Eola is a tiny farming community in Concho County about ten miles east of San Angelo at the intersection of FM 381 & 765. The former Eola school (pictured above) consists of two buildings built in different decades. The older of the two is the white, one-story masonry building on the right. The buff-brick and stone building on the left was built in the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration and includes the gymnasium under barrel-vault roof. The buildings of commercial area (below right) in Eola are typical of of the early twentieth century – wood-framed, false fronts in front of gable roofs, shed roof covering the sidewalk, punched-openings for doors and windows with simple wood trim.
In the middle to late 1890s public school lands in the county were put up for sale at fifty cents an acre. Spurred on by railroad promotion, a land boom resulted in the area of Lipan Flat, a section that stretched east from San Angelo to the Colorado River. Eola was one of the communities created during this boom, which included many immigrants from central and eastern Europe. Originally known as Jordan, the name was changed to Eola in 1902, reportedly after a small local creek named for Aeolus, Greek god of the winds. In 1920 more than 100 people in the vicinity of Eola were reported to be of Czech descent. The first family to settle in the area was that of Asher L. and Lizzie Leona (Hollman) Lollar, who established themselves at a site 3½ miles southeast of Eola in 1898. By 1902, when the first local store was built, the community numbered four families. Within the next two years a Baptist church was erected. The first school was conducted in a church on the Will Stephenson ranch. A two-story, two-room schoolhouse was built in 1906. In 1908 the community had a windmill and an Odd Fellows lodge.
By 1914 Eola had a drugstore, a general store, and a population of twenty-five. Its population rose from thirty-five in 1925 to 240 by 1931. By 1940 the community had a population of 250, five churches, three general stores, three filling stations, two gins, a drugstore, a barbershop, a beauty shop, a laundry, a shoe shop, and a wholesale oil concern. A nine-teacher school taught elementary and high school classes. By 1955, after consolidation, the Eola school district was one of four remaining in Concho County. In 1963 Eola had the school, one industrial concern, five other businesses, and five churches.
REFERENCES: Mary M. Standifer, “EOLA, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hle24). Published by the Texas State Historical Association; Texas Escapes (http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasTowns/Eola-Texas.htm).