There are approximately 1,300 residents in Saluda Township, Indiana, today, and we all seem to share one passion – our love for living in this beautiful community. Those residents who were lucky enough to attend Saluda High School before it closed in 1961 also share another deep-seeded passion, and that is our memories and everlasting friendships we have from attending Saluda High.
In 1954 the United States Air Force Academy considered re-locating its headquarters to Saluda threatening to turn our quiet, tight-knit community into a large military base. The relocation committee was quite surprised when they were greeted by residents and students who rallied to “save our school” and asked them to go away. We were able to keep our school until 1961 when Saluda High was consolidated into Southwestern High School with other surrounding counties.
Saluda High School “Memories Book”
Most of the content and photographs on this website were taken from a book recently created by Janice Hardy Stanley and other Saluda Alumni. By posting this content online, we will be able to share our history, stories and photographs with other Saluda alumni and their families who can help pass down the memories throughout the generations.
Foreword from the “Memories Book”
The foreword in the Saluda High 1946 Yearbook seems apropos for the Memory Book: "In later years when our minds are clouded with the things of the past and present, may we drift back through the path of golden memories and live again the happy hours of our high school career by turning to this yearbook, the first edition of our S.H.S. MEMORIES."
This Memory Book has been compiled to acknowledge two Saluda historical landmarks, the founding of the high school in 1910 and 50 years since the closure. Multiple photos and records, written and oral, have been contributed by Saluda alumni and friends. It would not be possible to have included all of the outstanding students and wonderful events which occurred during this span of time. Yearbooks provided the photos of graduates and events from 1946 to 1959. No yearbook was published during the last year, 1960. Photos of graduates from the first graduating class in 1913-1945 were very difficult to obtain.
The early common school photos, reunion pictures and snapshots have been used to include some of those persons. Saluda High School had 48 commencement exercises. During the span of 50 years, 430 graduates received diplomas of which 172 are still alive as of 2010. It seems as if more girls graduated than boys: 231 gals, 199 guys. The number living is: 92 gals, 80 guys. The number of graduates per year was less than 20 with two years having only one person. The oral recollections and the published records of the high school and its predecessors, the common schools, are a testimony by Saluda residents of their commitment to the importance of education. The spirit and loyalty of the students, faculty, staff, bus drivers and parents were the foundation upon which a graduate excelled. The alumni continue to hold a reunion banquet on the Saturday prior to Mother's Day. The banquet began in 1937 and Bertha Huttsell Benham is the only alumnus who has attended all of them as of 2010. May this Memory Book be a pleasant and edifying journey into the past for the reader. A final entry in the 1959 yearbook and the last yearbook seems appropriate to close.
"There were times we thought we wouldn’t; there were times we thought we couldn’t; since the annual is finished with pictures and thoughts, we say in a most sincere way; we hope you enjoy the sight it has brought. YEA, RAH, SALUDA!"
The yearbooks, 1946-1959, and other historical information can be seen at the Jefferson County Historical Society Research Room in Madison, Indiana.
The English word Saluda came from the Cherokee word "Tsaludiyi" meaning "Green Corn Place.” From legend Tsaludiyi was a chief of the Cherokee Nation. The English changed the spelling of his name. The early traders/trappers may have come to Jefferson County from Pennsylvania after the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Many early settlers did come down the Allegany/ Monongahela via Ohio Rivers from Pennsylvania to this area, Saluda Township of Jefferson County, Indiana.
There is the question of pronunciation: is it “so- loo- da” or “saludy”? The township comprises 37.7 square miles and the elevation is 774 feet. In 2000, there were 37 persons per square mile and the median age was 38.9. Saluda post office was located in Payneville in 1828. The streams, which run through the township are Big Saluda Creek, Farley Creek, Harts Falls Creek, Lee Creek, and Fourteen Mile Creek tributaries. Some of the unincorporated towns and settlements, past and present: Chelsea, Payneville, New London, Concord, Harrell, Levi and Marble Hill. Indiana became a state in 1816, which began the process of developing counties and townships. Jefferson County was geographically much larger then. There were three townships, the largest was Madison which encompassed the southern part of Jefferson County. The township of Saluda was formed and named on this date: "The 13th day of March, 1817, by an order of Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas was passed forming and bounding, Madison and Saluda.”
Jefferson County Statistical Records indicate that in the late 1800's and early 1900's there were 13/14 grade schools: Marble Hill, Sweet Saluda, Fairview, Ten Cent, Sheep Run, Mills, Frog Pond, Egypt, Davidson, Riverside, College Corner, Center and White Oak . There are others which are mentioned in some articles: Union and some reference to Pin Hook. Some school locations moved but retained the same name.
Grade School Names
There is a Madison Courier column from the 1940’s titled: History Rescue, Origin of School names in Saluda Township, as told by Mr. John Bare, an older resident of the township.
“In the days of the one-room schools there were many strange names in this township. Fairview received its name from the view of the Ohio River from the point; Sheep Run was built high from the ground with no foundation. It perched upon blocks. Sheep would collect under the building for protection from the weather and thus the name, Sheep Run. Frog Pond received its name from its location in a swampy woods, a fine place for frogs. (Land owners gave their worst land to the township for a school). Probably, the most unique name was Ten Cent. In olden times if a community desired a school, the township gave half of the cost and patrons furnished the remaining half. In the Ten Cent district there was only one wealthy citizen, who, by the way, was not interested in the project. After due consideration, a committee was selected to solicit Mr. X (thought to be Mr. Harrell). They had figured Mr. X could donate a hundred dollars as easily as any of the others could one dollar. The appointed time arrived for the interview, so after talking a half day, it was felt that proper moment had come, so with all the fervor the committee could command, Mr. X was asked to subscribe. Imagine the surprise to hear him say. ‘Wal, you can put me down for ten cents.’ Mr. Bare said that when he attended his first school, the seats were split logs with peg legs. The room was heated by a large fireplace. The pupils were expected to provide the fuel: the smaller tots would gather up the wood from a nearby thicket and the older children would cut it. He said they burned on one side and froze on the other.”