Learn more about Iola by following the links below:
Iola Colborn's grave site and memorial
West of Iola on Hwy 54
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
About this Exploration:
Just inside the old Iola Cemetery and go north, down the road a bit to find the stone and memorial of J.F. and Iola Colborn. In the 60s, the memorial was erected for Iola, the town's namesake because Tom Bowlus, President of the Allen County Bank, told the school children of Iola that if they would each bring a dime, he would furnish the rest of the money to put up this memorial.
Originally, Mr. Colborn had made a trip of exploration and discovery in Kansas and had purchased a claim on the Neosho River and land that included about half of what is now know as the Iola public square. He brought his wife, Iola, to live at this farm along the river in 1857.
In 1858 the townsmen met, and the question of a town for the Neosho River and Rock Creek colony was discussed. An inspection of the country around Elm Creek and the Neosho disclosed the fact that the Colborn claim was ideal for a townsite, and in due time, it was selected and purchased for that purpose.
Names proposed for the new townsite were "Caledonia", and "Elgin" among others, but none seemed to catch on. Finally, Lyman E. Rhoads, in a short and complimentary speech to the town group, proposed the name of "Iola" because Josiah Colborn had been instrumental in forming the township. This suggestion prevailed as "a motion before the house" and was adopted January 1859.
Eventually, the Colborns moved to town, and Iola had the 1st baby girl, named Luella, born in Iola. They lived just to the north of the square but years later, they moved to the site where the Iola High School is now.
The City of Iola celebrated its sequicentennial (150 year) anniversary in 2009 with sequicentennial activities every month throughout the year.
You can visit J.F. and Iola Colborn's gravesite and memorial 365 days a year. Visiting the old Iola Cemetery is a must for cemetery buffs, as it is filled with interesting stones and stories. The Molly Trolley has an Iola Cemetery Tour. More informaion about the tour can be given by calling 620.365.9628.
Location: The Iola Cemetery is located just outside the west side of city limits of Iola on US Highway 54.
208 W. Madison Ave
Iola, KS 66749