(Written by Clinton Gardner)
The Quakers had a large membership around Salem in Union County. They had a great interest in education so in 1851 the Quakers erected a schoolhouse to be under the care and control of the church. This school was a one-story frame building, ten feet in height and thirty feet long and twenty-four feet wide. The building was partitioned so as to form an entry way six feet wide at one end.
The first school was taught in the new schoolhouse by Lydia Davis. The following winter a school was taught at the new school by William Haughton, a stern old Irish Quaker who was an excellent teacher. He had a terrible temper and often threw missiles at unruly scholars, such as a book, slate or whatever was handiest to pick up.
The next school at Salem was taught by Rhonda Macy, a daughter of John M. Macy, who was a teacher in another schoolhouse many years before. About this time my scholarship was transferred to Cottage Grove School where I went to school for two winters; and after that a new schoolhouse was built at Pleasant Hill in 1859.
Salem School was governed for many years by the Friends, who at this time held meetings every week on the fourth day (Wednesday) and requested and expected the scholars who were attending this school to be lined up and marched over to a "silent meeting". Some meetings lasted an hour and never a word was spoken. As the years passed, a more liberal spirit crept into the church, so they ruled that those who did not wish to go could stay and study under the supervision of one of the scholars.
Our games at noontime and recess were chiefly ball games. Tow townsball, a game similar to baseball, but not so dangerous, was often played. Cat ball, hat ball and Anthony Over were played. When all took part, we played Blackman, skip the rope, snowballing and skating on a pond near the school house.