) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat and most populous city of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. The population was 122,377 at the 2000 census, and it was estimated to be 122,647 in the 2007 census. The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had an estimated population of 226,268 in the year 2003. Three ships of the US Navy have been named USS
means "to dig good potatoes" in the languages of the Kansa and the Ioway. The potato referred to is the prairie potato, Psoralea esculenta, a perennial herb which is an important food for many Native Americans. As a placename,
was first recorded in 1826 as the Kansa name for what is now called the Kansas River. Topeka's founders chose the name in 1855 because it "was novel, of Indian origin and euphonious of sound."
The city, laid out in 1854, was one of the Free-State towns founded by Eastern antislavery men immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. In 1857, Topeka was chartered as a city.
Topeka is located at . Topeka is in north east Kansas at the intersection of I-70 and U.S. Highway 75. It is the origin of I-335 which is a portion of the Kansas Turnpike running from Topeka to Emporia, Kansas. Topeka is also located on U.S. Highway 24 and U.S. Highway 40. 40 is coincident with I-70 west from Topeka.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.0 square miles (147.6 km²), of which 56.0 square miles (145.1 km²) is land and 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²), or 1.70%, is water.