Salem Monthly Meeting of Friends,

now called Salem Friends Church
First Friends Meeting
West of the Mississippi

Compiled and contributed by Jean Hallowell Leeper. 2009.

Pictures of Salem meetinghouses
since 1846

 By 1837 many Quakers started to arrive in Salem. Among the early arrivals was Isaac Pidgeon. In his home in Aug 1837 a meeting was held to arrange for meetings of worship. The first monthly meeting was held in October 1838. In 1839 the number of Quakers arriving in Salem was growing so fast they decided to build a log meetinghouse.

By 1846 they needed a new meetinghouse so they built a two story brick building. In 1868 Whittier College took over the top floor and by 1874 the whole building was now the College. A new meetinghouse was build west of the college in 1874 because Whittier College had taken over the two-story brick building. The church meet here until Feb 25, 1912 when the building burned. The building that we worship in today was completed in 1913 and the building site was moved from the previous location of the meetinghouses, which was down by the cemetery. A basement was added in 1927 and many additions have been done to the building since. The south side pastor’s study/classroom and bathrooms in the basement in 1960 and the brick fellowship hall was added in 1979.

Charter Members
Story of Salem
Monthly Meeting
Salem South Cemetery
Anti-Slavery Meeting
White's Institute
What Were Salem Area Quakers Doing During The Civil War?

When the first large brick building meetinghouse/college burned in 1885 they quickly built the new Whittier College completing it in the fall of 1887. Whittier College was once the biggest college in Iowa. It became an academy and then closed in 1910. The Salem High School then took over the building until it burned in 1947


Contributed to Henry County IAGenWeb, March 2022.

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