Topeka, Kansas

Topeka is the capital city of the State of Kansas. The city is a prominent one and has three ships of the US Navy named after it. Enjoying a continental tropical climate, the city is known for its dry winters and humid summers. The climate of Topeka varies all year round and lends it a new appeal in every season.

The city houses most of the important government offices and over 8,400 people of the area are working for the Kansas government. Several important companies have their head offices in the city making it economically advanced and very well structured.

Offering a wide range of museums, parks and also some magnificent architecture, Topeka is a delight for travelers. There are several ethnicities residing here, which allows one to check out the many cuisines and cultures that the place has to offer. All in all, a wonderful city that offers the perfect mix of modern living with a historical background.

Topeka is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Topeka History

It was in 1840 that three Kansas Indian girls married French-Canadian Pappan brothers and launched a ferry service that allowed travelers to cross over the Kansas river safely. The area where these couples started their ferry was Topeka. While the crossings were many, Topeka did not offer much else other than just the ferry service.

It was in 1854 that nine men got together and established the Topeka Town Association after building the first cabin in the area. One of these nine men was Cyrus K. Holliday who went on to establish the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad which allowed for some great trade. By the 1860s there were tradesmen coming into Topeka carrying meat, lumber, etc and leaving with potatoes and corn.

Topeka was chosen as the capital of Kansas by Dr. Charles Robinson who was also the first governor of the place. In 1964 a stockade fort named Fort Simple was built in order to protect Topeka from the Confederate forces who were then in Missouri. However, the need did not arise and the fort was demolished in April 1867.

It was in 1855 in this very city at the Constitution Hall where anti-slavery settlers convened to write the first of four state constitutions, making it the "Free State Capitol." Indeed the prominence of the city was on a rapid rise. However, this growth was slowed down by the drought of 1860 but not for long.

After 1865, Topeka bounced back to life and again began to enjoy a huge flow of settlers. In fact the city was also home to a large number of former slaves who settled down on the eastern side of Lincoln Street between Munson and Twelfth Streets. Even today this area is known as Tennessee Town because so many of these settlers were from there.

During the 1880s Topeka enjoyed a boom period, which lasted for a decade before the bubble burst. Again the city enjoyed riding on the automobile industry boom that began during the early 20th century. The Smith Automobile Company was one such company that rode the wave and operated from Topeka.

Known for the first African-American kindergarten west of the Mississippi River, Topeka has always held special place in history. The city has been struck by tornados and faced several other deterrents. However, it has managed to rise each time and reach newer heights of glory.

About Topeka, Kansas

Named the county seat of Shawnee County, Topeka is located on the banks of the Kansas river. The name of the city is derived from a Kansa language and translated means 'to dig good potatoes'. The name was chosen by the founders of the city because they found it interesting and of Indian origin and also liked the sound of the name. Founded in 1854, the city was incorporated on February 14, 1857.

The city occupies an area of 57.0 square miles of which 1.70% is water. The population of the city according to the 2010 census was 127,473 and the median income of a household is $35,928. The city has a predominantly White population with over 78.5% Whites according to the 2010 census. African Americans are 11.7% and native Americans are 1.31%. Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanic and Latinos are the others races that inhabit the city.

Since Topeka is the state capital too, it enjoys a well formulated economy that can be seen in the general makeup of the city. While the government of the state has all its office buildings here, one also finds manufacturers like Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Payless ShoeSource, Jostens Printing and Publishing, Hill's Pet Nutrition, and Frito-Lay Southwest Publishing & Mailing Corporation operating from Topeka.

Due to its vast history, the city has its fair share of important buildings and monuments. The Capital building that was built way back in 1866-1906 is still in use and is also a huge attraction for tourists. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site where the landmark case that declared segregation in public schools on account of race to be unconstitutional draws many visitors.

The Combat Air Museum and Forbes field and the Kansas museum of history are two very important museums of the city and attract both locals and visitors alike. There is of course the Topeka Zoo, which is quite a delightful experience. The Cedar Crest in the city must be visited for its bird's eye view of the area around. The Cedar Crest was built in 1963 at the very same spot where the old Governor's Mansion stood.

About Shawnee County, Kansas

Located in northeast Kansas, Shawnee County is named after the Shawnee tribe of Native Americans. The county is one of the original 33 counties created by the first territorial legislature in 1855. In fact Shawnee was one of the first counties established by the Kansas territorial legislature and it had a population of only 250 people. Its county seat is Topeka, which is also the state capital of Kansas.

According to the 2010 census, the county had a population of 177,934 and covered an area of 556.32 square miles. The median household income of Shawnee was $40,988. The racial makeup of the county was 82.89% White, while African Americans were 9.03%. 1.17% of the population was Native Americans while the rest were a combination of Asian and other races.

Shawnee County is the third tier of counties that lies west of the Missouri River. It's roughly fifty-four miles south of Nebraska and is bordered by Jackson County on the north while on the east is Douglas County. Osage County is on the south and Wabaunsee County on the west. The extent of the county in either direction is not more than twenty-four miles.

There are 12 townships in the county and apart from Topeka it also houses the cities of Silver Lake, Auburn, Rossville and Willard. Richland is the ghost town in the county while there are quite a few unincorporated communities also. Berryton, Dover, Elmont, Kiro and Pauline are a few such communities.

The places of historical significance in the county are quite a few. There is the Solomon A Alt house, and then there is the Blacksmiths Creek Bridge. The Crawford building and the Devon apartments are also significant historical sites of Shawnee. The Kansas state Capitol and the Memorial Building cannot be over looked. The St Josephs Catholic church is another important place in the county.