Salem must have been a popular name in the late 1800s, as there are seventeen of them listed in the Handbook of Texas. This Salem was a farming community in southern Bastrop County south of Rosanky and two miles from Jeddo. Originally known as St. Philips Colony, Salem was populated by blacks freed during Reconstruction. Since it was paired with the white community of Jeddo, it’s uncertain how many people lived in Salem. St. Philip’s Church (denomination unknown) and a number of houses existed when the school was built.
The Salem School was two-room schoolhouse and had one teacher for the twenty-nine black students when it opened in the early 1880s. In 1907, the Salem School, with over fifty students was merged with the Jeddo school district and later with the Smithville ISD. All that remains today are the ruins of the school and the old cemetery.
REFERENCES: Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “SALEM, TX (BASTROP COUNTY),” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrsvy), accessed April 18, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Paula Mitchell Marks, “JEDDO, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnj06), accessed April 18, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.