Skip to main content

Cyrus K. Holliday Papers

Call Number: RH MS 1182


This collection consists of two diaries belonging to Cyrus K. Holliday, who was one of the founders of Topeka, Kansas and the first president of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. It also includes papers belonging to his daughter, Lillie H. Kellam.


  • Creation: 1854 - 1934


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Cyrus K. Holliday

Cyrus K. Holliday (April 3, 1826 – March 29, 1900) The son of David and Mary (Kennedy) Holliday, he was born in Kidderminster, Pa. He was the first president of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and a railroad director for nearly 40 years. He became involved with railway companies in Meadville Pa. After earning a law degree from Allegheny College, he prepared legal documentation for a new railroad line in exchange for a partnership in the railroad.

He married Mary Dillon Jones. They had two children, Lillie and Charles King. In 1854 Holliday travelled ahead of his family and settled in Kansas. He is most well known as one of the founders of Topeka, Kansas.

In 1855 Holliday received the honorary title of Colonel for his role in the Wakarusa War. He served in the state Senate in 1861 and was Adjutant General of Kansas during the Civil War. Holliday is buried in Topeka Cemetery in Topeka, Kansas.


.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Included in this collection is a report card belonging to Lille Holliday signed by her parents, a letter from the Kansas State Historical Society to Mrs. Lillie Holliday Kellam about her father's papers, and two diaries belonging to Cyrus K. Holliday. One diary is in a tri-fold enclosure with a pencil. It is 37 pages long and dated 1854-1855. This diary includes a record of his founding the city of Topeka. He discusses becoming a squatter, working with the Governor to locate the Capitol at Topeka, elections in Kansas Territory and voting problems, political crimes against the Governor, and Holliday's trip to found the city of Topeka. The second diary is 10 pages long and dated 1872-1877. In this diary Holliday lists his stock assets and details money furnished for a family trip to Europe.

Physical Location

RH MS 1182

Guide to the Cyrus K. Holliday Collection
Cyrus K. Holliday Papers
Finding aid prepared by tw, 2010; Finding aid encoded by tw, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Cyrus K. Holliday Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1182, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States