Salem United Church of Christ History
US 30 & County Line Road
For Larger Image of stones, click on pictures above.
Thank you to Diane Grieger for the burial information and history to make these listings possible. Diane may be reached at email@example.com
Typed for the Inernet by: Deanna B. West
Condensed History of the Salem United Church of Christ
Wanatah, Indiana 1869-1969
By Historian Mrs. Otto Boehlke - written: 1969
A Salem congregation was started by German settlers who came to Cass Township and vicinity in the early 1850's and 60's. They brought with them their strong Christian faith and love for God. At first, worship services were held in homes. As their numbers grew, Rev. Carl Schaub, their pastor, acting as chairman, on march 15, 1869, organized the congregation as the German United Salem Church (“Die Deutsche Vereinigte Salems Gemeinde”) of Wanatah, Indiana, affiliated with the German Evangelical Church of the West in St. Louis, Missouri. Trustees elected were Christian Richman, William Bowes and Eugene Spaeth; elders: Charles Witt, Henry Helfers and Christian Gallert.
Exactly when the first church, a white frame building, was built is not definitely known, but presumably in 1867-1868, as Lot 5 Block 20 was deeded to this German Church on October 17, 1866. It was used for many years. During the pastorate of Rev. J Grunert a bell, :which when rung could be heard by members far and wide, calling them to attend services in God's House” was installed in the steeple. The first organ was purchased in 1885 and used until 1904.
From the small number of 86 communing members recorded in 1868, the congregation had grown to the number of 238 Easter tide communicants by 1895. In that year they voted to replace the old building with a much larger and more substantial red brick church...... on Lot 1 which had been purchased in 1884. The new church was dedicated by Rev. William Schulz on September 28, 1895. The old white church was continued to be used as a Sunday School room and meeting place for other organizations. In 1900 it was also used for public school purposes.
Both organ and bell previously mentioned were installed in the new church. The bell is still being used but the organ was replaced by a new Barkhoff pipe organ in 1904 during the pastorate of Rev. E. Kiefel. It was pumped by hand, usually by some young lad from the congregation who volunteered for the task. When electricty came to Wanatah, electric lights were installed in both church and parsonage in 1920 an electric motor was purchased for the pipe organ. The Barkhoff organ was replace by a new Moller p ipe organ, dedicated June 11, 1950, by Rev. Edwin Mayer.
In 1906 it was voted by Salem congregation to build an addition to the church on the west end to provide a Sunday School room o the upper floor and a kitchen and a dining room in the basement. It was dedicated on Sunday, August, 26, 1906, by Rev. John Bollens. During this building period the pipe organ, which originally had been installed in the east balcony, was moved to the choir loft behind the chancel. A new furnace, a gift from the Ladies' Aid, replaced the heating stove. The old white church, badly in need of repair, was sold and moved away. That ground is now our paved parking lot.
............. further into this article Mrs. Boehlke writes about the cemetery.....
In 1875 land for a cemetery was purchased by Salem Evangelical and St. Johns' Lutheran Churches to be used jointly for the burial of their departed ones. By 1891 it was necessary for both congregations to find new locations for the purpose. The new site about one mile west of Wanatah was acquired by Salem and dedicated on January 1, 1892 by Rev. William Schulz.
Go to 1st page of Burials
Return to LaPorte County Cemeteries
Laporte Gen Web