Topeka (/toʊˈpiːkə/; Kansa: Tó Pee Kuh) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County. It is along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 127,473.
The name Topeka is of uncertain Indian origin; one interpretation is “smoky hill,” and another is “a good place to dig potatoes.” The present site was chosen in 1854 by a group of antislavery colonists from Lawrence, led by Charles Robinson, a resident agent of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Cyrus K. Holliday helped to found the city.
Topeka’s economy is based on agriculture, manufacturing, and governmental services.
From 1925 to 2003 Topeka was the home of the Menninger Foundation, an outstanding psychiatric-training institution. The city is the seat of Washburn University (1865); Mulvane Art Museum is located on Washburn’s campus. Other notable attractions include the extensive and well-stocked Topeka Zoological Park and the Kansas International Museum. The State House is modeled after the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Shawnee State Fishing Lake and Perry and Clinton state parks are nearby.
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