From "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), p. 556:
Salem Station is strictly temperance village, of about one hundred persons, on the
line of the Kenosha & Rockford Railroad. Until 1850, Brass Ball Corners, on the
Geneva Road, and Liberty, were the only places of any importance, but the
building of the railroad, and the establishment of a depot at Salem, built up
that village at the espense of its rivals. With the exception of the house built
in 1849 by Mr. William Wagner, which is now kept as a house of entertainment
for visitors to the village, the other buildings are of very recent date. The
first store was built in 1867, by Mr. Alexander Bailey, and occupied by S. W. Benson
and D. V. Mayne, as a general store. When the railroad was finished, and began
operations, Mr. Bailey was appointed station agent, a position which he at present
The principal institutions of Salem are the Public Library, of 700 volumes, opened
December 26, 1876, and the Sons of Temperance, organized May 18, 1875, with a
membership of eighteen, which has, since then, been measurably increased,
there being now over one hundred on the roster. The first officers were:
Alexander Bailey, Worthy Patriarch; Mrs. Bailey, Assistant Worthy Patriarch;
R. W. Taite, R. S.; Mrs. V. Torteson, A. R. S.; T. M. Munson, F. S.; W. M. Curtis,
Treasurer; W. Grant, Chaplain; Eugene Bailey, Conductor; Mrs. M. Curtis,
Assistant Conductor; Miss Flora Cornwell, Inside Sentinel; R. W. Turner,
Outside Sentinel; J. H. Bufton, P. W. P. The present officers are: D. A. Mahoney,
W. P.; Mrs. Palmatier, W. A. P.; H. A. King, R. S.; Julia Munson, A. R. S.; E. W.
Helms, F. S.; Ann Curtis, Treasurer; George W. Smith, Conductor; Claire Burgess,
A. C.; William Muller, Outside Sentinel; T. Munson, Inside Sentinel; Mrs. Julia
The milling interests are represented by a feed-mill operated by Messrs.
King & Stevens, they having started it in the fall of 1877. It is a one-run mill,
driven by steam, and cost $2,000. The proprietors do a very large custom trade.
The first death in the village was that of Isaac Brown in the year 1870, and the
first birth that of Charles Goescher in the year 1871, the same year in which the
first marriage was solemnized between O. J. Foster and Frances Clark.
The Congregational Church was built in 1874, and the congregation now numbers
forty members, with the Rev. L. Clapp as Pastor. It cost about $3,500, and is a
very handsome building, capable of seating 300 persons.
The young folks of Salem have the advantage of a very good school at Salem Center,
which is now presided over by Miss Hartnell. She has about thirty scholars.
Salem was for some time known as Brooklyn, but upon the arrival of Mr. Cogswell in
the town, a petition was presented to the Legislature to change the name from
Brooklyn to that of Salem, which was accordingly granted.
The village is presently situated on the line of the road from Kenosha to Harvard,
between Hooker and Silver Lake, healthy, prosperous, and easily accessible to
Milwaukee and Chicago.
From "The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin" by Frank H. Lyman, 1916, p. 326:
Until 1850 Brass Ball Corners, on the Geneva road, and Liberty, were the only places
of any importance, but the building of the railroad and the establishment of a depot
at Salem caused the two former places to dwindle and Salem to grow. The first stores
was built in 1867, by Alexander Bailey, and occupied by S. W. Benson and D. V. Mayne
as a general store. Mr. Bailey was the first station agent. The first death in the
village was that of Isaac Broen in 1870; the first birth was that of Charles
Loescher, in 1871; and the wedding of O. J. Foster and Frances Clark was the first
to occur. The Congregational Church of Salem was built in 1874. The town was for a
time known as Brooklyn, but upon the arrival of Mr. Cogswell a petition was
presented in the Legislature to change the name to Salem, which request was granted.