History & Heritage

German immigrants began settling in the area in the 1840s to 1850s mainly because they were farmers or were associated with agriculture.  They also had a strong evangelical religious background and saw a need to form a congregation and build a church.  In 1860 the congregation of Salem was organized and chose the name, “The German Evangelische Salem Germeinde” (The German Evangelical Salem Parish). The congregation built a small church (no steeple) approximately one mile north of the present location.  Their first pastor was E.S. Hosto.  In 1861 the Salem Cemetery was established.  In 1877 Salem built the present church, which is still in use.  The original church building was moved and used as a school.