A man considered to be one of the founding fathers of Salina is forever memorialized. The Heritage Commission and the Smoky Hill Museum Thursday evening dedicated a historical marker in honor of August Bondi.
Smoky Hill Museum Director Susan Hawksworth told KSAL News Bondi played a prominent role in the early years of Salina.
Bondi was a Jewish American immigrant who figured prominently in the anti-slavery movement in Territorial Kansas prior to the Civil War.
Bondi established his home as a stop along the underground railroad. Because of this this, riders from Missouri attacked, and burned his home during the border war era. He was able to fend of the attack with the help of his neighbor, famed abolitionist John Brown who showed up with his sons to help. Bondi would then fight alongside Brown in other conflicts along the border.
Bondi later served three years in the Union Army during the Civil War with the Kansas Cavalry.
Bondi first settled near Osawatomie and moved to Salina in 1866, where he opened a grocery store. In addition to Bondi’s business interests, he served as probate judge of Saline County, clerk of the United States Land Office, and police judge.
Bondi was also an active Mason, and was a prominent public figure in the Salina community until his death in 1907.
The marker was donated to the City of Salina by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, a non-profit, volunteer organization whose purpose is to identify and recognize sites of American Jewish historical interest. The local Masonic Lodge also helped with the project.
The August Bondi marker is located at the northwest corner of the Smoky Hill Museum at 211 W. Iron Ave.
Dedication of August Bondi marker outside the Smoky Hill Museum.
Posted by Newsradio 1150 KSAL on Thursday, August 30, 2018