City of Iola Pictures

Back to Map

Meat Market

Iola Square 1898

Sauer and Steyer began their meat market in 1883 on the corner of South Jefferson and Madison.  They employed five clerks and ran three wagons.

Iola Square in 1898 still was visited by covered wagons.

Electric Railroad Station

Southeast side of square 1903

Southeast side of square in 1903

Iola Electric Railroad ran trolleys along 10.5 miles of rails connecting Iola, Gas and La Harpe.  It was chartered in 1901.  The railroad operated 23 hour schedule starting at 2:30 a.m. and finishing at 1:30 a.m. the next morning.  The company did all of its own repair and rebuilding of rolling stock.

1903 in Iola

Looking east along the trolley tracks on Madison around 1903.

Gas Well on courthouse square

Allen County Commission drilled a gas well in the Courthouse Square hoping to bolster county income, but the well proved a failure and was soon capped.

View from Courthouse tower

View of the north side of square from the old courthouse tower.

Iola Fire Department

Horse drawn ladder truck of the Iola Fire Department in 1903.

C.L. "Wrecker" Melvin

St John's Hospital

St. John's Hospital in the East Lawn addition served Iola from 1904-1952.  The E.K. Taylor (founder of Gas, Kansas) home , left, was moved from Gas to serve as a residence for the sisters of St. Joseph, who operated the hospital until 1950, when Dr. F.X. Lenski bought it and ran it until the Allen County Hospital was opened in 1952.

C.L. "Wrecker" Melvin hated Demon Rum and decided to blow Iola's saloons to smithereens in 1905.  He set off dynamite and destroyed several buildings around the square, including these on West Street.

Iola Electric Park

1951 Flood

The Electric Park was built by the Iola Electric Railroad Company just east of Iola on Rock Creek in 1902.  It offered roller coasters, dancing, boating, swimming, movies and other attractions.  It collected 250,000 admissions in 1907.  Most of the fun seekers arrived and returned home by electric trolley.

The granddaddy of all floods hit Iola in July, 1951.   The water rose within half a block of the square.  You can see just the top of the Marsh Arch bridge.

New Courthouse

In 1959, the new Allen County Courthouse was completed and the 1904 landmark of the city was waiting beside it to join history's junkheap.   It was soon torn down.

Courthouse Square

An aerial view of the king-size Iola Square park makes the 1959 courthouse seem small.  The top of the picture is west.  Iola's bandstand can also be seen in the northwest corner of the square.  The Iola Municipal Band plays there every Thursday evening during the summer.  The band is thought to be the oldest in Kansas.

Courthouse Clock

Neosho River Dam

Iola took advantage of severe drought in 1936, when the river stopped running to build a new dam across the Neosho River just south of the new Marsh Arch bridge built in 1927.

Original clock from old Courthouse.  Located on the south side of the Iola Square, still in working condition.  (See picture above)

Washington Elementary School

McKinley Elementary School

Washington Elementary School, built in 1901.

McKinley Elementary School opened in 1902.

Garfield Elementary School

Jefferson Elementary School

Garfield Elementary School opened in 1903.

Jefferson Elementary School opened in 1899.

Iola High School

Iola High School was built in 1917 on Jackson Street.   It was considered to be one of the finest in Kansas.  The third floor housed the Iola Junior College from it establishment in 1923 until the college moved to its own campus in 1966.  The high school complex was remodeled and enlarged in 1990-91.

Iola Junior High

Iola Junior High School was built in 1923.

Iola Swimming Pool

The Iola Swimming Pool was one of the largest in the region when it was constructed.  It was one of several WPA projects started in the 1930s.

WPA Line

In the Great Depression the federal government provided work for the unemployed through the Works Progress Administration program which was administered here through the Soil Conservation Service.  Workers line up on South Street waiting to leave for work sites.

Pet Milk Plant

Pet Milk plant, built in 1924 operated in Iola until 1967.

Allen County Community College

The Iola Junior College was established in 1923.   Classes were conducted on the third floor of the high school building until it was decided to build a separate campus in 1966.  A $1.5 Million bond issue was passed and classes were first held in the new building in 1970.  The building was a national architectural award for excellence.  Dormitories, a technical education center and an exercise and social center were added over the years.


Return to the City of Iola, Allen County, Kansas Home Page

This site is maintained by Randy Crowell, Gas, Kansas
Posted: March 18, 1998

Back to Map

Return to Kansas Community Networks
or return to the Kansas Heritage Server.

Kansas Heritage Logo