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Shawnee County courthouse in Topeka, Kansas.  Photo by Susan Howell.
 Shawnee County Courthouse



Shawnee County

Location of Shawnee County



County Seat: Topeka
Founded: 1855
   ·  169,871 (2000)
   ·  160,976 (1990)
   ·    53,727 (1900)
Area: 550 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: SN



Map of Shawnee County, KS in 1899
Organized in 1855.  County seat Topeka.  Was carved out of what was, before the treaty of 1854, Shawnee Indian lands--hence the name.  General H. J. Strickler, of Tecumseh, who was a member of the council in 1855, and also of the joint committee on Counties, claimed Shawnee for the name of his county, a preference stoutly contended for by the Reverend Thomas Johnson for the county in which the legislature was sitting, but the committee yielded to General Strickler, and, without solicitation, complimented Mr. Johnson by conferring his own name upon his county.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Shawnee County.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Shawnee County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images Topeka, Dover, and Valencia.
There's a good history of Rossville online

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Shawnee County

  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====
        1080       1,121 Auburn           66402
         900             Belmont          67068
         990             Berryton         66409
        1057             Cullen Village
  1870  1025             Dover            66420
         997             Elmont
         937             Grove            66846
  1854   970             Highland Park
         902             Kiro
        1015             Mathews Park
         897             Menoken
         878             North Topeka
         870             Oakland
        1025             Pauline          66619
         925             Richland
  1871   930       1,014 Rossville        66533
  1868   911       1,358 Silver Lake      66539
         866             Spencer
  1852   920             Tecumseh         66542
        1030             Terra Heights
  1854  1000     122,377 Topeka           66601*
         910             Valencia
  1858   955             Wakarusa         66546
        1090             Watson
         930          86 Willard
U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts about Shawnee County

Special Places in Shawnee County

  • The Kansas State Capitol in Topeka is a beautiful building well worth visiting.  It was constructed over a period of 37 years, from 1866 to 1903.
  • The Topeka Zoo at 635 S.W. Gage Blvd., is billed as "one of the nation's finest small zoos."
  • The Topeka Computing Museum in downtown Topeka at the Jayhawk Theater is a hoot for computer people.
  • Cedar Crest (at One S.W. Cedar Crest Road, Topeka, KS 66606) was built in 1929 and is home to the governors of Kansas.  Tours, both public and private, are available--contact the tour director by letter or e-mail at



  • Brown vs Board of Education   (785) 354-4273
    National Historic Site
    424 South Kansas Avenue Suite 220, Topeka - Temporary Address
  • Combat Air Museum   (785) 862-3303
    Hanger 602, Forbes Field, Topeka, KS
    Hours: 9:00-4:30 Mon-Sat & 10:00-4:30 Sun · Admission Fee
  • Alice C. Sabatini Gallery   (785) 580-4400
    Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave, Topeka, KS 66604-1374
  • Kansas Museum of History,   Kansas State Historical Society
    6425 S. W. Sixth, Topeka, KS
    Presenting the state's history from prehistoric times to the present.
  • Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, KS
    Hours: 10:00-7:00 Tue-Wed, 10:00-4:00 Thu-Fri, 1:00-4:00 Sat-Sun
  • Museum of the Kansas National Guard   785-862-1020
    6700 S.W. Topeka Blvd, Bldg 301, Topeka, KS (at the entrance to Forbes Field)
    Hours: 10am - 4pm   Tues.-Sat.; Sunday by appointment.
  • Historic Ward-Meade Park & Botanical Gardens   (785) 368-3888
    124 N.W. Fillmore St., Topeka, KS
    Six acres of living history
  • The Heartland Orthodox Christian Museum   785-234-5993
    523 SW Van Buren Street, Topeka, KS 66603
    "...Telling the story of Greek, Lebanese, Russian, and Serbian immigrants in the heartland"
  • The Great Overland Station   785 232-5533
    701 N. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS
    PO Box 8792, Topeka, KS 66608
    Grand opening Jun 12, 2004

Shawnee County School Systems

Colleges & Universities




More Data About Shawnee County

Economic Development
  • Kansas County Profile Reports
    Statistical data from The Institute for Policy and Social Research, the University of Kansas
Health Data

Shawnee County Offices

For more about Shawnee County contact:

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Last updated on September 20, 2012 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
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