Pioneers began settling this area in the mid-1840s, and Philip Greenleaf Williams was among them. He arrived in 1844 and established a water-powered gristmill south of Bois D'Arc Springs. He left for Virginia to bring his wife and family to the area in 1848, but he drowned in the Red River on the return journal. Williams' family buried him here, where a young boy had reportedly already been interred. Williams' gravestone bears the earliest date. Several of his family members, including his wife, nancy (Chaney), remained in the area and area also interred here.
The names of many of the area's pioneer families are found on the grave markers in New Salem Cemetery. They include members of the Self family, for whom the surrounding community is named. Other families represented here Broadfoot, Craddock, Dobbs, Denison, Elam, Gilbert, Jones Newberry, Pitts and Shipman.
Today, a cemetery association maintains the burial ground, which serves as a link to the dispersed community that formed in this area in the era when Texas transitioned from Republic to statehood.
Directions: From Honey Grove, go north on FM 100 for 7.5 miles, then east on CR 2805 for 2 miles.
Information on the New Salem Cemetery is at the Fannin County GenWeb site.