Salem is a city in northern Columbiana County, Ohio, United States, with a small district in southern Mahoning County. At the 2020 census, the city's population was 11,915.[5] Salem is the principal city of the Salem, OH Micropolitan Statistical Area, although the small portion of the city that extends into Mahoning County is considered part of the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[8] Salem is 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Youngstown and 30 miles (48 km) east of Canton.

Salem, Ohio
City of Salem
Salem Downtown Historic District
Location of Salem in Columbiana County and in the State of Ohio
Location of Salem in Columbiana County and in the State of Ohio
Coordinates: 40°54′3″N 80°51′10″W / 40.90083°N 80.85278°W / 40.90083; -80.85278Coordinates: 40°54′3″N 80°51′10″W / 40.90083°N 80.85278°W / 40.90083; -80.85278
CountryUnited States
CountiesColumbiana, Mahoning[1]
 • TypeStatutory
 • MayorJohn C. Berlin (R)[2]
 • Council PresidentThomas F. Baker (R)[2]
 • Total6.43 sq mi (16.65 km2)
 • Land6.42 sq mi (16.64 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation1,227 ft (374 m)
 • Total11,915
 • Density1,853.03/sq mi (715.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)330, 234
FIPS code39-69834[7]
GNIS feature ID1045870[4]
School DistrictSalem City

Founded by the Quaker society in 1806, Salem was notably active in the abolitionist movement of the early- to mid-19th century as a hub for the American Underground Railroad. Through the 20th century, Salem served as one of many industrial towns in the Mahoning Valley. Today, the city enjoys being an exurb of Youngstown and is the commercial hub of northwestern Columbiana County, home to Allegheny Wesleyan College and Kent State University at Salem.


Salem was founded by a New Jersey clockmaker, Zadok Street, and a Pennsylvanian potter, John Straughan, in 1806. The city was named after Salem, New Jersey, where Street was a native of. The name Salem itself comes from "Jerusalem", which means "city of peace".[9] Early settlers to the city included the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), which the school district's sports teams honor by referring to themselves collectively as the Salem Quakers.[10][11]

Salem was incorporated in 1830.[12]

While radio DJ Alan Freed was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Salem. While working at a radio station in Cleveland, he coined the phrase "Rock & Roll."[13]

Over its history, Salem thrived on an industrial-based economy, advantageously located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. For several decades, the largest corporations located in Salem included American Standard Brands, Eljer, Mullins Manufacturing,[14] Deming Pump, and Salem China. Today, American Standard, Fresh Mark, Inc[15]., a meat production facility, and several tool-and-die manufacturers remain.

Reform effortsEdit

Salem was a center for reform activity in several ways. The Anti-Slavery Bugle, an abolitionist newspaper, was published in Salem beginning in 1845.[16] A local group of the Progressive Friends, an association of Quakers who separated from the main body partly so they could be freer to work for such causes as abolitionism and women's rights, was formed in Salem in 1849.[17] The local school board at that time was composed entirely of abolitionists.[18]

Salem was the site of an annual conference, the Anti-Slavery Fair, whose purpose was to raise money for anti-slavery activities.[19]

In April 1850, Salem hosted the first Women's Rights Convention in Ohio, the third such convention in the United States. (The first was the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848; the second was the Rochester Convention two weeks later.) The Salem Convention was the first of these conventions to be organized on a statewide basis.[20] All of the convention's officers were women. Men were not allowed to vote, sit on the platform or speak during the convention. The male spectators were supportive, however, and when the convention was over, they created an organization of their own and endorsed the actions of the women's convention.[21]

Historic districtsEdit

Two sections of the city are designated National Register historic districts: the South Lincoln Avenue Historic District (designated 1993) and the Salem Downtown Historic District (designated 1995), which includes several of the town's monumental and architecturally distinctive homes and businesses.

The corner of Lundy and State streets in downtown.

Other city properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the Burchfield Homestead, home to painter Charles E. Burchfield from ages five to twenty-eight, the John Street House and Daniel Howell Hise House, both Underground Railroad stations, and the First United Methodist Church.


Salem is located at 40°54′3″N 80°51′10″W / 40.90083°N 80.85278°W / 40.90083; -80.85278 (40.900885, −80.852831).[22]

The following highways pass through Salem:

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.43 square miles (16.65 km2), all land.[23] Salem is the largest incorporated place by area in Columbiana County.

The city of Salem is mostly (see map) surrounded by Perry Township. As with other townships in Ohio,[24] Perry Township has been subject to annexation in recent years.[25][26] Residents of land annexed to the city of Salem enjoy all benefits other residents of the city enjoy, and by Ohio law[27] are now themselves residents of the city of Salem.

Several acres of Salem Township and Green Township were annexed into the city limits in 2000 and 2001. Other actions to spur economic development undertaken around the same time annexed specific land: in 1999, 82.24 acres (332,800 m2) of Salem Township were granted police and fire protection, snow removal service, and other standard services already provided to the City of Salem by Ordinance passed by the city government.[28]


Historical population
Census Pop.

