Current home of VIRGIL PARKER MEMORIAL
205 N. Main Street (Block 16)
On the northeast corner of Block 16 stood Kessler’s Livery Stable. Rudolph Kessler was the owner of the stable and had it built in 1870. Kessler’s Livery Stable was one of the biggest stables in southern Missouri. Mr. Kessler used his best team of horses for Sunday drives around Salem. Kessler’s buggies were always in tip top shape. He always made sure his buggies were well greased when they left the stable. His fees were $2.50 a day for a horse and buggy. Rudolph Kessler came from Germany and was a veteran of the Union Army. He was also a member of the G.A.R. Post of Salem.
Also on this site was a Texaco Service Station which faced Main Street (Highway 19 North). This building was built in 1926 of native stone. The Texaco Station was run by Rex Torbit. Later it became one of Salem’s notable eateries called Heeter’s. This was the second location for Heeter’s, which originally was located on Iron Street, and was in business in several years at this location. Jim and Mary Nelson were the next owners who ran the business in the mid 1970’s.
The final business at this location was a restaurant by the name of CB’s that was owned by Chuck and Beverly Smith. CB’s ran from July 1976 to 1983. On a Friday in March 1983 the business caught fire. The building was eventually torn down and a memorial to local pastor Virgil Parker was built on this site.