Literature > Periodicals > North Topeka Times
North Topeka Times
(Topeka, Kansas)

The first Volga Germans arrived in Topeka on 28 November 1875 and articles about them began appearing in Topeka's papers on 2 December 1875.

 
1875-12-03 (Friday)
Three hundred Mennonites* direct from Northern Russian, arrived in this city Sunday. They are a hardy healthy looking set of people and have not as yet, we believe, settled on a location. They bring considerable ready cash along, which is a necessary commodity for every on to have.
[*Volga Germans mistakenly identified as Mennonites, who had been through Topeka earlier in the year.]

 
1875-12-03 (Friday) The Mennonites* have rented the large three-story building on the corner of fifth and Kansas Avenue, where they lodge and sleep and sleep in lodge. It is probable they will remain in the city all winter.
[*Volga Germans mistakenly identified as Mennonites, who had been through Topeka earlier in the year.]

 
1875-12-10 (Friday morning)
The Russians still occupy the large three story building on Kansas Avenue, lately known as the Topeka House. They will leave for their future home on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, as soon as a definite location is selected. These people are not Mennonites. They are catholics, they are from Russia, but their religion and their habits are widely different from the Mennonites. Both classes are industrious and economical, and will add largely to the development of the agricultural resources of Kansas.

 
1875-12-17 (Friday)
A portion of the great Mennonite* family are moving into an unoccupied building on the other side of the river, today. They employ no teams, but with Geo. Martin's state printing House handcart, move all their heavier articles of furniture.
[*Volga Germans mistakenly identified as Mennonites, who had been through Topeka earlier in the year.]

 
1875-12-31 (Friday)
    Our Russian friends are becoming useful, as well as ornamental, and several are to be seen, perambulating through the city ornamented with saw-bucks and axes, in quest of lucretive employment. It is evidently a business they are acquainted with, and from the manner in which they go at it would appear that they desire to be called other than beggars and thieves.
    The Russians are examining all the houses in the city with a view to purchasing, but when every one of them wants a good wagon and harnes thrown in, consequently Russian are a "Drug on the Market".

 
1876-01-07 (Friday)
    One of the Russian brethen received a vigorous kick from a horse on Saturday, which will cause Mr. Russian to keep company with his family for a few days. He was trying to curry the animal's legs with a monkey wrench.
    Two of the Russians were arrested on Friday for fast driving, and taken before the police judge, who fined them $4.50 a piece. They expostulated, raved and swore, but it was money the judge was after, and nothing else would satisfy him. The adlpose Russians paid the money under protest.

 
1876-01-14 (Friday)
The Russians are slowly accumalating a respectable herd of horses, and if spring "opens out" without a blotch on her fair name, they will have enough United States grease on every coat to make a common army kettle full of soap.

 
1876-02-11 (Friday)
The large party of Mennonites* who passed down the Santa Fe road about two months since, have bought lands in Ellis County, on the line of teh Kansas Pacific Railroad, and are to settle there with their families. Yesterday Mr. Roddleheimer, the land agent of the K.P. company received a large package of letters with instructions to forward them to Russia. The laws of the Russian government are so strict in regard to emigrants in leaving that country, that did the postal officials see those letters postmarked the United States, they would destroy them thinking they were letters from this country importuning relatives and friends there to leave the country. Mr. Roddleheimer will forward the letters to the German agent of the Kansas Pacific company at Hamburg, and from there they will be forwarded to their destination.
[*Volga Germans mistakenly identified as Mennonites, who had been through Topeka the year before.]

 
1876-02-18 (Friday)
The Russians have lately lost several horses by theft. The next day a dozen of them mount, and armed with shotguns, scour the country for several miles, but they always return in the evening minus horses and thieves. As detectives they are far from being a success.

 
1876-02-25 (Friday)
A large body of Russians went west on the Kansas Pacific on Tuesday, for their homes in Ellis County. They were shipped as live stock - in cattle cars.

 
1876-03-10 (Friday)
It appears that the Russians did not all get away as expected. There are still about one hundred in the city. They say that they will leave for their new homes in Ellis and other western counties soon. They have spent several thousand dollars in Topeka, for horses, cattle, wagons and supplies. In this light these people have benefited the country, and we predict that in time they will rank among the thrifty farmers of teh state, and contribute their share toward the development of its resources.

