Topeka, the capitol of Kansas, can be found near the geographic center of the United States, and is the third largest city in Kansas. Topeka has the distinction of being a recreation, leisure activities, shopping, education, and medical services hub for the northeastern corner of the state. As with cities in other Great Plains states, Topeka owes its origins and development largely to overland transportation. But more than geography explained the city's development. The nine men who jointly founded Topeka on December 5, 1854, shared a desire to profit from town lot speculation, and a bias against slavery spreading on the Great Plains. As a result, Topeka came to represent the free-state side in the violence which made Kansas the prologue to the Civil War. The current population of Topeka is approximately 123,000, and it is located 971 feet above sea level. Its major industries are Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Frito-Lay, Hallmark Cards and Payless Shoesource.