I have seen the name "Mahala" appear before in Joe's Texas history entries, in approximately the same time frame (first half of the 1800s). When doing some genealogy on my family name, I found I have female relative from that same time frame whose first name was Mahala. It appears to be a name with Hebrew and Arabic roots, and there is a male Mahalalel who makes his appearance in Genesis, as well as a prophet in Islam's history of the pre-Islamic times. Other internet sources claim it as a native American indian name as well.
Anyway, it appears to have been somewhat popular in the early 1800s, I've always been curious as to why.