Kansa State Seal

Time Line
Allen County, Kansas
(1803 - 1992)

Kansas Jayhawk

Kansas Sunflower

A chronology of information or interesting events and other significant information relating to the history of the county.  A Public Service Project of David C. Toland, as a candidate for Eagle Scout in the Boy Scout Troop #55, Iola, Kansas.


1855 Allen County is founded.
Cofachique is founded and named the county seat.
1857 Humboldt is founded.
Geneva is founded.
First Kansas census is taken.
German settlers arrive at Humboldt.
First Humboldt physician arrives.
1858 First school opens at Humboldt.
First church organized at Geneva (Congregational).
Carlyle is founded.
Legislature moves county seat to Humboldt.
Humboldt post office opens.
1859 Iola is founded.
Eighteen months drought began.
A constitutional convention at Wyandotte adopts a constitution for Kansas prohibiting slavery.
1860 Crops fail for want of moisture.
First regular census taken in June.  Allen County population is 3,120.
First Iola church organized (First Baptist).
1861 Congress accepts Wyandotte Constitution and on January 29th. Kansas is admitted to the Union as the 34th. state and the 19th. free state.   Population for the state is 107,000.
Civil War begins.  Allen County citizens participate in the war on the Union side.
Humboldt robbed by a band of Missouri guerrillas.  Later a body of Rebel Cavalry burn many Humboldt buildings.
Military Post is established at Humboldt.
Militia of the county is organized into a battalion known as Allen County Battalion and is composed of six companies.
U.S. Land Office is moved to Humboldt from Fort Scott.
First public school in Iola opens.
1864 First Humboldt newspaper published (Humboldt Herald).
1865 Civil War ends.
President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.
Osage Indian land treaty signed opening land for settlement and sale.
County election moves county seat to Iola.
1866 First Iola newspaper is published (Neosho Valley Register).
1869 Stone jail built county and used for 90 years.   Now it is a museum of Allen County Historical Society.
Bank is established by L.L. Northrup (Northrup National Bank).
1870 M. K. & T. Railroad line from Parsons to junction City completed to Humboldt townsite.
L. L. & G. Railroad (later Santa Fe) completed through Carlyle, Iola and Humboldt.
Bridge built across Neosho River at Humboldt.
The Sheriff is tricked by a mob that removes E.G. Dolson from the county jail and lynches him for killing his adopted son.
1871 Iola Silver Cornet Band is organized, the earliest forerunner of today's Iola Municipal Band.
1874 Grasshopper invasion of county begins in August devouring all crops.  People endure much suffering during winter for want of food.  Aid supplies obtained by going to Atchison for them.
1876 Acers Mineral Well and Hotel opened at Iola.
1879 Savonburg is founded.
Savonburg post office opens.
Humboldt High School is organized.
1881 La Harpe is founded.
Moran is founded.
Missouri Pacific Railroad Company builds line from Fort Scott through Moran and La Harpe to Iola.
President James A. Garfield is assassinated.
1882 First Moran school opens.
First church organized in Moran (Methodist Episcopal).
First Moran newspaper published.
Moran orchestra organized.
Chas. F. Scott becomes editor and one of the owners of the Iola Register, a weekly newspaper.
1885 First La Harpe church organized (Methodist).
Bank of Allen County established at Iola.
1887 M. K. & T. Railroad builds line north to south through county through Moran and Savonburg.
1888 Old Elsmore is abandoned.
Town of Elsmore is founded along side of M. K. & T. Railroad.
First Moran bank opens (Peoples Bank).
1889 First Savonburg school built.
1893 On Christmas Day at a depth of 850 feet, natural gas was first found in great volume near Iola.
1896 First zinc smelter is built.
Humboldt National Bank established.
1897 Second zinc smelter built.
The Iola Register begins publication of daily edition.
1898 City of Gas is founded.
Many producing natural gas wells drilled in the Iola - Gas - La Harpe area.  Daily production capacity ranges from 3,000,000 to 14,000,000 cubic feet per day.  Depth at which production was found varied from 810 to 990 feet.
1898 - 1910 Abundant supply of natural gas for fuel brought industries to the Iola - Gas - La Harpe area.  During this period natural gas provided fuel for six large zinc smelters, three brick plants, one portland cement plant and numerous smaller industries besides furnishing heat and light for probably three thousand private dwellings and retail operations.  These were the "Gas Boom Years".
