Town of Salem Mayors

Mayor Charles Brietz

January 1857 - April 1858
September 1859 - January 1860
January 1866 - January 1867

When Charles Breitz was elected Salem’s first Mayor, he contacted other towns for copies of their ordinances so he could write some for Salem. When the ordinances were adopted, his duties included supervising the town treasury and all employees of the town including the night watchman. He also was Salem’s third and eighth Mayor, serving a total of only 2 years and eight months. Breitz was a tanner by trade and for a number of years operated the Salem Tan Yard. He also ran a hotel in Salem.

Mayor Brietz

Mayor Elias A. Vogler

April 1858 - September 1859
January 1874 - May 1875

Vogler was an amateur artist and architect who was responsible for the interior design of Home Moravian Church and the landscaping of Salem Cemetery. While Mayor, he suggested the necessity of building a pound for the impounding of hogs found running at large. Salem installed its first gas street lights. During his second term, many new streets were opened in west Salem and storm drainage was installed. In 1876, he compiled an excellent map of Salem and Winston. Photo courtesy of Old Salem, Inc.

Mayor Elias A. Vogler

Mayor Augustus T. Zevely

January 1860 - January 1863
November 1865 - January 1866

Zevely was born in the first house built in Winston. In addition to his medical practice, he ran a store selling drugs and sundries.  During the darkest days of the Civil War, he foraged for food for the boarding students at Salem Academy. As Mayor, his board agreed to take over the town water-works and tax those who benefited from it at 60 cents per year. Photo courtesy of Old Salem, Inc.

Mayor Augustus T. Zevely

Mayor John G. Sides

Jan. 1863 - February 1864


Mayor Joshua Boner

February 1864 - November 1865

During Boner's term as mayor, he led a couple dozen Salem men to head off Colonel William Palmer's 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Salem was going in peace in order to save the town from destruction. As the calvary approached, they saw a couple dozen men waving, showing no weapons. Boner surrendered Salem to the Union army. The Calvary occupied Salem without incident. The Civil War ended 10 days later.

Boner resigned in November 1865 when he was elected to the Senate.


Mayor John P. Vest

January 1967 - July 1868
May 1873 - January 1874

John P. Vest is listed as one of the original settlers of Winston.

Vest resigned during both of his terms as mayor of Salem. He resigned the first term when he was elected to the Legislature.

Two months into his second term, Vest stated he should be compensated for his work as mayor as it took a lot of his time. The board agreed to pay him $100 per year. However in January of 1874, a resolution was approved to no longer provide compensation. Vest resigned.


Mayor Augustus Fogle

July 1868 - May 1873
Nov 1876 - May 1878   
May 1888 - May 1889

Fogle was a furniture maker by trade specializing in church pulpits. For 18 years he was Steward of Salem Academy and from 1878 - 1884, Sheriff of Forsyth County. He also held positions as Coroner and Justice of the Peace.  During his first term as mayor, Fogle completed a city census for the first time since incorporation and found the population of Salem to be 905. A new and more efficient water system was built for which the town paid $500. Upon his death, he was buried in a coffin he had made himself. Photo courtesy of the Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem.

Mayor Augustus Fogle

Mayor R. L. Patterson

May 1875 - November 1876

Rufus Patterson was a distinguished judge and banker before moving to Salem where he owned a combined cotton, flour, and paper mill.  He signed the Ordinance of Secession for North Carolina.  After the War he became a successful businessman with his father-in-law Francis Fries a prominent manufacturer and merchant. Patterson was one of the first and most active of the early Salem Commissioners. As mayor, Patterson was instrumental in bringing the Northeastern Railroad, which eventually became the Southern Railroad, from Greensboro to Winston. Photo from the collection of Old Salem, Inc.

Mayor R. L. Patterson

Mayor J.F. Shaffner

1878 - 1884

A member of an old Salem family, Shaffner had been a civil war surgeon. While Shaffner was Mayor, there was an attempt to consolidate the two towns under the name “City of Salem”. The vote for consolidation failed 3-1 in the Winston Wards. He also oversaw the first lawsuit against Salem in a personal injury case, (the city lost), the first health inspector was hired and an agreement was signed to establish a street railway system for the town. Shaffner served the longest term of any Salem mayor, six consecutive years. He ran Salem’s drug store which stocked, in addition to drugs, such items as paint and sundries. Dr. Shaffner also served as a member of the Board of Health, vice-president of the Building and Loan Association and President of the Salem Water Supply Company. He also operated his own cotton gin.

Mayor J. F. Shaffner

Mayor Henry E. Fries

May 1889 - May 1892

Based solely upon the record, Henry Fries was undoubtedly the most outstanding Salem public servant and benefactor of his day. He served as Commissioner for one year before being elected Mayor and then was elected Commissioner for 18 consecutive years.

During his years as Mayor, Salem made remarkable progress. The first permanent street paving was laid. The first street car lines were installed, as were electric street lights. The Board of Health was organized and a sanitary sewage system was begun. He refused to be paid for his work as Mayor. Fries would later serve many years on the Winston-Salem Zoning Board of Adjustment.

His business responsibilities included President of Fries Mfg. and Power Company and President of the Winston Salem Southbound Railway Company.

Mayor Henry E. Fries

Mayor J. H. Stockton

May 1892 - May 1893


Mayor T. B. Douthit

May 1893 - May 1894  

Mayor T. B. Douthit

Mayor C. S. Hauser

May 1894 - Sept 1896 (died in office)    

Mayor C. S. Hauser

Mayor Samuel E. Butner

Sept 1896 - May 1901
May 1903 - May 1907


Mayor J.A. Vance

May 1901 - May 1903


Mayor Frank Vogler

1907 - 1911

Vogler’s boyhood home in the shadow of this city hall on the southeast corner of First and Main. He was a successful second generation business man who dropped the family’s furniture making business to concentrate on undertaking. While he was mayor, the Winston-Salem Southbound Railway was completed connecting Salem with Wadesboro and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. The first modern street paving was done on Chestnut St between First and Belews Creek Street. It cost the town $600.

Mayor Frank Vogler

Mayor F.A. Fogle

1911 - 1913

Fred Fogle was born and raised in Salem where he ran a successful furniture manufacturing business. Fogle was the last Salem mayor before consolidation. His salary was $300 per year.

During his tenure a new Town Hall and Fire Engine House at the corner of Liberty and Cemetery streets was completed. After consolidation he was elected as the first Alderman from the Salem Ward, representing the same citizens he had served as Mayor of Salem. For many years he played trombone in the Moravian Band.

Mayor F. A. Fogle

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