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History

The area now known as Shawnee County was inhabited by American Indians, mainly of the Kansas and Pottowatomie tribes, until the mid-1800s. Westward expansion brought the country its first white settler in 1830 when Frederick Choteau opened a trading post on American Chief (now Mission) Creek. In 1855, Shawnee became one of the first counties established by the Kansas territorial legislature with a population of 250. That year also saw the first ever meeting of the Shawnee County Board of Commissioners. Tecumseh was the first county seat, and the first county courthouse was opened there in 1856. The building was 40x50 feet but was never finished. Topeka was made the county seat by popular vote in 1858, and a new courthouse was built at 4th Street and Kansas Avenue in 1867. In 1896, a new larger courthouse was constructed at 5th and Van Buren, with more than 50,000 residents then living in the county. That building remained in use until the current courthouse at 7th and Quincy opened in 1965.

Townships:

Shawnee County is comprised of 12 townships. The townships are governed by three-member elected boards consisting of a trustee, a treasurer and a clerk. The Townships in Shawnee County are Auburn, Dover, Grove, Menoken, Mission, Monmouth, Rossville, Silver Lake, Soldier, Tecumseh, Topeka and Williamsport.

Facts

You can find excellent information from the US Census Bureau in their State and County QuickFacts pages about both Shawnee County and Topeka.

Land Area (sq. mi.)

Shawnee County: 552
Topeka: 58

Population

Shawnee County 172,6351
City of Topeka 122,0082

Climate

Average daily Temperature
January: 26 Degrees
April: 54 Degrees
July: 78 Degrees
October: 57 Degrees

Average Annual Precipitation: 33 Inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 21 Inches

City, Town & Village Data

Name Est. Elev. Pop. Zip
Auburn   1080 908 66402
Belmont   900   67068
Berryton   990   66409
Cullen Village   1057    
Dover   1025   66420
Elmont   997    
Grove   937   66846
Highland Park 1854 970 942  
Kiro   902    
Mathews Park   1015    
Menoken   897    
North Topeka   878    
Oakland   870    
Pauline   1025   66619
Richland   925    
Rossville 1871 930 1052 66533
Silver Lake 1868 911 1390 66539
Spencer   866    
Tecumseh 1852 920   66542
Terra Heights   1030    
Topeka 1854 1000 122,0082 66601*
Valencia   910    
Wakarusa 1858 955   66546
Watson   1090    
Willard   930 110  

1 U.S. Census 2005 Est. 2 U.S. Census 2003 Est.