Silas is on Farm Road 415 six miles south of Timpson in western Shelby County. It was founded about 1880. For a time it was called Battle Ridge because of a local quarrel over its name, but eventually the community was named for Silas Baines, the first merchant. At one time Silas was a shipping point for timber on a spur of the Santa Fe Railroad and a center for lignite production. The community received a post office in 1892, and by 1896 it had a sawmill, a gin, a gristmill, two churches, and a population of 500. In 1899 it had two schools, one with ninety White children and another with fifty-four Black children. The post office was closed in 1907, and later the railroad spur was abandoned. By 1946 only a church, a school, and several residences remained. In 1988 the community had a town hall, a church, a cemetery, and widely scattered houses.
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