Look Up, Topeka! A Walking Tour of Topeka, Kansas
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Cyrus K. Holliday arrived in Kansas Territory in 1854 from Pennsylvania with a sack full of money and a dream to build a railroad. Holliday rounded up eight investors who established the Topeka Town Association, taking the name from a Kansa Indian term for digging good prairie potatoes. The budding railroad moguls selected a location where a branch of the Oregon Trail crossed the Kansas River.
The anchor for the railroad grew rapidly and the population was 600 by the time the territorial legislature incorporated the town in 1857. Topeka was the largest free-state community in “Bloody Kansas” in the years before the Civil War and got the nod as the temporary capital. When Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state in 1861, Topeka got the permanent job as state capital.