Topeka, Kansas

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Topeka, Kansas
Downtown Topeka skyline from Burnett's Mound
Downtown Topeka skyline from Burnett's Mound
Coordinates: Coordinates: 39°03′N 95°41′W / 39.050°N 95.683°W / 39.050; -95.683
CountryUnited States
FoundedDecember 5, 1854
IncorporatedFebruary 14, 1857[1]
 • MayorBill Bunten (Republican)[2]
 • City ManagerNorton Bonaparte Jr.[3]
 • Total61.46559 sq mi (159.1958781 km2)
 • Land60.1675 sq mi (155.833825 km2)
 • Water1.29809 sq mi (3.3620531 km2)
945 ft (288 m)
 • Total127,473
 • Density2,236.3/sq mi (863.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)

Topeka (pronounced /tə-pē'kə/)[6] is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas. Topeka is the county seat of Shawnee County, and is in the northeast part of the state. Topeka had 127,473 people at the 2010 census.[7]

Topeka was established in 1854 when nine white men founded the Topeka Town Association.[1][8] At an election in November 1861, the people of Kansas chose Topeka as the permanent capital of the state.[9]

Naming history[change | change source]

The name Topeka is made up of three words from the Kaw, Omaha, and Iowa Native American tribes. The first, to, means "potato". The second, pe (short for pekae) is an adjective meaning "good". The third, okae, means "to dig". Thus, the name Topeka means "a good place to dig potatoes".[10] The name was chosen because "[i]t was a novel name of Indian origin, euphonious [pleasing] of sound and simple".[11]

History and culture[change | change source]

Charles Sheldon and Charles Fox Parham, both important people in the history of American Christianity, were preachers in Topeka. Many historians believe that the modern Pentecostalism movement started in Monroe's church in 1901. Sheldon was a preacher in Topeka around the same time, who is famous for coming up with the phrase "What would Jesus do?"[12]

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a lawsuit that went before the United States Supreme Court in 1954. Several families sued the public school board in Topeka for the right for black students to go to the same schools as white students. The Supreme Court decided that school districts could not make students go to different schools because of their race. Today, the government has a museum in Topeka about Brown v. Board of Education and civil rights for African-Americans.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "History & Landmarks of Topeka". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved March 14, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  2. "City of Topeka - Mayor of Topeka". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved March 11, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  3. "City of Topeka - Office of the City Manager". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved March 11, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  4. "American FactFinder". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved March 13, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  5. "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Kansas' 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved March 11, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  6. The Tormont Webster's Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary. United States of America: Tormont Publications Inc. 1990. p. 918. ISBN 2921171325. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  7. "Topeka (city) Quick Facts from the U.S. Census Bureau". Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  8. "Papan Ferry History, Topeka, Kansas". 2010 [last update]. Retrieved March 13, 2011. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  9. Arnold, Anna Estelle (1914). A history of Kansas. State of Kansas. p. 215. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  10. Giles, Frye William (1886). Thirty years in Topeka: a historical sketch. G. W. Crane & Co. pp. 54, 55. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  11. Rydjord, John (1968). Indian place-names: their origin, evolution, and meanings, collected in Kansas from the Siouan, Algonquian, Shoshonean, Caddoan, Iroquoian, and other tongues. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 155.
  12. Alan F. Bearman and Jennifer L. Mills 2009. "Adapting Christianity to the Challenges of the American West", Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, 32(106)