Allen countians participate in the Spanish-American War in Cuba and the Philippines.
1899 State Bank of Elsmore begins business.
1900 Missouri Pacific Railroad begins frequent daily suburban train service between Iola, Gas and La Harpe.
Allen County population is 19,923.
1901 General Frederick of Iola captures the elusive Emiho Aguinaldo, leader of the Philippine insurrectionists.
President William McKinley assassinated.
Iola Portland Cement Company plant begins production.
Electric street car service begins on Christmas Day.  The road extends from Lanyonville, close to La Harpe, through Gas to Iola and then west to the Neosho River.   2,795 Fares were paid.
1902 Iola City Council accepts gift of Riverside Park from property owners.
Carry Nation makes visit to Iola.
City Clerk completes survey on how Iolans earn their daily bread.  There are 38 real estate agents, 28 other kinds of agents, 49 contractors of various kinds, a coal dealer, 20 tobacco dealers, 9 clothing merchants, 32 doctors, 7 dentists, 9 drug stories, 7 flour dealers, 23 grocers, 5 plumbing establishments, 5 hotels, 24 lawyers, 6 lumbermen, 10 meat markets, 5 milliners, a pawn broker, 11 restaurants, 3 tamale stands, and 42 transfer wagons.
First lady lawyer in county opens office in Iola.
Orphanage opened in Iola by Iola Children's Home Association.
1903 Iola Sate Bank established.
Bassett is founded.
Construction begins on county courthouse in courthouse square in Iola.
Rural free mail delivery system to be put in operation providing free delivery to every house in the county.
1904 Construction of county courthouse is completed.
Crude oil pumping station at Humboldt completed by Standard Oil Company on its pipeline to Whiting, Indiana.
Bassett and Concreto extensions made to Iola Electric Railroad street car line.
Grand Theatre at Iola opens.
1905 Carnegie Free Public Library opens.  It is at the northwest corner of Madison and Buckeye in Iola and built with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie.
C.L. Melvin dynamites and destroys several Iola liquor joints.
YMCA building built in first block on East Jackson.
Allen County Hospital is built east of Iola to be operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
1906 Iola Electric Railroad extends its street car line to Riverside Park.
With the purchase of gas utility serving the city, Iola now has municipal ownership of gas, water and electric utilities.
Allen County Anti-Horse Thief Association has an active large membership.
1907 Mildred is founded.
Mildred post office opens.
Monarch Cement Company incorporated at Humboldt.
More than 22,000 persons celebrate 4th. of July at Electric Park east of Iola.
Highland Cemetery opens on land purchased north of Iola.
1908 Iola population is 10,079.
La Harpe population is 2,218.
Humboldt population is 2,149.
Gas population is 1,457.
1909 Cement plant at Mildred begins production.
1910 The new Iola post office opens and is built on the northeast corner of West and Walnut Streets.
YMCA sponsors Iola Boy Scout Troop.
Mildred school built.
Diminishing supply of natural gas from the Iola - Gas - La Harpe fields and faltering of the zinc smelting boom due to a world wide glut of the metal causes slacking of the local boom.
Allen County population is 27,651.
1911 Moran is the only Kansas stop on the first completed transcontinental airplane slight.
Iola Colburn, after whom the city of Iola is named, dies.  Her grave in Iola Cemetery has a large marker commemoration the fact.
President William Howard Taft visits Iola.
1913 Monarch Cement Company goes into receivership.   H.F.G. Wulf took over the reorganization and became President.
1914 Kiosk construction near southeast corner of courthouse square for display of weather data collected by U.S. Weather Bureau.
Diphtheria epidemic in Gas.  City is quarantined.  Several children die.
First concrete road in Kansas laid in Bassett.
World War I begins.
1915 County has a Farm Bureau and a very active county agent.
Some of the long closed zinc smelter resume temporary operations.
Physicians and Surgeons Hospital opened at corner of Sycamore and East Streets in Iola.
Gas High School is terminated.
