|— City —|
|• Total||1.33 sq mi (3.44 km2)|
|• Land||1.33 sq mi (3.44 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||735 ft (224 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||1,597|
|• Density||1,216.5/sq mi (469.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0725956|
The land where Salisbury is now located was first owned by Prior Bibo, a veteran of the War of 1812, in the late 1820s. A tract of three hundred twenty acres was granted to Bibo by the U.S. government as a bonus for his military service. Following two intermediate owners, the land was sold for $400 dollars to Judge Lucius Salisbury in 1856. Judge Salisbury had surveyors lay out the town plat in 1857, and the town was founded on April 1, 1867. Salisbury has had a post office since 1863 when Judge Salisbury opened it in his home. He also ran the stagecoach stop from his business, known as "Shop-A-While"
By the 1870 U.S.Census Salisbury's population was 626. Just two years later the town was struck by a large tornado. Major fires damaged much of the business district in 1877 and again in 1882. It was also in 1882, April 4, that Salisbury was organized and chartered as a fourth-class city under Missouri laws. Early businesses included two hotels, a flour mill, three tobacco factories, three manufacturers of agricultural equipment and some forty other assorted merchants in the latter 19th century. For entertainment, residents could visit the Salisbury Opera House, where the towns location on the Wabash rail line came into play, conveniently bringing in notable performers of the time. A published 1896 history of Chariton County lists among the businesses and amenities two newspapers serving the community, six physicians, a soda-pop factory, cigar factory, and a city-owned power plant for electricity.
Salisbury is governed by a mayor-council form of government and is a 4th class city under Missouri classification. City council meetings are held the second Thursday of each month. In 2008 Salisbury's downtown area underwent major sidewalk and road work, with replica early 20th century-style streetlights installed. Fire protection is provided by the Salisbury Fire Department, a volunteer-based organization. A paid police department provides law enforcement services to the community.
The Salisbury R-IV school district provides K-12 education to the town of Salisbury and a portion of surrounding Chariton County. A major renovation and expansion project in 2010 and 2011 added more class space to the facility. Along with classrooms, construction of a tornado-safe mltipurpose area including a new gymnasium is ongoing. Athletic teams from Salisbury High School have won multiple Missouri state championships: 1997 Class 1A football, 2001 and 2002 Class 2A softball, 2004 Class 1A boys golf, 2012 Class 1A girls cross county, and 2012-2013 Class 2A boy's basketball.
The first school in Salisbury opened in April, 1867 with one hundred eight (108) students. A fire in 1888 destroyed the first school building and it was replaced by a much larger two-story brick structure. In addition to the public school, Salisbury Academy—opened in 1888—provided for higher education at what today would be considered a junior college level. North Missouri Institute, another college-preparatory school, opened in 1891.
 2010 census
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,618 people, 698 households, and 431 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,216.5 inhabitants per square mile (469.7 /km2). There were 830 housing units at an average density of 624.1 per square mile (241.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 2.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.2% of the population.
There were 698 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.3% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.
The median age in the city was 40.2 years. 25.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.8% were from 25 to 44; 25.7% were from 45 to 64; and 19.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.
 2000 census
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,726 people, 744 households, and 474 families residing in the city. The population density was 493.6 people per square mile (1,276.0/km²). There were 847 housing units at an average density of 242.2 per square mile (626.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.84% White, 4.23% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.
There were 744 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 22.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,729, and the median income for a family was $41,389. Males had a median income of $28,988 versus $19,185 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,163. About 7.1% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.
 Notable natives
- Floyd B. Parks -- U.S. Marine aviator who earned the Navy Cross posthumously for his actions leading Marine fighter squadron VMF-221 during the Battle of Midway. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Floyd B. Parks was named in his honor.
 Attractions & events
- Salisbury city park features a playground, horse arena, tennis court, ball field, and picnic area. The city swimming pool is located across the street.
- James C. Philpotts Park, located just south of the city, provides multiple recreation opportunities such as a 9-hole public golf course, playgrounds, walking trails and a small lake. The park also provides a 10 unit campground with electricity, water and sewer services available.
- Two lakes just outside the city limits, Sterling Price Lake and Lake Nehai Tonkayea, provide fishing and some boating opportunities.
- Salisbury Steak Festival is held each June with various games, local entertainment, and a community steak supper.
 19th century Salisbury
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Historical, Pictorial, & Biographical Record of Chariton County, Missouri, Pictorial and Biographical Publishing Co., Salisbury Missouri, 1896
- "Town history". City of Salisbury website. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- "Salisbury Fire Department". Firefighting News.com website. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "2012 Class 1 Girls Championship Team Scores". Missouri State High School Activities Association. 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "MSHSAA Boys Class 2A State Tournament Bracket". Missouri State High School Activities Association. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Salisbury Steak Festival 2012". City of Salisbury website. Retrieved 7 June 2012.