Tecumseh, Kansas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Unincorporated community
Main part of Tecumseh. Church and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library bookmobile stop and book drop-off box to the left. United States Postal Service office to the right.
Main part of Tecumseh. Church and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library bookmobile stop and book drop-off box to the left. United States Postal Service office to the right.
Tecumseh is located in Kansas
Location within the state of Kansas
Coordinates: 39°2′53″N 95°34′45″W / 39.04806°N 95.57917°W / 39.04806; -95.57917Coordinates: 39°2′53″N 95°34′45″W / 39.04806°N 95.57917°W / 39.04806; -95.57917
Country United States
State Kansas
County Shawnee
Township Tecumseh
Elevation[1] 912 ft (278 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 66542
Area code(s) 785
FIPS code 20-70075 [1]
GNIS feature ID 478796 [1]

Tecumseh is an unincorporated community situated along the Kansas River in eastern Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the central United States of America. It is part of the Topeka, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Although official populations are not compiled for unincorporated places, the population of the surrounding Tecumseh Township was 7,822 in the 2000 census. Both the town and township are named for the famous Shawnee chief.[2][3]


Tecumseh dates from the 1850s when Thomas Stinson settled in the area and had a townsite platted by September 1, 1854.[2] It was settled by prosouthern (today commonly, but incorrectly called proslavery)[citation needed] partisans in the turbulent days when Kansas was a territory. For a time it served as the prosouthern capital of the territory and prospered, even having a newspaper. The town's post office opened in March 1855.[4]

Once the northern/southern political issues were settled at the beginning of the Civil War, the village rapidly declined, and it survived as a mere ghost of itself for the next ninety years. In 1886 the brick courthouse was sold for $500 and removed.[2] Construction of the Kansas Power & Light Co. power plant in 1924 and 1925 and establishment of the Du Pont cellophane plant east of town created a renaissance of sorts.[2] As the state capital of Topeka grew in the 1950s, Tecumseh again started to grow, this time as a suburb of Topeka. The old townsite grew and numerous suburban housing subdivisions developed in the vicinity.

Today the town includes a public school (part of USD 450), a church, a post office, a large electrical generating plant and a cellophane factory. It no longer boasts any shops, however.


Tecumseh is located at 39°02′53″N 95°34′45″W / 39.04806°N 95.57917°W / 39.04806; -95.57917 (39.0480558, -95.5791453),[1] in Section 36, Township 11 south, Range 16 east. It is situated south of the Kansas River between Tecumseh Creek to the east and Stinson Creek to the west. Contained entirely within Tecumseh Township, it is about 2 miles east of the Topeka city limits.[5] U.S. Route 40 passes the south side of Tecumseh. A BNSF rail line—running between Lawrence and Topeka—passes north of the town between it and the river.


  1. ^ a b c d "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bird, Roy D.; Douglass W. Wallace (1976). Robert W. Richmond & Joseph W. Snell, ed. Witness of the Times: A History of Shawnee County. Topeka, Kansas: Shawnee County Historical Society. pp. 351–352. ISBN 0-916934-03-9. 
  3. ^ Heim, Michael (2007). Exploring Kansas Highways. p. 49. 
  4. ^ "Kansas Post Offices Database". Kansas State Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-02-09.  Containing information taken from Baughman, Robert W. Kansas Post Offices, May 29, 1828–August 3, 1961. Kansas Postal History Society. 
  5. ^ "KDOT County Maps". 1994. Retrieved 2008-02-09.