- STAFF0RD (44 miles west of Hutchinson)
This wheat belt town on the Missouri Pacific's Larned branch bears
the same name as the county in which it is located. Stafford is generally
reputed to have been the name of an Army general prominent in Kansas'
early days but it is not known if this town derived its name from the
county or vice versa.
- STERLING (166 miles northwest of Wichita)
Founded in 1872 by representatives of a company known as the
Agricultural Colony of Kansas, this Rice County community was originally
known as "Peace." Four years later, when the town was incorporated,
the name was changed to Sterling. No information is available as to the
origin of either the original or present name. Agriculture is the principal
industry of the surrounding area and the town also is adjacent to oil
fields and extensive salt mines. Its Sterling College, originally Cooper
Memorial College, was founded in 1887.
- STILWELL (32 miles southwest of Kansas City)
The founders of this farming community in Johnson County were three
enterprising Irishmen, Jack Larkin, Mike Kelly and Mike O'Keefe, who
bought the original townsite and sold it in lots to early settlers. Stilwell
was named for the conductor of one of the first Missouri Pacific trains
that ran through the town.
- STOCKTON (95 miles west of Concordia)
The occupation of its early settlers inspired the name of this town in
Rooks County. They were livestock men so this was a "stock" town that
became "Stockton" when the "w" was dropped to shorten the name.
Livestock raising, along with wheat farming, is still an important industry
in the area surrounding Stockton. More recently Rooks County has
been the scene of considerable oil discoveries.
- TOPEKA (60 miles west of Kansas City)
The capital of Kansas and seat of Shawnee County is an important
industrial city as well as the center of state and county government. Its
name was derived from an Indian word, "Ta-pa-ge," the exact meaning
of which is a subject of debate. Some say it means "a place where
Indians grow potatoes abundantly" others interpret it as "noisy" or
It is believed the first white settlers on the site of Topeka were Joseph
and Louis Papan who arrived in 1842, married Kaw Indian half-breeds
and operated a ferry across the Kansas (Kaw) River. (Charles Curtis,
former vice-president of the United States, was a descendant of Louis
A branch of the Oregon Trail crossed the river here and during the
California gold rush approximately 90,000 "forty-niners" passed
through, making a continual encampment of approximately 1,000
people near the present site of Topeka. In 1854, after the Kansas
territory was opened for settlement, the town was laid out and settled,
largely through the efforts and leadership of Cyrus K. Holliday. When
Kansas was admitted to the Union, Topeka became the capital.
Topeka's strategic location, excellent transportation and abundant
natural resources have brought about a substantial and diversified industrial
development, including flour mills; printing and publishing houses;
meat, poultry and egg packing plants; railroad shops, foundries and
ironworks. Among the local manufactures are creamery products, trusses,
tires, tents, awnings, dresses, serum and medicines, baskets and
boxes, steel fixtures, culverts, tanks and steel jetties.
Points of interest in Topeka, in addition to the Capitol, State Hospital
and other state institutions, include Washburn Municipal University,
Bethany College, Federal Building, Grace Church Cathedral, Capper
mansion, executive mansion, Gage Park and the "Underground Rail-
road Station," which was a link in the escape route for negro slaves
before the War Between the States.
Outstanding events in Topeka's yearly calendar include the State High
School Basketball Tournament, the Mexican Fiesta, Community Fourth
of July Celebration at Gage Park, Kansas Free Fair, Civic Concert
Series and the Community Christmas Tree festival.
- TORONTO (82 miles east of Wichita)
Pioneer settlers who reached this area from Toronto, Canada, brought
with them the name of the older city and transplanted it at their new
home in Woodson County, Kansas. This was in 1868, 13 years ahead of