SALEM - Salem Historical Society members celebrated Salem's founding Tuesday, inducting longtime jeweler Daniel E. Smith and the late Bruce P. Gordon of Gordon Brothers Water Inc. as the 2012 Citizens of Honor.
The 42nd annual Founders' Day dinner commemorated the 206th founding of the community known as the city of peace by Zadok Street and John Straughan on April 30, 1806.
Held at the Salem Community Center, the event included a Chinese auction, the installation of Smith and Gordon as Citizens of Honor and a presentation on the War of 1812 in Ohio by Larry Nelson of Weston, Ohio.
From left, Salem Historical Society President David Shivers, museum director David Stratton and vice president and Founders’ Day Committee Chairman Judi Allio gather with 2012 Citizen of Honor recipient Daniel E. Smith and family members of posthumous 2012 Citizen of Honor recipient Bruce Gordon, including his sister, Carolyn Jones, son Geoff Gordon and daughter Diane Vaughn. The society and museum hosted the 42nd Annual Founders’ Day dinner at the Salem Community Center Tuesday night, celebrating Salem’s 206th anniversary. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
Nelson is an adjunct assistant professor of history at Bowling Green State University and the editor of Northwest Ohio History. According to the program, his talk focused on "some of the major events to have taken place in state, the notable personalities involved in those events, opportunities for those with an interest in the conflict to visit sites associated with the war, and the consequences of the War of 1812 today for Ohio and its citizens."
A separate program honored 24 Salem area residents representative of those who served during the War of 1812, with a brief description of each man. Many are buried in Hope Cemetery, with some in Grandview Cemetery and cemeteries in Salem Township.
Nelson's presentation was made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was described as an expert in Ohio's frontier and early-state history who has written about Ohio's colonial and early nineteenth century wars, including the War of 1812, Indian affairs, and Ohio's early settlement.
Smith and Gordon both graduated from Salem High School, served the community through their businesses and many civic endeavors and received numerous honors for their contributions to Salem. Both were previously named as Salem High School Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and Outstanding Citizen by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.
Smith and his wife Jeanine have three sons, Greg, Tim and Thad, and six grandchildren. His father, Emerson, served as the mayor of Salem in 1974.
Gordon passed away in 2010 and his wife Eileen died in 2009. Their children include Douglas, Geoffrey and Diane and they had six grandchildren. Gordon's sister, Carolyn Jones, accepted the award on his behalf, along with his children who were present, Diane Vaughn and Geoff Gordon.
Learn more about the Salem Historical Society & Museum on the group's website at www.salemhistoricalsociety.org.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org