Downtown Iola

Maybe you’ve been on the move.

You couldn’t wait to get out of that small town. The lights of the city were entrancing. You wanted to feel the pulse and energy that was out there, somewhere. You had to follow that feeling.

We get it.

Or maybe circumstances–a job, a relationship–pulled you away. You wanted to live in a small town, but you couldn’t make it work.

We understand.

Or maybe you’ve never considered the opportunities that living in a small community like Allen County brings.

We hear you.

Whoever you are, and whatever your story, we think there’s a place for you here.

Places like Allen County aren’t “flyover” country. They’re the epicenter of everything good about America. Caring people, beautiful landscapes, good jobs, great trails and parks, and arts and cultural offerings that will expand your mind and your heart…they’re all found in abundance here.


If you grew up in Allen County and then went out into the world, we want to invite you to retire here.

We think you’ll be surprised at how Allen County has changed–for the better–since you left. Whether your interest is in pets or plays, orchestra or trails, Allen County offers a wealth of opportunities to keep you active and engaged. Cultural institutions like the Bowlus Fine Arts Center bring in cultural attractions that are unheard of in most rural counties like ours. Organizations like ACARF and Hope Unlimited provide opportunities to help our most vulnerable residents. Our schools provide lots of volunteer opportunities to stay young through rubbing elbows with youth. Or, you can spend your days in one of our beautiful parks, enjoying the freedom to do what you want, when you want.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Allen County is a fraction of what you’ll experience living in most metropolitan areas. This allows you to take the equity built in a lifetime of hard work in a city and move to Allen County where you can live like a king or queen! The tax burden here is low, housing prices are amazingly affordable, and other cost of living factors remain extremely competitive compared to nearly any community nationally.


Allen County has a comprehensive set of healthcare services for seniors. The new Allen County Regional Hospital, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, the Family Physicians all have strong programs for seniors. The county in 2014 has 14 medical providers, 5 dentists, and 3 optometrists. Many visiting specialists hold regular clinics at Allen County Regional Hospital, and for those specialties that are not available locally both suburban Kansas City and suburban Wichita are only 90 minutes away. Allen County also has a Type I ambulance service, which provides a paramedic on all ambulance runs countywide.

Cultural Attractions

  • The Thomas H. Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center provides an array of cultural opportunities that brings visitors to Iola from a wide radius.
  • The Iola Community Theatre offers regular theatrical productions, and provides opportunities for aspiring actors, musicians, directors, designers, technicians, carpenters, seamstresses, and painters to practice the theatrical arts.
  • The Iola Municipal Band has presented free summertime concerts since 1871, making it the longest continually-performing city band in Kansas and one of the oldest in the country.
  • The Iola Area Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra open to musicians at all skill levels.
  • The Mary Martin Art Gallery, located in the Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center, offers regular exhibits.
  • The Buster Keaton Festival takes place each September in Iola, and celebrates the life and work of Buster Keaton (born in nearby Piqua) and the era of silent film comedy.
  • Civic Clubs, including Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions.


“Life is short, and it is meant to be lived.” -unknown

Allen County provides tremendous opportunities for families to live life. Kids grow quickly, and it’s hectic wherever you are. But when you’re in a big city, fighting traffic and congestion and in a rat race to keep up with the neighbors, the kids grow even faster.

That’s why we hope you’ll consider Allen County.

The pace is slower here, and we’re proud of that because the saner pace allows parents to have more time to spend with their kids. (Kids benefit just as much by having more time with their parents, too.) There’s time to do projects, to ride the rail trails together, to go to the dog park…and to learn what it means to really be a part of a community.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe world’s your oyster when you’re young in Allen County because our community provides a place where kids can be kids. They can wander and explore here without fear. Kids can play in the neighborhood without their parents watching them every minute (but parents can be sure that the neighbors are keeping a helpful eye out, just in case!). They can catch frogs at the creek, or perform on stage or go to science camp at the community college…or just stare up at the sky while eating an ice cream cone.


Allen County has great schools with caring teachers:


School athletic programs provide opportunities for all students to play, unlike metro area schools where only the finest athletes get a chance to compete. There are also full-service recreation departments in Iola and Humboldt, as well as other more informal leagues ranging from pickleball to bike clubs. And then there’s always the occasional pickup game to be had at somebody’s driveway on a lazy summer day…


We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the variety of good quality jobs available in Allen County. Or, if you’re an entrepreneur and need help starting your business in Allen County, please click here. For information about job openings in Allen County, please contact Thrive at or 620.365.8128.