Town developed in southwestern Wood County when the Houston and Great Northern RR built through the area in 1871. Railroadman Ira H. Evans named the town for his daughter Ola and her friend, Minnie Patton, and approved by I. E. Ward, construction engineer and resident of Mineola, NY. The town became shipping and retail center in the middle 1840s. When the Texas and Pacific and Missouri, Kansas, and Texas RRs arrived, railroad shops opened and town became a railroad junction point.
Diversified industries and agriculture play a dominant role in today's economy.
Known as "gateway to East Texas pine country," city sponsors Holiday Motor Trails throughout the year beginning in spring when dogwood, bluebonnets, and crimson clover bloom profusely over green carpeted meadows and on through autumn when hardwood leaves turn crimson, yellow and gold among the pines.
More than a dozen antique and craft shops await shoppers. For location and map check with chamber of commerce at 101 E. Broad St. 903/569-2087.
Bed and breakfast facilities offered in historic buildings.
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