Dent County, Missouri
was taken out of Crawford and Shannon Counties by an act passed by the Missouri General Assembly to take effect February 10, 1851. The county's name comes from an early settler, Lewis Dent, who was the new counties first representative to the legislature. The first county officers appointed were Justices G. C. Breckinridge (president), Samuel Hyer, Jr., and Jotham Clark. Joseph Milsaps was sheriff and David Henderson was clerk. They met at Eaphraim Bressie's about 2 miles northwest of the present Salem on Spring Creek which was on the "old White River road."
Some of the first settlers who came here in 1829 were William Thornton, Daniel Troutman, and Daniel M. Wooliver. Among those who followed were William Blackwell, Elisha Nelson, Jerry Potts, Eaphraim Bressie, Robert Leonard, Abner Wingfield, Lewis Dent, Wilson Craddock, Thomas Higgonbotham, Jack Berry, Silas Hamby, Smith Wofford, Turkill NcNeill, Dr. John Hyer, Samuel Hyer, and David Lenox. Among other families include the: Coppedge, Watkins, Skiles, Brown, Callahan, Welch, Snelson, Burlison, Massey, Vaughan, Taff, Arthur, Lamb, Freeman, Henderson, Agee, Johns, Bates, Jamison, Honey, Sims, McSpadden, Sinclair, Simmons, Organ, Love, and Orchard.
Dent County is a sportsman’s paradise, and prides itself on its world-class deer and turkey hunting, trout fishing, and ready access to some of the most beautiful canoeing rivers in the world. With great schools, excellent health care, a supportive business environment, vast areas of public land, and a deep commitment to faith and family, Salem offers values and amenities that are seldom found in such abundance.
Many people have found that the Salem area is an ideal place to retire. Low land and home prices, a moderate climate, and low cost of living all combine to make retirement dollars stretch as far as possible. And with friendly neighbors, a strong sense of community, and access to services often found only in much larger cities, Salem is indeed a welcoming place to enjoy your golden years.