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the website is great. Love the history.
John Jones
Keller, TX
SE Kansas
Iola Explorations
Learn more about Iola by following the links below:


Address: West of Iola on U.S. 54 in cemetery
Iola, KS 66749
Telephone Number: 620.365.3051

Email Address:

About this Exploration:

Eleanor was the nickname of the basic sanitation that began in the early to mid-1930s.
Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America’s 32nd president in 1933 when the nation was deep into the Great Depression. Many work projects were organized to help the unemployed, including Public Works Administration or PWA  (The PWA should not be confused with its great rival the Works Progress Administration (WPA), though both were part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal).
With the epidemic of typhoid fever in the minds of the people, Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to improve the sanitation of the farmers and rural communities. These outhouses still bear her name.

The Eleanors were constructed with a 4-foot-square cement slab and a metal roof. The building itself was made of just about any type of lumber. They rose to 7 feet in the front, with a 1-foot slant downward toward the back.  The houses were well-ventilated, with four vents. Two were just under the roof and could be closed, and two more were 3 feet from the floor – one vent in the back and one on the side. All were covered with metal screens.

Those who built the outhouses did not leave out any details.  Typically there’s a hook to hang your coat or bathrobe on, and a place for the toilet paper.  The Iola Cemetery is the proud owner of an Eleanor – which is quickly becoming a vanishing piece of history. Although the date in which the Iola Cemetery received its Eleanor is unknown.  Many Eleanors have been pushed in, and gotten rid of, but Iola has a genuine "Eleanor."
The surviving Eleanors are now lovingly tended; some are still used for emergencies for the original intentional “business,” while others are used as storage sheds. Whatever the use, long live Eleanor!
Located at the Iola Cemetery just outside the west side of city limits of Iola on U.S. 54.
Open daily from daylight until 8p.m.

contact info
Donna Houser
205 E. Madison Ave
Iola, KS 66749
Phone: 620.228.0439
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