Allen County is home to approximately 13,000 residents including the cities of Iola, Gas, La Harpe, Moran, Mildred, Elsmore, Savonburg, Bassett, and Humboldt as well as the unincorporated areas of Bayard, Geneva, Petrolia, and Carlyle.
Allen County was established in 1855 in honor of William Allen, a United States senator from Ohio. The first town and county seat was Cofachique. Heavy trade occurred with the neighboring Native American tribes, but the town began to decline in 1857. Most of the town was moved two miles north to the new town of Iola.
By 1860 Allen County had approximately 3,000 residents. During the Civil War, Allen County saw slow growth. From 1865 to 1870 Allen County again saw a steady increase in population and by the end of 1870 population in Allen County reached 7,022. From 1870 to 1873 Allen County saw rapid settlement, and numerous improvements were made. Unfortunately 1874 brought the “grasshopper raid”. During that time nearly all improvement ceased, property values decreased, and many settlers, nearly 1/3, left the county. By 1875 population of Allen County had decreased to 6,638.
By 1876 things began to look better for Allen County, and by 1878 population had climbed to 8,954. Prosperity increased and with that came more population growth. By 1882 Allen County was home to 11,098 residents. Population growth continued until its peak in 1910. At its peak, Allen County had 27,640 residents. Since the end of the gas and oil boom, population in Allen County decreased and has since leveled out at approximately 13,000 residents.
Allen County is home to Allen County Regional Hospital (built in 2013), Allen Community College, a small airport, three school districts (Iola USD 257, Humboldt USD 258, and Marmaton Valley USD 256) 9 municipalities, and 4 unincorporated communities. Allen County boasts many large businesses including Russell Stover, Gates Rubber Company, and B&W Custom Truck Beds, which originated in a garage in Humboldt. With prospected new business in Iola, service expansions at the Allen County Regional Hospital, and new homes being built, Allen County is a great place to call home!
To learn about our communities, please click the links below.