1917 Major General Frederick Funston of Iola dies.   Burial in military cemetery at the Presidio at San Francisco, CA.
Le High Portland Cement Company purchase Iola Portland Cement Company at Bassett.
APRIL 6th. - U.S.A. enters World War I.  Allen Countians join armed forces and serve in Europe and on the high seas.
Elsmore High School girls basketball team are State Champions.
1918 Iola's new high school building is dedicated.
Iola National Guard unit called up and sent to Mexican Border to reinforce troops sent in to punish General Villa for his raids into New Mexico.
Cyclones and terrific windstorms cause major damage at Iola, Gas, La Harpe, Moran and Humboldt.
NOVEMBER 11th. - World War I ends.
1919 Iola Electric Railroad makes last run on March 20th.
American Legion Posts are charted in Iola, Humboldt and Moran.
1920 American Legion Post is charted at La Harpe.
1921 There are 80 schools districts in the county.
1923 Electors of Iola School District authorize the addition of a junior college to the school system.  Iola Junior College is now Allen County Community College.
1924 Pet Milk Company plant built at Iola and receives first deliveries of milk from county dairymen.
Grand Theatre destroyed by fire.
1925 A State highway system of roads authorized by legislature.
1926 Iola Armistice Day celebration features 4 parades, band concerts, a follies revue, and football game.
1927 New concrete bridge built over Neosho River at Iola.
1929 First National Bank at Iola opens, formerly Northrup National Bank.
Banks at Mildred, Moran and Elsmore closed Dec. 24th. because of insolvency.
1931 The bank at Savonburg closed as insolvent.
1932 Price for a barrel of crude oil at the lease is 25 cents.
County schools reduced to 77.
1933 Fire destroys Sifers Candy Company in Iola.
National bank moratorium declared by President Roosevelt to stop runs on banks.
First National Bank at La Harpe and Citizens State Bank at Humboldt, because of insolvency, do not reopen after the bank moratorium.
Kerr-McFall Garment Company begins business, later becomes H.L. Miller & Son, Inc.
1934 A county unit system of control and maintenance of all roads, except state highways, is approved by voters at general election.
1935 Cooperative Power and Light Company of Allen County is organized to provide rural electric over the county.
1936 New dam built in Neosho River west of Iola.
1937 First Kansas retailers sales tax adopted.
1938 Iola gets a swimming pool, a new national guard armory, the covered stadium, the race track, baseball grandstand and tennis courts at Riverside Park, and Jefferson and Lincoln Elementary Schools thanks to the W.P.A.
1939 SEPTEMBER 1st. - Hitler's troops moved into Poland beginning World War II.
Rural electrification of homes in the county is a reality.
The Kansas Corporation Commission ordered the state's 19,268 flush and stripper oil wells shut down for a period of 15 days to cut production.
1940 Soil Conservation District formed.
1941 DECEMBER 7th. - Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is bombed by Japanese.
DECEMBER 8th. - U.S.A. enters World War II.
Allen Countians serve in the armed forces in Europe, Africa and Asia and on the high seas.
1944 Last high school class at Mildred.
1945 MAY 8th. - War ends in Europe.
AUGUST 14th. - Final surrender of Axis Forces in the Pacific.
1946 Savonburg High School closes.
1948 - 1956 $4,000,000 in improvements are made at Monarch Cement Plant.
1949 Northrup Bank Building at Washington and Jackson in Iola burns.
1950 - 1953 Korean War.
1951 County Agricultural Extension Council organized.   Extension Service is operated by the Council.  The Council employs and extension agricultural agent and extension home economist.  Their duties include working with Extension Homemakers Units and 4-H Clubs.
Flood devastates the county.
1952 New Allen County Hospital in Iola opens.
1955 County Centennial celebration held.
Boyhood home of Major General Frederick Funston near Carlyle is opened by Kansas State Historical Society as a museum.
Iola Industries, Inc. started to promote industrial development.
Present Kansas National Guard Armory is built on North State Street in Iola.
1957 Allen County Historical Society in incorporated.
First rural water district is created.
1958 Humboldt's first annual Biblesta parade is presented.
1959 New Allen County Courthouse and Jail opens.   Old courthouse is torn down.  Stone jail constructed in 1869 no longer used as a jail.
