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After careful planning, four men led by Col. William A. Phillips founded Salina on the Smoky Hill River in 1857. The town motto was to be "Religion First, Education Second and Business Third."
Swedish settlers coming to the Smoky Hill River Valley in 1868 and 1869 passed through Salina. Many stayed. In 1870 they organized The Swedish Lutheran Church of Salina. Col. Phillips gave the congregation land to build their church building. There were 103 members and communicant members in the first congregation.
Salina grew as a wheat milling and railroad center and became the county seat of Saline county. It survived the growth and the losing of the Smoky Hill Air Force Base during and after World War II.
Information from Ken Carman
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