Main Street looking Southeast
Location of Milan, Tennessee
|Named for||Milan, Italy3|
|• Mayor||Chris Crider|
|• Vice Mayor||Jason Marcle|
|• Total||8.9 sq mi (23.05 km2)|
|• Land||8.9 sq mi (23.05 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||424 ft (129 m)|
|• Density||880/sq mi (340/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||13268335|
Milan (//) is the second largest city after Humboldt in Gibson County, Tennessee. It is home to the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum and several historical sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).6 The city was the first in Tennessee to begin no-till farming and to flouridate its drinking water.78 The Milan Endowment for Growth in Academics (MEGA) was the first private community financial endowment for public schools in Tennessee.9
- 1 Name
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Transportation
- 5 History
- 6 Local government
- 7 Education
- 8 West Tennessee Agricultural Museum
- 9 Milan Army Ammunition Plant
- 10 Notable people
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Residents of Milan are usually referred to as Milanites.citation needed
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles (23 km2), all land.
As of the 2010 United States Census[update], there were 7,851 people, 3,183 households and 2,057 families residing in the city. The population density was 881.7 per square mile. There were 3,581 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 73.50% White, 22.80% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 1.00% from other races, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.50% of the population.4
There were 3,183 households of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.00.4
Age distribution was 26.5% under the age of 18, 55.7% from 18 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.9 years. 45.6% of the population was male, while 54.4% was female.4
Milan is at the junction of U.S. Routes 45E and 79 (also known as U.S. Route 70A). State Route 104 also runs through the city. Unlike many cities in West Tennessee, there are no highway bypasses around the city.
In 1858, the city of Milan was established on the lands of B. A. Williamson and John Sanford; a small house was erected and a grocery opened by John G. Shepherd. The following year, the U.S. Post Office in Shady Grove was transferred to Milan. The first physicians, W. R. Rooks and J. B. Hinson, arrived in 1860.1
In 1866, Milan was incorporated by an act of the Tennessee Legislature; John G. Shepherd was the first mayor. The Milan Times, Milan's first newspaper, was established in 1869; it was only continued for a few months.12
In 1873, the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad brought importance to the town as a commercial point. The following year, W. A. Wade established the Milan Exchange newspaper. The Grand Pacific Hotel was erected at the railway junction in 1878.1
In 1941, Clemmer Clinic became the city's first acute care facility. In the same year, construction began on the Wolf Creek Ordinance Plant and the Milan Ordinance Depot; these facilities merged in 1945 to become the Milan Arsenal.1314
In 1951, led by Dr. Robert P. Denney, Milan became the first city in Tennessee, second in the Southeast, to fluoridate its drinking water.8
In 1965, the Milan Mirror newspaper was founded. The paper merged with the Milan Exchange in 1977 to become the Milan Mirror-Exchange.15
In 1981, the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experimentation Station in Milan became the birthplace of no-till farming in Tennessee.7
The City of Milan is home to several historical sites listed on the NRHP.6
- On 28 June 1974, the Browning House, located on the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- On 5 July 1985, Union Central School, located on Union Central Rd., was added to the NRHP.
- On 9 July 1987, the Milan Post Office, located at 382 S. Main St., was added to the NRHP. The Post Office was built by Algernon Blair, inc.
- On 12 March 2012, the Gibson County Training School, located at 1041 S. Harris St., was added to the NRHP.
Milan has a mayor-board of aldermen form of government. The mayor serves a four-year term. There are four wards, each of which elects two aldermen. The city's monthly meeting of mayor and board of aldermen is open to the public and held every second Tuesday in Milan's city hall, located downtown.
A new public safety building, housing police, fire departments, a jail and a courtroom, has been constructed in the south part of town.citation needed
Water, sewer, and electricity are provided by the city through Milan Public Utilities. Drinking water is extracted from a well field. Electricity is obtained from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Natural gas is provided by the Gibson County Utility District.
Milan provides its own Fire Department, Police Department, and Municipal Court.
Milan has a large, modern city park located on State Route 104. The park has a 10 station fitness course, several sports fields & courts, playgrounds, reservable pavilions and swimming pool, and a saddle club arena. The park is home to the Bobby Ross Amphitheater.16
The Mildred G. Fields Library contains 35,000 volumes and is housed in a building on Van Hook Street.17
The city cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, is located on Highland Avenue.
The U.S. Post Office building in Milan is on the NRHP.6
The city is served by Milan General Hospital, a 70-bed acute care facility located on Highland Avenue. Milan General Hospital became a wholly owned affiliate of West Tennessee Healthcare in 1998.13
Milan has a weekly newspaper, the Milan Mirror-Exchange.15
The B.D.Bryant Memorial Library, located on First Street, houses a collection of over 2000 historical religious books. This privately owned library is open to the public.18
The Milan Golf and Country Club, a private club, has an 18-hole course.21
Milan has no television station, but is within the reach of Jackson and Memphis stations. A cable television service is provided by Charter Communications.
