scene in downtown Iola
TE photo, 2000
|"If you find
yourself in Iola, you had to have been looking for it."
- Douglas Stribling
"I don't care for that one Iola!" - Charlie Long
Iola is like many
towns that are two (or more) people's names combined, like Dalhart,
or Iraan. Except in this
case, Edward Ariola evidently was one friend short of an amalgamation.
He had his name shortened, and that was as far as it went. How embarrassing!
History in a Pecan Shell
Edward (he refused to shorten his first name) was one of Stephen
F. Austin's original colonists in 1836. The town got a permanent
post office in 1877, the railroad came through in '06 or '07 - they're
not quite sure because there were two of them. Then a newspaper quickly
followed and Iola was ready for something big to happen. Then in '09,
the Iola State Bank opened, but the people were expecting something
a little bigger than that.
Iola is a card carrying, dues paying member of the brotherhood of
sister cities that are four letter words beginning in "I." Iola, Inez,
and Iago, are the charter
members while Iraan, Italy, and Ira are suing for inclusion under
the "one letter isn't a crime" argument.
The population of Iola peaked at around 500 people in 1936. While
Iola never made headlines or has become a household word, we ask if
that's really important when all things are considered.
Iola is a tidy little community that's a little hard to find, but
then again, it just might be what you've been looking for.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact