Vilas is on Farm Road 2268 sixteen miles southeast of Temple in southeastern Bell County. It was founded in the 1880s, most likely by Czech settlers, and a post office called Povilas functioned in the community from 1888 to 1906. In 1890 the settlement, by then called Vilas, had two general stores and two mills. By 1896 Vilas had Methodist, Baptist, and Disciples of Christ churches. The Vilas school had forty-nine pupils and one teacher in 1903. By the 1940s Vilas had shrunk to a small community of twenty-five inhabitants and the school. In 1964 the population had declined to ten residents in several scattered dwellings. The community was still shown on county highway maps in 2000 and in 2011 the population was approximately 15 residents.
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