Olive Branch is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 33,484 at the 2010 census, up from 21,054 in 2000. Olive Branch is part of the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region that consists of three counties in southwest Tennessee, five counties in northwest Mississippi, and two counties in eastern Arkansas. From 1990 to 2010 Olive Branch was the fastest growing city in the United States, with a growth rate of 838%. Along with other rapidly growing suburbs in DeSoto County, Olive Branch attributes most of its growth and development to the exodus of large numbers of middle-class families from central Memphis.
The first permanent Anglo settlers in the area were Stephen Flinn and his wife's brother-in-law, Milton Blocker. On April 13, 1836, they purchased 1,280 acres (520 ha) of land – known as Sections 34 and 35 – in newly created DeSoto County from Chickasaw chief Lush-Pun-Tubby for $1,600. Flinn conveyed the land to Blocker for $6,400 in 1840. A small community initially known as "Cowpens" sprang up in the early 1840s. The name was changed to "Watson's Crossroads" in 1842.