Over the course of every towns history a handful of benefactors have been critical to their staying power.
Levi L. Northrup, established Iolas first bank in 1869, the Northrup Banking House which later became The First National Bank. Northrup also operated a hardware store in the most generous of terms, carrying everything from dry goods to horse tack, farm implements to furniture. In 1880, Northrup opened a lumber yard. From nuts and bolts to financing, Mr. Northrup was a linchpin to Iolas success.
Tom Bowlus, president of Allen County Bank, is best remembered for leaving the bulk of his estate for the creation of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. Bowlus was also instrumental in the formation of Allen County Hospital. It was through his gift of land and $50,000 toward its construction that the first county-owned hospital was guaranteed. The rest of the money, $100,000, came through private donations.