Iola Industries, Inc. was incorporated June 1st, 1955 by a group of 12 business men. Their purpose was to promote industry within the City of Iola, Kansas or areas adjacent thereto and also the establishment of new Industries in our area.
In July 1973, the Articles of Incorporation were restated: The primary objective of the corporation is to benefit the community by increasing employment, payroll, business volume, and corresponding factors, rather than the monetary profits or other "benefits flow" to the shareholders shall be merely incidental thereto. " Thus, the profits of the corporation are to be reinvested by the corporation, to be spent in the aid of Industrial Development.
The first endeavor, in 1958, was to clean up our town. East of Iola land owned by J.B. Kirk Gas and Smelting Company (old smelter sites) and the old city dump were purchased.This land was cleared and later sold to Thompson's Poultry to build a poultry processing plant. Thompson was at one time one of the largest employers in Iola. Tyson took over the operation of the plant and eventually closed the plant. This site is now owned by Macha Enterprises. Inc., and, is also the location of the Iola Jump Start Convenience store.
Iola Industries currently has over 500 acres available for Industrial Development.
|Also in 1970, Iola Industries, Inc. purchased the Bricc Wholesalers, Inc. tract, just west of the Old Sante Fe railroad tracks. This was to be used by Quality Packaging Products, Inc., and a warehouse and office building were constructed. After Quality went out of the business, the property was leased to Hose America, Inc.; now, Tramec Corp. Tramec purchased the property and expanded the plant. In 2005, Iola Industries purchased the property from Tramec and, have since leased it to Tramec and R.V.B.Trucking.
In 1971, The Leigheigh Portland Cement company closed. It was, at one time, the most dependable employer in Iola. Iola Industries, Inc. purchased all of the buildings, land, and equipment from Leighigh. All of the equipment was sold at an auction.Iola Industries sold some of the buildings to the company to Allen County for use, as a warehouse and shop. Through the years since Iola Industries purchased the Leighigh property, there have been several industries located at the original Leighigh site.
In 1974, Gates Rubber Company purchased 97 acres on which they would build their plant in Iola. This was a blessing for Iola after the loss of Leighigh and Pet Milk.
Two of these still operate from the buildings they leased and later purchased. They are T&E Co., the pallet manufacturer, and D of K Vaults, Inc. The quarry, which is now a lake, is leased to the Iola Elks Lodge for recreational purposes. Also, the City of Iola has contracted for access to the lake water for emergency use.
1994 and 1995 were some "sweet" years for Iola. Russel Stover Candy chose Iola as a site for one of its new plants. Iola Industries donated 60 acres to the City of Iola for the purpose of building the new site. On July 3, 1997 Russel Stover Candies held an open house and began producing candy.
We are happy to have welcomed Precision Pump to Iola. In 2004, they purchased the former Miller Dress Factory on Miller Road and moved their operation from Humboldt to Iola. They manufacture down-hole pumps and related equipment for the oil industry.
This brief overview does not cover all of the activities of Iola Industries, Inc. for the past 50 years. That would take a book to document properly. Iola Industries has not been successful in all of it's endeavors. However, the track record has been quite good thanks to the foresight of the individuals that created Iola Industries, Inc.; the dedication of the officers and the directors; and the hard work of the many people who have supported Iola Industries during the last 5 decades. Because of this, jobs have been retained and added to the community for the benefit of those living and working in the Iola area.