|The first Courthouse on block 11 was a two-story, 24 x 40, brick building facing Fourth Street. It was built over a 25 foot cistern. The cistern was used for drinking water and fire protection. On May 3, 1886 the Courthouse and the log jail, north of the Courthouse, were burned. Soon after the fire, a 24 x 36 foot one story wooden building was erected on the courthouse square. On March 30, 1870 plans for the present courthouse were presented and construction began in that same year. A. E. Dye and Sons came to Salem from Illinois to build the present day courthouse. Salem Masonic Lodge #225 furnished the money to construct the third floor of the courthouse, which was under a 100 year lease. The total cost to build the courthouse was $15,500.00.