OVILLA, TEXAS. Ovilla, on upper Red Oak Creek in northern Ellis County, is the oldest town in the area. It started in 1844 as a strengthened settlement and developed as pioneers touched base in the range to go to brush arbor gatherings of the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which was begun by Rev. Finis E. Lord in 1847. The congregation met in a brush arbor until 1853, when a log lodge, which served as both church and school building, was fabricated. A casing church building was done in 1872; in 1984 around 190 individuals still met in the structure, which had been developed and renovated. The congregation was instrumental in moving Trinity University to Waxahachie in 1902 and in setting up a young ladies' school in the close-by town of Milford. In spite of the fact that Ovilla was a flourishing cultivating group by the 1850s, it stayed anonymous. Mrs. M. M. Molloy, wife of Rev. D. G. Molloy, shaped the name from the Spanish word estate. Ovilla kept on developing and by the mid 1900s had a mail station, a bank, a cotton gin, a drug store, a smithy shop, and a few dry-merchandise stores. Its mail station shut in 1906. Fires in 1918 and 1926 wrecked the vast majority of the downtown structures, and this obliteration, together with the way that Ovilla was skirted by railways and major expressways, prompted a decrease in development. As Dallas developed, be that as it may, and individuals began moving from the city to suburbia, Ovilla by and by started to develop. To escape extension by DeSoto or some other neighboring city, the town of Ovilla was fused in 1963. In the main statistics after joining its populace was 339; by 1980 it had ascended to 1,067. Its 1984 populace was assessed to be almost 1,300. In 1990 it was 2,027 and the group had reached out into Dallas County. The populace achieved 3,405 by 2000.
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