 
1876-07-27 (Friday)
A full grown Mennonite* can take more comfort in standing by an watching his wife pump a pail of water than any professional loafer we ever saw.
[*Volga Germans mistakenly identified as Mennonites, who had been through Topeka the year before.]

 
1876-08-10 (Thursday)
    Seven car loads of Russians arrived on the K.P. road from the East Tuesday evening, numbering about five hundred souls. The train stopped at the North Topeka depot about half an hour, during which time there was "running to an dfro and hurrying in hot haste" by a few dozen of Russians still remaining here. Everything seemed to be in pell mell for a few moments. The women would grab up a sack of flour or a bag of potatoes and put on their shoulder, and run to the depot with the rapidity of a deer. The train moved West and it is hoped these new comers will find pleasant homes on our wide-spread prairies.
    The young army of Russians which for some weeks have been quartered in the two-story frame house, corner of Kansas Ave. and Curtis street, is now being distributed in different places throughout the city, as it was feared there would be much sickness among them if allowed to remain in such cramped up quarters.

 
1876-08-17
The russians have bought up a large number of horses within the past week.

 
1876-10-06
The Russians in our midst now find employment in the corn fields at good wages.

 
1876-11-17
Several Russians lately residing here have packed up and gone west by the K.P. road.

 
1876-11-24
    A great many of the Russians hanging about North Topeka are possessed of a fine education. The speak their own language, German, Latin and are rapidly acquiring a knowledge of the English.
    The Russian women in North Topeka go down to the brink of the river and wash their clothes while the murcury stands a little above the freezing point.

 
1876-12-01
    Quite a number of citizens of North Topeka appear to be doing a Russian business.

 
1876-12-08
The Russians walk up and down the banks of the river and pick up brush which they use for fuel. It is remarkable how fat the Russians in the vicinity of North Topeka can keep on the small amount of provisions they buy.

 
1876-12-29
The large number of Russians scattered throughout North Topeka appeared to be gloriously happy on Monday night. They "danced all night till broad daylight," and "- went to bed in the morning."

 
Some of the Russians employ their time in husking corn for the farmers.

 
1877-02-09
The Russians quartered in Topeka are inveterate smokers, and they seldom, if ever, bjy any tobacco. They travel the streets from morning till night and pick up all the cigar stumps that have been thrown out and swept into the gutter. Whenever one picks up a stump he "puts it in his pipe and smokes it".

 
1877-03-16
North Topeka boasts of a population of about 1500 inhabitants nearly 150 of whom are Russians.

 
1877-04-06
The Russians are cleaning away all the underbrush about here and using it for firewood. Several of the Russians who have been stopping in North Topeka during the winter are employed as section hands on the K.P. railway.

 
1877-05-25
    One of the Russians - Mr. Johannes Byexjuborfgsuszg - while fishing drift wood out of the raging Kaw [River] above the bridge last Sunday, fell in and immediately went under. Coming up his head came in contact with a log and a lot of loose drift and he had hard work in getting his head out of water. However, when he came up, being a good swimmer he succeded in reaching Terre firma, but his escape from a watery grave was a miraculous one.
    It took three or four Russians nearly all day to clean out the dust and dirt which had settled on the floor of D. Landecker's store room, during the time it was closed up.

 
1877-09-21
The Moscuvites have a "soft thing" on getting their winter's supply of wood from the drift at the railroad bridge. Thousands of cords still remain to be taken away.

 
1877-09-28
The Russians are having a steady job cutting corn.

 
1877-10-19
Several of the Russians quartered in North Topeka have been wrestling with A. Gue.

 
1877-11-02
About 300 Russian Mennonites left Berlin on the 9th for the United States, Kansas we presume, is to be their stopping place.

 
1878-03-08
Some of the pipes smoked by the Russians in North Topeka emit a stink strong enough to run a powerful engine.

 
1878-05-17
If it should happen that you should stick to a Russian, don't be surprised! F.W. Baker & Co have just opened five or six hogsheads of sugar.

 
1879-10-17
The river is now very low, and the Russians and colored men are gathering lots of fire-wood that is lodged along the shore during the past season.

 
Last updated 11 March 2009.