About This Place
Ovilla is a city in Dallas and Ellis Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 3,405 at the 2000 census. The two L's are pronounced as a double L (as in village).
Ovilla, on upper Red Oak Creek in northern Ellis County, is the oldest town in the county. It began in 1844 as a fortified settlement and grew as settlers arrived in the area to attend brush arbor meetings of the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which was started by Rev. Finis E. King in 1847.
The church met in a brush arbor until 1853, when a log cabin, which served as both church and schoolhouse, was built. A frame church building was finished in 1872; in 1984 about 190 members still met in the structure, which had been enlarged and remodeled. The church was instrumental in moving Trinity University to Waxahachie in 1902 and in establishing a girls' school in the nearby town of Milford.