An honorable record of service in the war and faithful devotion to the advancement of agricultural interests in
Jefferson county places Samuel Salts among the number whose names deserve worthy mention in the pages of this history.
He was born in Warren county, Indiana, August 30, 1844, his parents being John and Jane (Stephenson) Salts. The
family, which was originally named Salt, was established in this country by the great grandfather, Thomas Salt,
who came from Ireland to Virginia in 1776, where he became a planter, taking tip land under a patent issued by
Governor Hastings of Virginia. The grandfather, John Salts, came from Ohio to Indiana, in 1832, and there took
up land for cultivation. The patent conferring the title upon him was issued by territorial Governor Harrison,
and is an interesting document in reference to its bearing on family history, since it shows the name to have been
changed from Salt to Salts some time in the period intervening between 1776 and 1832. These two patents are at
present in the possession of F. M. Salts, who regards them as among the most valuable relics in his antiquarian
collection. John Salts, the father of Samuel Salts, was born in Ohio of Scotch-Irish parentage. At the age of twelve
years, he was taken by his parents to Warren county, Indiana, where he remained until his death. His wife, who
still survives him and is at this writing in her eighty fourth year, lives in Hedrick, Iowa.
Spending his boyhood days in his native locality in Indiana, Samuel Salts obtained his education in the Sumter
school in his home district. When old enough to assist his father with plowing and reaping, he gave his attention
to the cultivation of the fields, and chose this as the calling which he followed during his life. In April, 1864,
at the age of twenty years, he entered the army, enlisting in Company K, One Hundred and Thirty fifth Volunteer
Infantry, and served in the war until its close. During this time, he took part in a number of important skirmishes
and did considerable garrison duty. He received his honorable discharge at Indianapolis, Indiana, and returned
home to resume farming. In the spring of 1868, he came to Iowa, locating on a farm in Locust Grove township. For
four years after his arrival, our subject operated a sawmill, but discontinued this in order to devote his undivided
attention to his agricultural interests. In 1874, he bought the farm on which he now lives; a tract of ninety acres
of fertile land, yielding abundant crops. He met with much success, the reward of steadfast toil and unflagging
effort, devoted to progress and improvement. He is no longer actively occupied with the management of the farm,
his son John now performing this work for him. He continues to live on the place, however, overseeing the management
and giving aid with wise counsel.
The marriage of Mr. Salts and Miss Rhoda Fisher, a daughter of a pioneer resident of Locust Grove township, occurred
on September 21, 1871. Mrs. Salts' mother died when she was a child. Her father, George Fisher, who was of German
descent, was born in Pennsylvania and as a young man came to Iowa in the early days before the land was opened
to settlers; when Indian barbarities were rampant throughout this territory and the white man was outnumbered by
his copper colored brother in the proportion of five to one. He entered a claim in Des Moines township, Jefferson
county. This tract he cleared and cultivated, remaining upon it until some time during the Civil war, when he sold
it and removed to a new place which he purchased, in Locust Grove township, where he resided until his death. On
July 30, 1898, Mrs. Salts departed this life. She was survived by her husband and two children: John, who is at
home with his father and operates the home place; and Samuel Guy, who lives on a farm adjoining the father's and
is married to Miss Martha J. Crawford, a daughter of William J. Crawford, a farmer of Locust Grove township.
In July, 1900, Mr. Salts was again married, the second union being with Mrs. Annie P. Hudgell of Fairfield, Iowa.
She passed away on May 5, 1906, deeply mourned by her husband to whom she had been a faithful and devoted wife.
Mr. Salts has two sisters and two brothers four, besides himself, being all that remain of a family of twelve.
They are: William Salts of Des Moines township; James O. Salts of Fairfield, Iowa; Lucinda, the wife of James Pelkenton
of Fairfield, Iowa; and Rhoda, who lives with her mother in Hedrick, Iowa.
Politically, Mr. Salts is conservative, and stanchly upholds the principles adhered to by the "stand pat"
republicans. He is still serving as assessor of Locust Grove township, having held this position for the past thirteen
years. He has likewise occupied the office of trustee of the township for several terms, and was a director of
the school board in the Brookville independent school district. In his fraternal relations, he is a loyal Mason,
being a member of Fairfield Lodge, No. 15, A. F. & A. M.; to which his sons likewise belong. The latter, also,
are members of the Odd Fellows lodge of Fairfield. Mr. Salts is a good father and a loyal friend, possessing the
warm regard of all who know him. He was appointed on General Tuttle's staff with the rank of captain.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium