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Wreath Laying Ceremony to Honor Salina Town Founders

Todd PittengerNovember 5, 2020

Representatives from the Smoky Hill Museum and the City of Salina will gather next week on Tuesday to honor town founders and other pioneers buried locally, many of whom are veterans, with a wreath laying ceremony during Veterans’ Day week.

According to the City of Salina, the 20-minute event will take place at Gypsum Hill Cemetery, Block A, off of East Iron Avenue or north Marymount Road. The public is invited. Among Salina’s founders to be honored that day is veteran Col. William Phillips, who worked as a war correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune and as a commander during the Civil War.

Other town founders to be honored include Alexander M. and Christina Phillips Campbell and David L. Phillips. Salina settlers to be honored who also served in the military include Margaret and Benjamin J.F. Hanna, who started Salina’s first newspaper, and Oscar and Johanna Seitz, who came from Germany in the 1860s and started several longtime businesses bearing their family name.

Mayor Mike Hoppock will share remarks about town founders’ civic and military contributions before laying a commemorative wreath at each grave. The fresh-greenery commemorative wreaths are donated by BEL Tree Farm and the Michelle and Aaron Peck family. The Ceremony will conclude with a Veteran’s Day and communitywide prayer of blessing, given by the Very Rev. David B. Hodges, dean of Christ Episcopal Cathedral, a downtown-Salina historic church.

Similar memorial wreaths are available through the Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum’s Poinsettia & Wreath Sale, with pre-ordering available through Monday, November 16.

For those wishing to attend the wreath-laying ceremony on Tuesday, November 10, parking is available west of Marymount Road, along the east/west gravel-road entrance to Mount Calvary Cemetery that borders the northern edge of Gypsum Hills Cemetery. That east/west gravel road leads to the section marker “A” just north of the focal gravesites and markers. The public may also enter by turning south at the cemetery sign on East Iron Avenue, following the gravel path south, bearing left to arrive just north of the marker “A” area. Attendees must be fully masked throughout the outdoor ceremony.

For more event information or for details on ordering fresh greenery wreaths or live holiday poinsettias to support the Museum’s educational programming, call 785-309-5776, go to, or find ‘Smoky Hill Museum’ on Facebook.


Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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