1960 New Gas Elementary School building is built.
1961 Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center at Humboldt opens.
Columbia Metal Products plant opens in Iola.
1963 Savonburg Public Library opens.
President John F. Kennedy assassinated.
1964 Thomas H. Bowles Fine Arts Center in Iola opens.
1965 - 1973 Vietnam Era.
School Districts of the county unified into 3 school districts:  USD #256 - Moran and Elsmore; USD #257 - Iola, Gas, and La Harpe; USD #28 - Humboldt and Zillah.
In the history of the county there has been a total of 94 school districts.
SEK-CAP (Southeast Kansas Community Action Program) begins in the county with a office in Iola.
1967 New Iola Public Library opens.
Southeast Kansas Library System is created with headquarters at Iola Public Library.
Pet Milk Company plant at Iola closes.
Miss Debbie Barnes of Moran is crowned Miss America for 1968.
1968 Iola Head Start program begins.
New $1,500,000 Allen County Community College complex at Iola opens.
Meals on Wheels program in Iola begins.
Le High Portland Cement Company plant at Bassett closes.  Iola Industries, Inc. acquires it properties.
1971 ANW Special Education Cooperative, a 5 county project for education of handicapped and gifted children of the area, is started.
Townhouse, a federal housing project, is built in Iola.
First Annual Farm-City Days celebration held at Iola.
1972 Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center in Humboldt, a 5-county cooperative, opens.  It's the first multi-county health cooperative in the State.
Inter-Collegiate Press (now Herff Jones) opens in Iola.
Citizens State Bank at Moran established (now Emprise Bank).
1974 Berg Manufacturing plant at Iola opens.  It is now Midland Brack, Inc.
1975 Klein Tools, Inc. opens plant north of Moran.
1976 Gates Rubber Comapany opens plant at Iola.
1977 County ambulance service begins.
Probate, Juvenile and County Courts are abolished.  District Magistrate Judge position created.
1978 County begins operation of Iola Airport as a county airport.
1980 Kansas State Historical Society closes Funston Boyhood Home Museum.
Hose American (Tramec, Inc.) incorporates and opens plant in Iola.
1982 Allen County Hospital is leased for operation by a subsidiary of Research Health Services.
Townhouse East on North Street in Iola opens.
1984 Iola Quasquicentennial Celebration of the founding of the City is celebrated.
Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 5 builds plant north of Iola.
1985 A $2,750,000 renovation and modernization project of Allen County Hospital begins.
1986 Inland Hurricane ravages the county.
Carlyle post office end service.
1988 Iola Teentown facility established in Iola.
Humboldt Union goes out of business.
Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks are taken up through the county.
1989 Annual Armistice Day celebration is resumed in Iola.
New Humboldt Public Library at 916 Bridge Street opens.
1990 $4,000,000 county airport improvement projects get underway.
Santa Fe Railroad tracks from Iola north to Ottawa is taken up.  SKO Railroad Company acquires trackage and operation south from Iola to Port of Catoosa near Tulsa.
Desert Shield operations in Saudi Arabia begin.
$4,000,000 USD #257 High School building complex project is completed.
Fire destroyed three historic buildings on west side of courthouse square.  Two adjoining buildings were razed as a result.
County population is 14,638.
1991 Desert Shield turns into Desert Storm operation that drives Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
Iola Industrial Park extensive road and highway improvements get under way.
1992 Precipitation record is set at Iola:  34.54 inches for first 7 months, including 17.99 inches in July.
New sidewalks and street lighting to be installed along streets around courthouse square.
Iola Teentown facility is closed.
County Commissioners voted to join the juvenile detention compact with Crawford and other southeastern Kansas counties.
Plans are approved for construction of new bridge over the Neosho River on US Highway 54 west of Iola.  Highway 54 is also to be improved to go west from State Street on Madison Avenue and then diagonally northwest to present Us Highway 54.


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This site is maintained by Randy Crowell, Gas, Kansas
Posted: March 13, 1998. Moved: 03 August 2006.

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