Society names 2018 ‘Citizens of Honor’

Staff report


The Salem Historical Society has been recognizing two Citizens of Honor since the induction of the first 24 people in 2006 during the city’s bicentennial. Information on each person is featured in the exhibit in the Pearce building. Honorees are chosen by their influence and contribution to Salem’s growth and successes. This year, the society selected three Citizens of Honor, JeanAlice Fehr, Russell Loudon and Dr. Elizabeth Grisell, who recently were officially recognized during the Founders’ Day dinner at BoneShakers in the Timberlanes Complex.

Fehr taught elementary school in Pennsylvania and Illinois, and special education for 20 years at Reilly Elementary School in Salem. She also has taught seminars about learning disabled-children at both Kent State and Youngstown State universities.

Fehr is involved with many organizations, including the Jaycettes, Business and Professional Women’s Organization, and as president of the American Association of University Women. She and her husband, the late Kenneth Fehr, were founders of the Salem Preservation Society. She also founded the First Ladies Performance Group and was awarded the YWCA Woman of Achievement Community Service Leadership Award and the Salem Rotary Club, Service Above Self Award.

Loudon studied at Ohio State University, furthered his education at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and completed his apprenticeship at Eckard Funeral Home in Akron. He became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 1950, married in 1956, and he and his wife, the former Marilyn Williams, moved to Salem.

Loudon is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Saxon Club, Salem Rotary and more. He also was past president of the Salem Area chamber of Commerce, 25-year member of the board of trustees of Salem Community Hospital, board member of the Salem City Health Department, former chairman of the United Way and chairman of the Salem Jubilee Ball.

He recently was honored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce for the landscaping surrounding the funeral home through the years that continues to beautify the city.

Dr. Grisell graduated from the medical department of Western Reserve College in 1856 as one of the first seven women in the United States to graduate from a coeducational, allopathic medical school prior to the Civil War. During that time, it was not thought proper or fitting for women to be doctors. Grisell was quoted as saying, “A woman physician had then to blaze her way through a forest of prejudice, where trials lurked on every side.”

Dr. Grisell practiced in Cleveland for six years, returned to Salem for six years, during which she helped found the Union Medical Society and after post-graduate study was an assistant physician at the Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also was an attending physician at the Hospital for Women and Children in San Fransisco and was published in the Western Journal of Medicine. In 1872, she returned to Salem to care for women and children until retiring in 1906. She died in 1910.

More like this from

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.