Milan City Directory 1875-76
submitted by Barry Crocker
Milan High School Alumni Association
The Milan Mirror-Exchange
The James Harvey Browning Home
The History of
*copied from Goodspeed 1887
Milan, a town of about 1,800 inhabitants, is situated at the junction of the Memphis & Louisville and the Illinois Central Railroad. It was established in 1858 upon lands owned by B. A. Williamson and John Sanford. In that year a small house was erected and a grocery opened by John G. Shepherd. The first dry goods store was established by George Peeples at about the same time. The following year the post office, which had been located at Shady Grove, was transferred to Milan, and Swinburne Craven continued as postmaster. In 1860 E. A. Collinsbegan business as a merchant. Hansbro & Hillsman and Ferguson & Cooper also located at about the same time. The first physician was W. R. Rooks, who was soon after joined by J. B. Hinson. The town did not attain to much prominence prior to the war, but after the close of hostilities it began to improve rapidly, and in 1873 the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad enhanced its importance as a commercial point. The present business of the town is represented by John M. Dickson, Owen & Co., Jordan & Adams, E. L. Chambers, T. J. Harrison & Co., and W. B. Williams & Bro., dry goods or general merchandise; D. A. Taylor, M. W. Wheeler, Edwards & Shepherd, Lacy & Karnes, M. B. Harris, T. W. Adams and W. G. Vanhook, groceries; G. W. Martin, M. D. L. Jordan and Stewart and Danner, drugs; G. W. Wilson & Co., dry goods and drugs; S. M. Rhodes, tinware and stoves; Joseph Williams, furniture; J. W. Younger and J. H. Holt, undertakers; Mrs. 0. H. Halstrom and Mrs. Clinton Mathis, millinery.
The physicians are L. G. Danner, J. J. Richardson, J. D. & W. H. H. Bledsoe, R. A. Clopton, J. A. Henderson and M. D. L. Jordan. At present Dr. J. M. Glenn is the only dentist.
Since 1874 E. A. Collins has conducted a private bank, which has proved of great value to the business interests of the town and surrounding country. The only manufacturing establishment in Milan is the flouring-mill of Turner & Dodson, which was erected about 1869 by Nesbitt, Douglass & Co.
The first newspaper in the town was the Milan Times, which was established in June, 1869, by Frank Monroe, who continued its publication but a few months. In March, 1874, W. A. Wade established the Milan Exchange, an eight-column folio. In 1878 he changed it to a seven-column quarto, and later to a five-column quarto. With the exception of about three years, when he was associated with L. J. Brooks, Mr. Wade has conducted it as sole editor and proprietor, and it is now one of the best country papers in West Tennessee.
The first hotel was erected by William F. Jackson in 1859. In 1878 the Grand Pacific Hotel, one of the finest railroad hotels in the South, was erected at the junction.
The town contains a large number of lodges, all the leading secret and beneficiary orders being represented. Milan Lodge, No. 191, A. F. & A. M., was instituted at Shady Grove in 1850, where it remained until 1860, when it was transferred to Milan. Milan Lodge, No. 155, I. 0. 0. P. was organized on August 16, 1871, with J. G. Boyd, William Shepherd, John Sullivan, J. T. Anderson, J. H. Holt and S. M. Pearce as charter members. Although at one time the membership reached about forty, it is now quite small. Stonewall Lodge, No. 30, A. 0. U. W., was instituted November 18, 1877, with nineteen members. It now numbers only twelve members. Liberty Lodge, No. 453, K. of H., was organized in 1878, and the following year Eagle Lodge, No. 96, K. & L. of H., was instituted. Prospero Lodge, K. of P., was instituted in May, 1879.
Milan was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed in 1867, John G. Shepherd being the first mayor.
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