The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Topeka
TOPEKA, a city and the capital of Kansas, county seat of Shawnee co., situated on both banks of the Kansas river, here spanned by a fine iron bridge, 45 m. S. W. of Leavenworth and 300 m. W. of St. Louis; pop. in 1860, 759; in 1870, 5,790; in 1875, 7,272. The streets are wide and regularly laid out. The city is remarkably well built. The state house is a magnificent building. A site has been purchased by the United States government for a public building, and a state asylum for the insane is in course of construction about 2 m. W. of the state house. The surrounding country is very fertile and contains deposits of coal. The trade of Topeka is large and rapidly increasing. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé and the Kansas Pacific railroads afford communication with the east and with Colorado and Texas. The river furnishes good water power. The chief manufacturing establishments are three flouring mills, a rolling mill, a foundery and machine shop, two breweries, a broom factory, and several manufactories of carriages and wagons, and harness and saddlery. There are two national banks, two state banks, two loan and trust companies, and three building and savings associations. The public schools have accommodations for 2,000 pupils, and comprise a high school and seven schools of inferior grades. Other prominent institutions of learning are Washburn college (Congregational), for both sexes; an Episcopal theological seminary; and the colleges of the sisters of Bethany (Episcopal) and sisters of charity (Roman Catholic), for females. The Topeka library association has about 2,000 volumes. Three daily and four weekly newspapers are published. There are 23 religious societies, viz.: 3 Baptist, 1 Christian, 3 Congregational, 1 Episcopal, 1 Jewish, 2 Lutheran (1 Swedish), 4 Methodist (1 German), 3 Presbyterian, 1 Roman Catholic, 1 Spiritualist, 1 Unitarian, 1 United Brethren, and 1 Universalist.—Topeka was laid out in 1854, incorporated as a city in 1857, and made the state capital in 1861.