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West Salem



 West Salem was in Section 26, near the crossroads of Shuler and Potteroff roads (950 West and 200 north), in the south central part of Ashland Township, west central Morgan County, Indiana. Rolling fields and an occasional rural home fill the modern landscape. Salem School is the only remaining structure. The one-room brick building still stands, on private property, and can be seen from Potteroff Road, formerly called Old Salem Road.The father of the current owner was a student of the school in his y

 Early settlement records for this area show that George Shultz and William Johnson bought land in the area of West Salem in 1824. Hiram Alexander and Levi Meafield settled in 1825, followed by Jacob Bullen in 1826 and Jacob Seachrist in 1829.

     Postal records show West Salem having the first post office in the area. It was established March 24, 1848 with Jacob Secrest, formerly Seachrist, as the first postmaster.

     Jacob Bullen was the proprietor when the town was platted, May 30, 1849. It consisted of eight blocks of two lots each on Cross and Main Streets. In 1855, records show the town had a store and a blacksmith. The same year the post office changed to Graysville, which was to become the area of Sheasville-Alaska. By 1874 none of the land owners previously mentioned were listed in the Ashland Township Directory.

     Araminta July Ann Carpenter Ford bought the land, and what was left of the town, from Jeremiah Davis in 1875. As a child she is reputed to have survived an indian attack in which she was scalped, ever after she wore a cap or bonnet. Her parents were killed in the attack. A bear attacked her and her sister Sarah in Switzerland County, Indiana shortly after moving there from Kentucky.

     She moved to Morgan County with her husband from Bartholomew County where they had sold their 157 acres. They were reported to be "set in their ways." George was raised a northern Mormon. Araminta's parents and grandparents were from the south, didn't like Mormon customs, and they differed strongly in their views during the Civil War. They were divorced in 1871.

     The land was deeded to her daughter, Eliza Jane Cooper, in 1892. She lived in the house until 1935. Eliza's husband, William Cooper, was a wagon maker, together they had seven children.

     Other town names in the area are Graysville, Sheasville, Lewisville, and Alaska which had a post office until 1909.