Settled prior to the American Civil War, the Town of Olla was known as Castor Sulfur Spings, and a steamboat port on Central Arkansas, and Northern Railroad came to what was then northwest Catahoula Parish to construct a railroad more than a mile away from Castor Sulfur Springs. At this time, a new town was laid out and named for Olla Mills, a well educated, attractive and accomplished young lady, who was instrumental in community activities. A Military high school, the Olla Institue was also named after Miss Mills.
The Town of Olla was officially incorporated on August 1, 1899, with Dr. William V. Taylor III as it’s first Mayor. Olla is the site of the only documented train robbery in Louisiana, which occured in August of 1900. The robbers’ goal was a large money shipment which was transferred before it reached the robbery site.
Olla is known for it’s excellent natural ground water, which became the site of the Olla Botteling Works during the 1920’s . The information of the Olla State Bank in 1906 helped secure economic viability to the region that supported area saw mill payrolls and survived the great depression until it’s merger in the 1980’s. The discovery of the Olla oilfield in 1938 also helped foster new growth and economic sustainability. Olla continues to be a regional hub for banking and is heavily involved with the forestry and petroleum production industries.