Topeka, Kansas

00 topeka capitol statueTopeka, Kansas

  • Kansas became a state January 29, 1861, the 34th state admitted to the Union.
  • Topeka became state capital 1861
  • Settled: 1854
  • Name Origin: Native American word translated as “good place to dig potatoes,” proposed by city founders in 1855

Colonel Cyrus K Holliday wanted to build a railroad. In 1854 he picked out a spot and formed a town company. When Kansas became a state, his railroad town of Topeka became the capital. Col Holliday’s railroad was the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe; its offices and machine shops are still important to the city.

The French Renaissance State Capitol is designed to resemble the US Capitol. It is capped with a copper dome and cupola and is 304 feet tall. On the grounds is a statue of the Pioneer Woman by sculptor Merrell Gage.

Here are the Combat Air Museum, with military aircraft from 1917-1980; the Museum of History with displays relating to the plains; and the Library of Kansas, housing one of the largest newspaper collections in the nation. Potwin Place, begun in 1869, is a community of stately homes and circular parks with walking and driving tours.

Key Words: railroad, pioneer, plains, Holliday, Atchison, Santa Fe

Things To Love About Topeka

The tall grasses flowing in the prairie wind; the brick-paved streets in the historic Potwin Place neighborhood; Old Prairie Town; being able to sit in the governor’s chair and tour the governor’s mansion; the warmth of friends.

Blogs To Read About Topeka

If The Creek Don’t Rise

Brown v Board

Digging Topeka

My Favorite Things

Red, White & Act

Taking A Shine To It

Capital City Basics

  • Population: 127,473, 28th largest in population of the 50 capital cities
  • Population density: 2,119 persons per square mile
  • Land area of city: 60.17 square miles
  • Elevation: 951 feet, 14th highest in elevation of the 50 capital cities
  • Normal high/low temps: January 40/20, July 89/68. Annual rainfall: 36 inches
  • Time Zone: Central
  • Water near: Kansas River
  • Mountains near: Flint Hills. Mount Sunflower on the western border of the state is the highest point in Kansas at 4,039 feet.
  • Miles to three nearest State Capitals: Lincoln, NE 166; Jefferson City, MO 220; Des Moines, IA 257
  • Miles to National Capitol in Washington, DC: 1,138

Population Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 127,473           Population
  • 24.4%              Under 18
  • 14.3%              Over 65
  • 1.3%                 Asian
  • 11.3%               Black
  • 13.4%              Hispanic/Latino
  • 1.4%                Native Alaskan or American Indian
  • 0.1%                Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 69.7%             White

Education Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 10.1%               English Not Spoken at Home
  • 88.4%             High School Graduate
  • 27.7%              Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

Economic Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 18.9%              Below Poverty Level
  • $23,803          Per Capita Income
  • $40,362          Median Household Income
  • $95,600          Median Value of Home
  • 58.5%              Home Ownership