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LaSalle Parish, Louisiana
The Site of Olla was named for Miss Olla Mills who later became Mrs. C.C. Young. She died in 1901 and is buried in thre Olla Cemetery. Olla Institute, a military school, was established in 1890 by Riley Joe Wilson. The faculty consisted of Olla Mills, Riley Joe Wilson, John Paul Jones, Missie Robertson, Rev. Elija Bryant and Bell Murphy. The school flourished for several years, but was destroyed by fire in 1899. It was never rebuilt, as a public school was established at that time.
During the period from 1870 to 1895, steamboats landed at the area known as Sulphur Springs and brought supplies for the area. Sulphur Springs flourished as a summer resort and spa. the curative powers of the "Blance Sulphur" mud was publicized over a large part of the nation and sufferers of gout, athritis, rheumatism and other muscular troubles were frequent patients and visitors. The Houston, Central, Arkansas and Northern Railroads began operation in 1893 and the town site was established and laid out in lots. The town of Olla was incorporated on August 1, 1999, with Dr. William Vannah Taylor III as its first mayor. The Olla State bank (now Southern Heritage) was established in 1908. the bank has been held up twice. Ernest Gray and his band of robbers once visited the bank and and later, another holdup was staged by the Jimmy Yarrel Gang. In addition, a train was robbed just north of the Olla city limits in August of 1900. The train was moving at 20 miles per hour when the engineer spotted a huge bon fire in the center of the track. After the train stopped, the robbers immediately boarded and ordered the mail and express cars be cut from the balance of the train. The express safe was blown and the mail taken, but the big money shipment from St. Louis, Mo., to New Orleans was not aboard. The "loot" consisted of less than $ 50. Pior to World War I, the Central Louisiana Free Fair was established at Olla. This fair ranks as one the oldest fairs in Louisiana and has held shows every year except when war interrupted the schedule. In 1938, the Olla Oil Field was brought in. Oil interest has steadily expanded, and today, oil interests affect the entire population as pay rolls from the oil industry filter down to all.. Olla will hold its 100 year Centennial October 2, 1999.
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