Bella Villa is a city located in southern St. Louis County with a population of 729, at the time of the 2010 census, ranking it the 16th smallest community in all of the county’s municipalities. At nearly .13 total square miles, the city is the tenth smallest total-area coverage within St. Louis County.
In terms of the city’s origin, very little is known, other than its close proximity to the Lemay Township. The Lemay Township is an incorporated area within St. Louis county, that includes the communities of Lemay and Mehlville. In the spring of 1947, residents sought to incorporate a popular region bounded by Gravois Creek at the North, Zeiss Avenue at the east, Avenue H at the west and Hoffineister Street at the south as the city of Bella Villa.
One of the contributing factors to incorporation was the desperate need to improve the sewer inlet at the corners of Avenue C and Avenue H in Bella Villa. The inlet began collapsing and draining storm water and sewage were creating a massive sinkhole. To fix this, the city needed a government bond – to the tune of $50,000. In the fall of 1949, a massive grassroots campaign was launched by the newly formed Bella Villa Improvement Association and the bond ultimately passed.
During the city’s first few years, several bills were introduced and passed that helped establish imposed tax rates and determined which services the city would offer, such as zoning and quality residential construction. In the late 1970s, Bella Villa purchased three parcels of property, adjacent to Gravois Creek, to create an area park. At the end of the decade, the city’s population peaked at 1,018 residents.
Residents of Bella Villa are served by the Bayless School Districts, while smaller portions are served by the Hancock Place School District.