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Topeka, Kansas

Topeka, Kansas

On December 5, 1854, nine men made the wintry trek from the tent city of Lawrence to a small log cabin on the banks of the Kansas River. Huddled in the cold before a smoky fire, this group of men founded a town which was to play a major role in the "Bleeding Kansas" territory and later become the new state's capital.

"Bleeding Kansas" in the 1850s has been called a prelude to the Civil War which would follow in the next decade. Topekans such as John Ritchie battled for the abolition of slavery as Kansas approached statehood. His home became a meeting place for the free-state faction and a station on the underground.

In 1862, there was not a mile of railroad on operation in the entire state of Kansas. By 1872, just ten years later, Kansas boasted more miles of track than any of the other 26 states, and Topeka was a major hub. The Union Pacific Railroad rolled into Topeka from Kansas City on January 1, 1866. In 1868, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway was born. Among the notable people who passed through the station were Ulysses S. Grant, Gen. Philip Sheridan, Russian Grand Duke Alexis, and Kansas' favorite son, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Carrie Nation called Topeka home for a time. She supported herself from sales of her newspaper, "The Smashers Mail " which she printed in Topeka.

The Episcopal Church established the College of the Sisters of Bethany in 1860, and Washburn University originally started in 1865 as a Congregational College.

When Karl Menninger received his medical degree, he came home to join his father and the Menninger Clinic was born. It is known as the world leader in mental health treatment and research.

From its beginning, Topeka has played a major role in government, transportation and health care. This strong tradition is still alive today. Topeka is a city with a colorful past which points to an even more exciting future.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Jayhawk State Theatre of Kansas

On August 11, 1925, E.H. Crosby of the Crosby Brothers Company made the first announcement of his plans to provide the capital city of Kansas with a modern theatre. The Jayhawk Theatre opened its doors on August, 1926. Placed on the national register of historic places in 1974

Topeka, KS Historic Theatres

Washburn University

Established in 1865, Washburn University is one of Topeka's greatest assets and is the only municipal university in the nation. The 160

Topeka, KS Colleges

Topeka High School

Designed by Topeka architect Thomas W. Williamson, Topeka High School was completed in 1931 at a cost of over one million dollars. Today, it is one of the city's most distinguished landmarks. The mast spar from "Old Ironsides" can be seen on the east lawn of the school.

Topeka, KS Architecture

Kansas Expocentre

The Kansas Expocentre sits in the heart of Topeka and thrives with meetings, conventions, concerts, trade shows and special events. Home to Cider Days, championship rodeos and the Shawnee County Fair, the Expocentre is a multi-purpose facility which features over 200,000

Topeka, KS Venues

Potwin Place

Looking for a scenic drive? View beautiful Victorian homes of the late 1800s situated along brick streets where islands of greenery circle each intersection point in the National Historic District known as Potwin Place. Each Christmas, special decorations can be viewed.

Topeka, KS Tours

Things to do near Topeka, KS

Lamont Hill Resort

Course Access: ResortHoles: 9Reserve Advance Tee Times: 3 days...

Lawrence Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 7 days...

Hunting at Perry Reservoir

Perry Lake has approximately 21,600 acres of public land managed for wildlife. Turkey, deer, quail, pheasant, rabbit, squirre...