Davilla is located on Farm Road 487, about 18-miles west of Cameron in western Milam County.
It was settled in the 1860s and named for Miguel Davila, who had received the original grant for the land in 1833. A surveyor named Chamberlin purchased the site from the Davila estate and sold town lots with the restriction that alcoholic beverages should never be sold in the settlement.
A post office was established there in 1871. Though the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway bypassed the town by several miles in 1881, drawing away some of the population, Davilla continued to enjoy a measure of prosperity. In the mid-1880s the community had 350 residents, three churches, three gristmills and cotton gins, a steam sawmill, and a district school.
In 1903 Davilla had a three-teacher school for 161 white students and a one-teacher school for 38 black students. After serving many years as the center for a common school district, the Davilla schools were finally consolidated with the Bartlett district in Bell County in the early 1970s.
Davilla's population level began a slow decline in the late 1890s, falling from 500 in 1896 to 400 in the 1920s to 300 in the mid-1940s. By the early 1970s only seventy-two residents were reported there. In the 1980s, however, this downward trend reversed. The 1988 county highway map showed five churches and several businesses in the area, and that year the community reported a population of 200. Davilla's population continued to be reported as 200 in the early 1990s.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956); Milam County Heritage Preservation Soc., Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984); Handbook of Texas On-Line
Created on 15 Feb 2001 and last revised on 2 Dec 2006.