Topeka is the capital of the US state of Kansas and has around 130,000 inhabitants. It covers an area of 147.6 km2 on the banks of the Kansas River and is the county seat of Shawnee County in the northeast of the country. Topeka is the center of a metropolitan area that includes, in addition to Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage and Wabaunsee counties.
According to iamaccepted, the town was founded in 1854 on the site of a stop on the Oregon Trail. It has been the capital of Kansas since 1861. The name Topeka means something like “well dug potatoes” in the Kansa and Ioway Indian languages. In the local prairies grows the perennial plant Psorales esculenta, similar to potatoes, which was a very important food for many Native Americans in the past. The name Topeka was first used in 1826, when the current Kansas River was designated as such. In the end, people liked the name so much that in 1855 they also used it to name the newly created town, which was officially recognized only in 1857. This Indian name was easy to remember and, moreover, it sounded very pleasant. Three US Navy ships were even named after the city – the USS Topeka.
In 1860, the city was hit by a severe drought, followed by the Civil War, which greatly slowed down its growth and development. In 1865, after the end of the war, Lincoln College – now Washington University – was founded in the city. With the arrival of 1878, a railway was introduced to the city, which connected it with other cities such as Atchinson or Santa Fe. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city experienced a huge boom in the automobile industry. In 1902, the Smith Automobile Company was founded here, but it only operated here for 10 years.
Points of interest in Topeka include the Brown vs. Board of Education. However, the dominant building of the city is the magnificent Capitol building – Kansas State Capitol with frescoes by John Steuart Curry. Here you can also see a portrait of John Brown or a statue of an Indian named Ad Astra. You will also find a number of museums here, such as the Combat Air Museum, Forbes Air Force Base or the Kansas Museum of History. The city is also surrounded by many beautiful parks, the main one being Heartland Park Topeka. Reinisch Rose Garden and Doran Rock Garden, or Ward-Meade Park Botanical Gardens have also become a sought-after resting place. There are countless animals to see at the Topeka Zoo, but the zoo is most proud of being the first place to give birth to a golden eagle in captivity.