Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Topeka from Philip's Encyclopedia

State capital of Kansas, USA, on the River Kansas, 90km (55mi) W of Kansas City. Founded by settlers from New England in 1854, it became the state capital in 1861. Topeka is a major transport centre for cattle and wheat. Industries: printing, rubber goods, steel products, footwear. Pop. (2000) 122,377.


Summary Article: Topeka
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(təpē'kə), city (1990 pop. 119,883), state capital and seat of Shawnee co., NE Kans., on the Kansas River; inc. 1857. In a rich agricultural region, it is an important shipping point for cattle and wheat and a wholesaling, marketing, and processing center for farm products. There are insurance businesses, grain mills, meatpacking houses, large railroad repair shops, and plants that make tires and rubber products. A ferry was established there in 1842 on the Oregon Trail. The city was laid out in 1854 by Free State settlers from Lawrence and New England and was founded as the center for C. K. Holliday's projected railroad (the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe). A short-lived Free State constitution was framed in the city in 1855. Topeka was selected state capital when Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861. The capitol is designed after the one in Washington, D.C. A city of broad, tree-shaded streets, Topeka has the museum and library of the state historical society, the Mulvane Art Museum, the state library, a notable Episcopal cathedral, a zoo, and a park system that includes the Reinisch Rose Garden. It is the seat of Washburn Univ. During the 20th cent. Topeka was an important city for psychiatric research and therapy; the world famous Menninger Clinic, a treatment center for mental illness, was there from 1919 to 2003.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles


Full text Article Topeka
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

39 02N 95 41W A city in the USA, the capital of Kansas on the Kansas River. An agricultural trading and processing centre, Topeka is famous...

Full text Article Topeka
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary

\tə-pē-kə\ City, of Kansas and county seat of Shawnee co., NE Kansas, on Kansas River 55 mi. (88 km.) W of Kansas City; pop....

Full text Article Topeka, USA
Penguin Encyclopedia of Places

State cap. of Kansas on the Kansas R. 96 km (60 miles) W of Kansas City. Pop. (1990) 119,883. Industrial and commercial centre in an...

See more from Credo