Colborn Suite – An Experience Worthy of Our Founder

Unveiling the Legacy of Josiah Colborn: Shaping the History of Iola

Step back in time and delve into the remarkable story of Josiah Colborn, a pivotal figure in the early days of Iola. As a farmer and landowner, Colborn played a significant role in the development of the town, with his vast land holdings comprising a substantial portion of the iconic Iola square.

It was during a town meeting that Josiah’s wife, Iola, lent her name to the new town, forever commemorating their connection to its origins. Transitioning from farming to entrepreneurship, Colborn joined forces with business partner Nimrod Hankins to establish a thriving general store, now known as the El Charro building.

Driven by their vision for progress, Josiah ventured to the north side of the square, constructing a two-story building intended for the Masons. Encouraging other entrepreneurs to follow suit, Colborn’s ambitions aimed to create a bustling hub of commerce. However, despite their efforts, the distance proved a deterrent for visitors, leading to the eventual closure of Josiah’s store in 1896. The establishment later found new ownership under T.B. Shannon, transforming into Shannon’s.

Beyond his business ventures, Josiah and Iola were instrumental in the establishment of the First Methodist Church, hosting its initial services in their residence. Demonstrating his commitment to public service, Colborn actively participated in various roles, including membership in the township plan, the board of county commissioners, and chairmanship of both Iola commissioners and Iola township.

Embark on a journey through time and explore the indelible imprint left by Josiah Colborn on the foundations of Iola. Experience the echoes of history as you discover the landmarks that bear witness to his legacy.

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