Auburn is a city in Shawnee County, Kansas, United States. It is part of the Topeka, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,121 at the 2000 census.
In July 1854, Mr. John W. Brown came to this area and found it highly suitable for a homestead. He acquired 800 acres (3.2 km2) through bartering with local Indians. He built a large brick farmhouse and later returned home to Missouri to tell his family and friends about the area. Some returned with him. In 1856, Mr. Brown along with M. C. Dickey, Loring Farnsworth and Henry Fox pre-empted 320 acres (1.3 km2) for the purpose of a town. They christened it Brownsville, although the name was changed in the 1860s due to the fact there was another previously established Brownsville, Kansas. This was before the introduction of postal codes. It was located on the California Road and work began at once on the many buildings needed in a town of Brownsville's size. Two daily stage lines brought mail and people to the town and business was very good.
Robert Simmerwell was a missionary to the Indians in Auburn. He originally served as a missionary among the Pottawatomie Indians in Michigan Territory, while he apprenticed to a blacksmith and attended school at night. He later came to the Baptist Shawnee Mission on Pottawatomie Creek in eastern Kansas. In 1848 the government set up a new mission a few miles west of Topeka. In a three-story stone building with twelve rooms, boys and girls were given instruction in the manual arts, as well as in reading, writing, arithmetic, and religious subjects. In the fall of 1854, he and his wife had retired from active work in the Pottawatomie Mission, to homestead on 160 acres (0.6 km2)southwest of the town.