Topeka, Kansas

The fountain in Topeka was initially a battle of wills between Lewis Seaver and the residents of North Topeka. The residents wanted the fountain to be placed at the intersection of Gordon Street and Kansas Avenue. Mr. Seaver informed Mayor Green and other civic leaders that the intersection wasn't big enough to have 40 feet open around the fountain without the wagons the horses would be pulling ending up on the nearby train tracks. He said that the only suitable site would be his recommended sit on Quincy Street, but that even there the city would have to remove some additional tracks.

 The city acquiesced to Seaver and the fountain was placed in the middle of the street between Quincy and Sixth Street on August 5, 1907. Mayor Green was able to have a light added to the top of the fountain as a safety measure as he was concerned about night traffic around the fountain. One side note is that it was said that Ensign's father had once lived in Topeka.

Over the years, as with many other fountains, Topeka's  became a traffic hazard and was removed in 1929. It stood in front of a sanitary sewage facility for a while and reports suggest other sites as well. Over time, the lions heads disappeared as did the Ensign plaque which was part of every fountain given out. During the 1970s was moved to the Topeka Round-Up Club's facilities on S.W. 37th Street. but they never got around to restoring it.

In 2000,the Round-Up Club donated the fountain to the residents of the Holliday Park area to be restored and remounted with the new plaque seen here. As with Derby, CT the fountain is surrounded by a brick plaza for which residents purchased personalized bricks that helped to pay for the costs of restoration.

For more on the National Humane Alliance Fountains click here.


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