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Topeka, Kansas History

1838 First use by an American Fur Company caravan of the Kansas crossing in present Topeka area.

1842 Joseph and Louis Papin arrived and were probably the first white settlers at what is now Topeka. Papin's Ferry operated at the "Topeka" crossing of the Kansas (Kaw) River on the Oregon- California Trail until 1857 when a bridge was constructed.

1852 Smith's Kansas river ferry established at a site a few miles above Papin's "Topeka" ferry.

1854 Topeka was founded by five antislavery activists.

1854 Col. Cyrus K. Holliday came to "Topeka, Kansas Territory." Holliday was a founder of Topeka and promoter of the Sante Fe Railroad.

1855 A freestate constitution was framed in Topeka. It did not receive serious consideration in Congress.

1861 Topeka became the state capitol. Topeka was probably chosen for its promiximity to trails (Oregon Trail, Smoky Hill Trail) and water (Kaw (Kansas) River)

1866--Construction begins on the State Capitol building at Topeka.

1879 The first telephone switchboard was used in Topeka.

1880's--Topeka passed through a great real estate boom and the population of the Capital City more than doubled.

1887 The Rock Island Railroad line stretched westward from Topeka early in 1887.

1897 In the place of sermons or civic service or crusading leagues, Charles M. Sheldon (1857-1946), a congregational pastor in Topeka, wrote a novel: In His Steps, first published in 1897 and reprinted or serialized innumerable times thereafter.

1903--State Capitol at Topeka is completed.

September 1908 five men were arrested in Topeka for playing checkers on Sunday.

1914 The Memorial Building at 120 W. 10th in Topeka was completed at a cost of more than $600,000. Most of the money came from the federal government in settlement of Civil War claims.

1917 Over 15,000 children attended Governor Arthur Capper's birthday party at Garfield Park in Topeka on July 14.

1954--Construction begins on the nine million dollar State Office Building in Topeka.

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