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 12,303 people, 5,272 households, and 3,118 families living in the city. The population density was 1,913.4 inhabitants per square mile (738.8/km2). There were 5,763 housing units at an average density of 896.3 per square mile (346.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 5,272 households, of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.9% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 42.8 years. 21.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.6% were from 25 to 44; 28.3% were from 45 to 64; and 19.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 12,197 people, 5,146 households, and 3,247 families living in the city. The population density was 2,228.2 people per square mile (860.9/km2). There were 5,505 housing units at an average density of 1,005.7 per square mile (388.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.35% White, 0.52% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.

There were 5,146 households, out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,006, and the median income for a family was $40,191. Males had a median income of $31,630 versus $19,471 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,579. About 9.8% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.9% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.


Salem operates under a chartered mayor–council government. There are eight council members elected as a legislature for 2-year terms, which constitutes four separate wards, three at-large districts, and a council president.[2] In addition, an independently elected mayor serves as an executive.[2] The current mayor is John C. Berlin (R), and the current council president is Thomas F. Baker (R).[2] The positions of mayor, auditor, treasurer, and law director are all elected for 4-year terms.


Primary and secondaryEdit

Salem is served by the Salem City School District. The current schools operated by the district are:

  • Buckeye Elementary School – 1200 Buckeye Avenue, grades K-2
  • Reilly Elementary School – 491 Reilly Avenue, grades 3–4
  • Southeast Elementary School – 2200 Merle Road, grades 5–6
  • Salem Junior High School – 1200 E 6th Street, grades 7–8
  • Salem High School – 1200 E 6th Street, grades 9–12

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown operates the private St. Paul Elementary School for grades K-6.


Allegheny Wesleyan College is a private, four-year liberal arts college in Salem that grants bachelor's and associate's degrees in ministry and theology related disciplines.[32][33]

Kent State University operates a satellite campus, Kent State University at Salem, with one building in the city proper and another just outside of city limits in Salem Township. The campus grants associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees, and also offers introductory programs that can be completed at the main campus.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ County Maps, State of Ohio (from Ohio Department of Transportation) Archived February 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, and Mahoning County map Archived July 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. See also
  2. ^ a b c d e "2020 General Election Results for Columbiana County" (PDF). Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "QuickFacts: Salem city, Ohio". Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  8. ^ "COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, November 2008, WITH CODES". August 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  9. ^ "Salem Ohio History". Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  10. ^ The girls' and boys' teams' individual mascots are known as the "Quaker Lady" (or "Quaker Sadie") and "Quaker Sam," respectively.
  11. ^ The team nickname (and, possibly, the American tradition of placing the word "Fighting" in front of such nicknames) was noted by USA Today as one of several "that could be considered offensive." See "What's in a Nickname?" USA Today, October 23, 1991, Sports section, 06C.
  12. ^ Mack, Horace (1879). History of Columbiana County, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Unigraphic. p. 208.
  13. ^ "Why Is It Called "Rock n' Roll"?". August 1, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  14. ^ Society, Mahoning Valley Historical (February 9, 2016). "History of Mullins Manufacturing Corporation". Mahoning Valley Historical Society. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "FRESH MARK, INC. – Salem Area Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  16. ^ Anti-Slavery Bugle, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers." Library of Congress.
  17. ^ Thomas, Allen C., (November 1920). "Congregational or Progressive Friends." Bulletin of Friends' Historical Society of Philadelphia, Vol. 10, No. 1. p. 28.
  18. ^ Isenberg (1998), p. 216.
  19. ^ "An Ohio Man's Story". St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri). April 22, 1888. p. 32 – via
  20. ^ Wellman, Judith (2008). "The Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention and the Origin of the Women's Rights Movement", pp. 15, 84. National Park Service, Women's Rights National Historical Park. Wellman is identified as the author of this document here.
  21. ^ Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Anthony, Susan B.; Gage, Matilda Joslyn (1881). History of Woman Suffrage, p. 110. Volume 1 of 6. Rochester, NY: Susan B. Anthony (Charles Mann Press).
  22. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  23. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  24. ^ "Annexation law changes stretch too far". Business Courier of Cincinnati. July 19, 1996. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  25. ^ "Ordinance No. 990316-28". The City of Salem, Ohio. Archived from the original on August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  26. ^ "Ordinance No. 000118-07". The City of Salem, Ohio. Archived from the original on August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  27. ^ "City of Massillon Annexation Answer Page". 1998. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  28. ^ This is understood to cover the area including the Wal-Mart Supercenter. See: ORDINANCE NO. 991103 – 74 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, City of Salem
  29. ^ "Population: Ohio" (PDF). 1930 US Census. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  30. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. 1960. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  31. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  32. ^ Colleges in the Midwest. Peterson's. 2009. ISBN 9780768926903.
  33. ^ The College Board College Handbook. College Board. 2009.

External linksEdit