Paola is the county seat of Miami County. It was one of the original territorial counties organized in 1855.

Paola is located within two miles of the geographic center of the county. Situated on high rolling ground between Bull and Wea Creeks, Paola has an ideal location. Dr. David Lykins, a Baptist Missionary, started an Indian School one mile east of Paola in 1848. He continued the school until the Civil War threatened.

The Paola Square was given to the Town Company by Baptiste Peoria as he went into exile with his tribe to Oklahoma. The Town Company gave the land to the city with the provision that no buildings should be built upon it.

In 1855, the first production of petroleum products west of Pennsylvania was begun in Paola. Miami County was part of the Civil War foment swirling around slavery and the Civil War. The area began to grow after the Civil War.