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What is the history of Topeka, Kansas, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Topeka, Kansas, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, USA

"Topeka, a city, the capital of Kansas, and of Shawnee co., is situated on both banks of the Kansas River, 45 miles W.S.W. of Leavenworth, 29 miles W. by N. of Lawrence, and 67 miles W. of Kansas City, Mo. Lat. 39°3' N.; lon. 95° 40'W. It is on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railroad where it crosses the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and is also the W. terminus of the Kansas Midland Railroad. It is well built, and has wide straight streets which cross one another at right angles. It contains a handsome state house, 45 churches, 3 national banks, several other banks, a court-house, a high school, Washburn College (Congregational), the college of the Sisters of Bethany (Episcopal), and a Catholic seminary. Four daily and 4 weekly news papers are published here. Topeka has 5 flouring-mills, a rolling-mill, 2 iron-foundries, a pottery, 2 brick-kilns, a carriage-factory, a woollen-mill, a cracker-factory, &c. The greater portion of the city is on the S. bank of the river, which is here crossed by an iron bridge. The machine shops of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railroad are located here. The State Asylum for the Insane is situated about 2 miles W. of the state-house. Bituminous coal is found in the vicinity. Topeka was incorporated as a city in 1857, and became the capital of the state in 1861. Pop. in 1870, 5790; in 1880, 15,452; in 1890, 31,007; including Topeka township, 36,781."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Topeka, Kansas, USA

Topeka, Kansas, USA
Ladies Going to California
The California Limited - Santa Fe Route
W. J. Black, Topeka, Kan.

The Ladies' Home Journal
February 1898

Topeka, Kansas, USA
Kansas Ave., looking South from Fifth Street

Topeka, Kansas, USA
Court House

Topeka, Kansas, USA
The Home of the Topeka Daily Capital, Arthur Capper, Publisher
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History and News of Topeka, Kansas, USA

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  • 1860 - July 9 - Temperature hits 115°F in Ft Scott & 112°F in Topeka Kansas
  • News  1888 - A large number of unopened registered packages were stolen from the post-office at Topeka, Kan., on the 31st ult. All the clerks were decoyed from the building by a fire alarm.
    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    November 3, 1888
  • News  1889 - BIG BLAZE AT TOPEKA. Property Worth About $275,000 Destroyed - Small Firms at Other Points.
    TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 22. - Special Telegram - This city was this morning, visited by the most destructive fire in its history. The George W. Crane... Read MORE...

  • 1891 - March 10 - Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patents the strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.
  • News  1897 - June 24 - Hail injures 26 in Topeka Kansas
    June 24, 1897
  • News  1903 - Flood - Losses Exaggerated.
    Topeka, June 2. - While it is known that 34 people lost their lives by the flood, reports of other bodies found are still coming in. The flood is now ... Read MORE...

  • 1905 - City of Topeka
    The Beginning of the City of Topeka
    The fathers of the city of Topeka were Cyrus K. Holliday, Fry W. Giles, Daniel H. Home, Enoch Chase, Jacob B.... Read MORE...

  • News  1909 - RESCUE MANY IN HOTEL FIRE. State Senator STEWART Drops Guests from Windows - I. E. LAMBERT Perishes.
    Topeka, Kan., Jan. 14 - The body of ISAAC E. LAMBERT, an Emporia attorney and politician, was found to-night in the ruins of the Copeland Hotel, with ... Read MORE...

  • 1909 - September 6-7 - Topeka, KS, was drenched with 8.08 inches of rain in 24 hours to establish a record for that location.
    The Weather Channel
    Topeka, Kan., July 4. - Two men, one an involuntary passenger, had a narrow escape from death when they fell from a burning balloon here Tuesday. As... Read MORE...

  • News  1917 - June 5 - Residents near Topeka KS reported disk-shaped hailstones six to ten inches in diameter, and two to three inches thick. The hailstorm was accompanied by a tornado.
    The Weather Channel
    June 5, 1917
    Topeka, Kan., Dec. 26. - (UP) - When a five-room bungalow was hurled into the air and scattered into bits by a gas explosion here Christmas day, two... Read MORE...

  • 1931 - January 5 - 1st woman to purchase a baseball team Lucille Thomas purchases Topeka franchise in the Western League
  • 1953 - November 15 - WIBW TV channel 13 in Topeka, KS (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 - May 17 - Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reversed 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy Vs Ferguson decision
  • News  1966 - June 8 - Topeka, Kansas is devastated by a tornado that registers as an "F5" on the Fujita Scale: the first to exceed US$100 million in damages. Sixteen people are killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.
    June 8, 1966

Topeka, Kansas, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 5/16/2019 3:20:40 PM

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