Rev. F. Siefkes organized the Salem Lutheran Church when called by several Lutheran families in the area. He had also organized Ebenezer congregation at Butler Center and the first Bethel Congregation northwest of Parkersburg (now all three are joined and at Bethel Lutheran Church in Parkersburg). The first services were held in the Beaver township school house. The missionary zeal of Rev. Siefkes was leaving him spent from covering three church’s families especially six months of the year with impassable roads. So Rev. Siegfried Siefkes recruited students who had the required academics including schooling in Europe. In 1893 Christian E. G. Voss, a young minister from Chicago, arrived and a church was built and a parsonage and cemetery were established. With one or two assistant professors, Rev. Siefkes operated a seminary for about eight men for preparation for ministry. These men were then sent to Wartburg Theology Seminary for final instruction, testing and approval for the standing in the synod. Rev. Siefkes was well recognized for his excellence in preparation of these ministerial students. In 1912 a parochial school was built--donated by a member. In 1927 an addition was built to the church and in 1955 the church burnt to the ground. The church was rebuilt but due to lack of members and ministers to serve, Salem Lutheran members joined the congregation of Bethel Lutheran in the late 1980’s which had moved to Parkersburg. Today the church is a private home and the cemetery is cared for by the Beaver township supervisor. Salem Lutheran Cemetery is well known for the Brown Mausoleum built about 1920. It was broken into about 25 years ago by grave thieves from Texas and is in bad repair since that time. It is interesting to note that the tile surrounding the building are in the reverse of the Nazi swatzikes. The four Ls stand for Luck, Liberty, Life, and Love. This was a popular slogan in the 1920s time era. It is frequently mistaken for the Nazi symbol. There are a number of gravestones written in Platt.
--written by Jean Sietsema

Headstone Photos at GPP

WPA Records from the 1930s

Name Maiden
Birth Date Death Date Aged Grave Obit GPP WPA Bio Marker Inscription Military Other