Ponchatoula is the second-largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 6,559 at the 2010 census.
It is speculated that the name is derived from the Choctaw words Pashi meaning "hair" and perhaps itula or itola meaning "to fall" or "to hang" or "flowing" in the Choctaw language
Ponchatoula was originally established as a small logging camp around 1820. Then in the year 1839 a man named William Akers moved into town and purchased over 1000 acres from the United States Federal Government. William began farming and harvesting the local virgin pine timber and pulling the logs to a nearby sawmill with teams of oxen. According to some sources William Akers had several Native Americans working in his timber crew and they provided the name Ponchatoula. It was the Native American way of expressing the beauty of the location, with beautiful Spanish moss hanging from the large oak trees.
As more settlers arrived in the area William began selling his land to those families. Then on February 12, 1861 Ponchatoula incorporated as a town. William Akers was appointed as the first mayor and is credited with founding the town.