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Topeka Historical Society to honor Hawpatch heroes

The Topeka Area Historical Society (TAHS) will be holding its annual dinner meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at The Carriage House, 5280S 500W near Topeka, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Jean Fremion-McKibben will be on hand to talk about the Veterans Headstone Project (VHP) as well as Hawpatch heroes William McConnell (War of 1812) and his grandson William A. McConnell (Civil War) whose headstones were recently replaced. The meal will feature a chicken buffet (drink, dessert, and tip included). Reservations are required.

The dinner and meeting are open to the public. For reservations call (260) 499-0126.

“What Jean and her group are doing is wonderful,” said TAHS President Harold Gingerich. “She is uncovering some fascinating nuggets of long forgotten history related to William McConnell’s military service.” Gingerich believes that people will be very interested in hearing about the man who was Topeka’s first postmaster and justice of the peace.

In October of this year the Veterans Headstone Project replaced the headstones of both McConnells in the Gerber Cemetery 1½ miles west of Topeka.

 The Topeka Area Historical Society holds bi-monthly public meetings and publishes a quarterly newsletter. Newsletters are given to each of the students in Topeka Elementary’s third grade classes. They are also available online at www.topekahistorical society.com.