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Grimes County TX
Grimes County

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IOLA, TEXAS

Grimes County, Central Texas South

30 46' 19" N, 96 4' 30" W (30.771944, -96.075)
Where FM 39 meets FM 244
32 miles N of Navasota
14 miles NE of College Station
23 miles NE of Bryan
36 miles W of Huntsville
Population: 401 (2010)

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Old cafe in  Iola Texas
A 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

The Naming of IOLA

Iola is like many towns that are two (or more) people's names combined, like Dalhart, Mineola, Balmorhea, 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.

Take a road trip

Iola, Texas Nearby Towns:
Navasota | College Station | Bryan | Huntsville
See Grimes County | Central Texas South

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