Seven Salem Area Houses Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010

Compiled from application forms by Jean Hallowell Leeper in September 2011

New counter on September 13, 2011

1. Cook-Johnson House, 3091 Franklin Avenue, Salem, Iowa - currently owned by Ms Linda Kramer

The two story brick house appears to have been built around 1850 by Jonathan Cook, thought it is possible that it was built a few years later by Henry W. Johnson. The brick is currently painted yellow. Both were early Quaker settlers in Salem, Iowa. Probably Johnson was the one who built the house in ca 1852 as he was wealthy man per the 1853 tax lists as his real estate and personnel property was taxed at a value of $4,735. We do note the house is marked on the 1859 map of Salem, Iowa. Henry Johnson was disowned from the Society of Friends for receiving counterfeit money and offering to sell it as such on September 28, 1839. Henry Johnson apparently continued to engage in counterfeiting activity, though details of his activities only emerged after his death. The counterfeiting activity received new attention in the fall of 1911 after the deathbed confession of Wallace Godfrey regarding the murder of Warner Davis. Wallace Godfrey confessed that Clark Osburn had killed Warner Davis in his smokehouse in September 1859, after Warner found their counterfeiting operations when looking for lost cows and was ready to report it to Joel Jones, member of the grand jury. (The counterfeit gang reportedly included Henry Johnson, Wallace Godfrey and Clark Osburn.)

housecook-Johnson house

2. Bicksler Block, 101-103 W. Cherry Street, Salem, Iowa

The Bicksler Block was built at the northwest corner across from the square in downtown Salem, Iowa in 1886 by John Bicksler. Salem was plagued by a series of fires in its commercial district from 1886 - 1933, destroying earlier structures. This building was constructed after the first major fire in 1886, the east half of the building was first a bank which operated into early 1900s. The post office was located here from 1904 to 1967. The west half served as a series of businesses, including the clothing business of William Bartlett (1886-1892), clothing store of Tyner Brothers (1890s), millinery store of Carrie Saint (1901 to 1904). Restaurant of M and M. Clauson, called European Resturant, (1904-1909), Zoe Turner's millinery store (1919 - ca 1922), A. S. Jenson Pool Hall and Recreational Parlor (1930-1950). The second story was occupied by the offices of a series of local dentists. The Salem Weekly News operated and was published in the second story (1886 - 1923). In 1950, the Bicksler family transferred the building to the Salem Post No 94 of the American Legion. The building is now unoccupied.

post office same


3. Lamm-Pollmiller House and Outbuildings, 1584 335th Street, Salem, Iowa. Property owner Richard J. and Mary Ann Moeller. The house was built by Henry and Elizabeth (Cook) Lamm ca 1849 and was purchased by the Pollmiller family in 1905. Henry and Elizabeth Lamm were members of the Society of Friends and came here from Ohio. The construction of this home in this location reflects the early settlement of Salem Township and the military road that ran through this portion of the county from Lowell to Hillsboro passing along the north edge of Henry Lamm's land. Local history reports that this house was once a stagecoach stop probably during the 1850s and 1860s.

Lamm house



House today. Note the addition of the 1900s front porch.

4. Farmers Savings Bank, 101 S Main, Salem, Iowa - now owned by Anthony and Connie Kramer

The Farmers Savings Bank was built in downtown Salem in 1916 and sit on the north end of the west side of the square. The bank building replaced the corner building that burned in 1915. On January 22, 1916 the bank opened for business. The Farmers Savings Bank of Salem made statewide news in 1933 as one of ten banks placed in the hands of the state banking department on January 25 to be reopened under new state law. On March 21, 1934 the bank building was sold to W. A. Logan for $1,200 but reopened as the Farmington State Bank in 1936. In early 1944 the bank changed name to the Des Moines Valley State Bank and operated until 1955. Then was the State Central Savings Bank fron 1955-1957. It was robbed in 1955 and was remodeled and became the Hillsboro Savings Bank in 1957. It operated until 1976 when sold to the Burlington Bank and Trust. They changed the name to Hawkeye Bank and Trust. The Hawkeye Bank and Trust of Mt. Pleasant gained title of the building in August 1987 and operated here until 1992 when the building was donated to the Salem Post #94 of the American Legion. In 2000 they sold the building to Anthony and Connie Kramer who remodeled it into their home.

Savings BankSavings Bank

Savings Bank May 1918 and 1976


Building as it looks today

5. Collins-Bond House - Go to:

6. Isaac and Agnes Reeves House and Outbuildings, 209 South Main Street, Salem, Iowa - Rosalene Kramer owner.

Isaac and Agnes Reeves built the house in 1883. The house is significant for its brick Italianate architecture. The Reeves family lived in this house through the remainder of the 1880s, when they moved to Keokuk in 1891, they sold their house. He opened a drug store in Keokuk. Moses F. Clawson owned the house until his death in 1893 and then Amelia Clawson lived there until her death. Her estate sold the house to sisters Emma(Emily), Mary and M. Belle Masden in 1912. On September 17, 1935 William C. Savage bought the property from the estate of Mary and Belle Masden. He used the house as a rental property and one of his tenants was Dr. O. E. Holmes who lived and practiced medicine out of the house for a number of years starting shortly after William Savage purchased the property. Mr. Savage sold the property to R. E. Mogel March 17, 1947. Justin and Maud Collatt bought the house from the estate of R. E. Mogel in 1959. Maud sold the property into the Kramer family in 1970 and the property remains in the Kramer family today.


House today and house in the 1880s

Front porch restored in 1989

7. Paton and Hannah Wilson House, 1360 280th Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, but in Salem township. Current owner Mary Helen Curtis of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Paton and Hannah Wilson may have built the house in ca 1839 and it may be one of the oldest extant brick house in the township. She was a charter member of Salem Monthly Meeting. From 1840 - 1842 Paton/Payton, represented the residents of Salem in the Territorial legislature, presenting petitions on their behalf advocating for the rights of all people and supporting other legislators in measures that would extend rights to blacks. He served in the state legislature as well for the 1850-1852 term. Paton/Payton died in 1868. The estate of Paton Wilson sold this property to Reuben and Abigail Hallowell in 1875. Descendants of Reuben and Abigail Hallowell continue to own this property even though no one has lived in it since the mid century, due to it not being modernized.


Early 1900s - Abigail Hallowell with grandchildren and Comley Hallowell, her son, in front of the house. Jean Hallowell Leeper is a great great granddaughter of Reuben and Abigail.



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