F.M. Reed was selected President; G.W. Davis Sr., Vice-President; G.G. White, Treasurer; and J.A. Merre11, Secretary. The Board of Managers were: J.L. White, T.C. Gunter, G.S. Melton, Barger Herd, Barger Downey, J.A. Reed, and J.P. Wilson. J.A. Merrell remained Secretary until June, 1911. G.S. Melton was elected secretary in 1911 and remained until his death July 1959. Talmage Melton was elected in 1959, and has remained as the third secretary. From 1904 to 1906 the Association met in February, but in 1906 the meeting date was changed to the first Saturday in June.
In 1916 the Association voted to build the shingle arbor. It was completed and the indebtedness was paid off in 1921. In 1924 the Association voted to set trees around the tabernacle.
In 1928 Lizzie Spesard was voted to serve on the Board of Managers and served through 1947. the only lady to have held that honor.
The date of opening of a school at
The material in the brochure has been cared for by the three secretaries. Every effort has been made that dates are as accurate as possible.
Note from the current Association We wish to express our appreciation to Margaret Buie and the others that assisted with gathering the above history and information about the early years of Salem and the Cemetery Association.If you have any information on the history of Salem or families who were living here in the 1800's, please notify the association. Our aim is to publish more information to leave for future generations and to make Salem-Irene Cemetery a quiet place of beauty.