In 1893 the Houston, Central, Arkansas, and Northern Railroad came through the area and helped add permanence to the town. It was incorporated as the town of Olla in August of 1899.
Olla is also known as the site of the only railroad holdup in the state of Louisiana. The robbers' goal was a large money shipment which was transferred before it reached the robbery site.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), all of it land. It is geographically situated directly adjacent to the communities of Rosefield and Standard, from the town of Urania, from the town of Tullos, and from the parish seat of Jena.
On November 23, 2004, a tornado that reached F4 strength tore through the middle of this town, destroying or damaging over 1/3 of the town. The town's high school was destroyed, and up until January of 2008, were held in an abandoned underwear factory, known as Holloway, in the town limits. As of November 2005, the town was still recovering, rebuilding, and-- ironically-- playing host to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims.
There were 587 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $294,762, and the median income for a family was $31,648. Males had a median income of $300,188 versus $1,833 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,669. About 19.2% of families and 23.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.9% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.
Police: 4 full time officers / 2 patrol cars.
Fire Department: 27 volunteers / 4 trucks
Fire Rating: 5 in city.
Health Care: Hardtner Medical Center