Wyuka Cemetery is 140 years old. Preserving the historic areas of the cemetery is an essential part of the mission of the Wyuka Historical Foundation. The Grand Army of the Republic Circle, where more than two hundred Union Army veterans are buried, urgently needs repair. The Civil War-era gravesites are sinking and the head stones need to be leveled and re-set. Ongoing headstone cleaning using volunteer groups that receive required instructions began recently.
G.A.R. Circle was created by the citizens of the then-new state of Nebraska, who wanted to honor the brave soldiers who preserved the Union. They erected a statue of a Union soldier and a granite obelisk dedicated to John Milton Thayer, who led the Nebraska Regiment in the Civil War and then served as Governor of Nebraska from 1887 to 1892. A circle of white marble tablets marks the graves of Union Army veterans. They are among the 929 Civil War veterans who are buried throughout the cemetery. These veterans include Harrison Johnson, who escaped slavery to serve with the 1st Nebraska Infantry, and two who served with the Confederate Army.
The Circle is the location of Wyuka’s Memorial Day Commemoration, which is annually attended between 400 & 500 people. As you might expect, 140 Nebraska winters have taken their toll on the Circle. The estimated cost of repairs is $300 per grave. You can help to preserve this unique historic site by donating for this purpose and project.