2500 28th Street - PO Box 57 - Slayton, MN 56172


Iona is located in Southwest Minnesota in Murray County. It is six miles south of Slayton, Minnesota, the county seat, on Highway 267. Iona is within the boundaries of Iona Township, which was originally known as Anderson Township. The village of Iona was incorporated in 1896.

The history of Iona village and Iona township are linked inseparably with the name of Father Martin McDonnell. In 1878, he platted the village next to the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Southern Minnesota Railroad. The train would make regular stops at the Iona station, which was called Iona Lake.

In 1880, Father McDonnell established the Home of the Sacred Heart orphanage. It was formally opened in 1882 and was the only place of business in the newly organized village.

At one time, Iona had four congregations; there was a Catholic congregation, a Norwegian Lutheran congregation, a German Lutheran congregation and a Presbyterian congregation.

Iona had two school systems, the public school, District No. 49, and the parochial school, St. Columba. Both of these schools consolidated with Slayton Public District No.115 in 1965. Slayton Public and Chandler-Lake Wilson Public schools consolidated in 1992 and became Murray County Central District No. 2169.

The village of Iona was well represented by many fine baseball teams and won their share of honors. The Iona Lakers became well known and respected for many miles around. Today, the community of Iona has a population of 166.