Public education in Milan is provided by the Milan Special School District,22 which was formed in the 1980s and includes territory immediately adjacent to the Milan city limits. The district is the successor to the Milan City Schools, formed in the 1960s when the Milan schools left the Gibson County Board of Education and became independent. The system is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Presently, the position of Director of Schools is held by Dr. Mary Reel.23 She was appointed to the position by the school board in February 2007.citation needed
There are three schools: Milan High School (which contains the Milan Vo-Tech center) serving grades 9–12, Milan Middle, serving grades 5–8, and Milan Elementary, serving grades K-4. Historically, there were four schools - K.D. McKellar, grades 1–8, Park Avenue, also grades 1-8, Milan High School, 9-12, and Polk-Clark, which served black students in all twelve grades. McKellar's and Park Avenue's buildings were recently demolished;citation needed Polk-Clark is now a community center.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is one of the active CTE student organizations which is composed of students in Family and Consumer Science courses. There have been 4 state officers from Milan High and many state and national competitive event winners.citation needed
The Milan High School Alumni Association holds Alumni Day on the third Saturday in June each year.24 In 2012 the MHSAA presented 19 scholarships totalling over $18,000, and hosted 14 scholarships totalling over $16,500 to graduating seniors that were the natural, adopted, or stepchildren of alumni.25
There is also an active Polk-Clark alumni organization.citation needed
Established in 1989 the Milan Endowment for Growth in Academics (MEGA), is Tennessee's first private community financial endowment for public education. Proceeds provide public school students with opportunities not covered by the school budget. Only the income of the fund is spent. The principal is kept intact to yield proceeds for future years. From 1990 through 2012, MEGA has disbursed 663 grants totalling $455,439. In 2012 the total amount of the endowment reached $580,000.9
The Milan High athletic teams, the Bulldogs, have won 7 state championships and have been runner up 9 times in the sports of football, girls' basketball, baseball, and track since 1942.26 The football team has been considered a state powerhouse since the 1960s.citation needed Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame coach John Tucker,27 who once held the state record for most victories as a head coachcitation needed, coached at Milan for 25 years. The Bulldogs won two state championships under Tucker, and have won two under head coach Jeff Morris.citation needed A large number of young men from Milan High have gone on to play college football for NCAA division I and II teams, as well as National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams.citation needed The former Polk-Clark high school, known as the Buffaloes, fielded powerful basketball teams.citation needed In 1960, in addition to winning the state girls' basketball championship,26 Milan High won the "Quiz 'Em on the Air", a quizbowl-style competition on a Memphis television station.citation needed
Milan is the home of Johnnie Hale Stadium, an American football facility which bears the name of a female schoolteacher,28 located just off the U.S. 45E-U.S. 79 intersection. For many years, Johnnie Hale Stadium hosted a high school football bowl game, the West Tennessee Jaycee Bowl. The 1971 TSSAA Class AA championship game was also held there.
Milan is the site of the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum which is a part of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station located in Milan. The museum contains more than 2,600 artifacts and farm tools from the local agrarian culture.29
The University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station conducts crop research, crop management and erosion control experiments.30 The no-till method of farming in Tennessee originated at the Milan facility.7
The station is host of the Milan No Till-Field Day, an agricultural demonstration event held on the fourth Thursday of July in even-numbered years. This event draws visitors from around the world.7
In 1945 the Wolf Creek Ordinance Plant and the Milan Ordance Depot combined to become the Milan Arsenal, renamed the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in the 1960s. The combined facility included 88 miles of railroad track and 231 miles of roadway across a 36 square miles (93 km2) tract of land.14
In 2008 American Ordnance, the private contractor operating the plant, began the process of moving operations to Iowa and commercializing the Milan Army Ammunition Plant. By March 2013, employment had fallen to 110.32
The Milan Army Ammunition Plant is nicknamed "Bullet Town" by locals.33
The Milan Army Ammunition Plant employed over 10,000 during World War II, dropping to 1,500 in 1947. Employment rose again to over 8,000 during the Korean War before falling to less than 500 in 1959. By 1968 employment had risen again to 7,000. From 1940 to 1971 the population of Milan had increased from 3,000 to 7,000. The growth was largely attributed to the Milan Army Ammunition Plant.14
In a 1944 article, the Saturday Evening Post, in discussing the boom created by the Milan Arsenal during World War II, predicted Milan would become a "ghost town" when the war was over.citation needed
In 1987 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the Milan Army Ammunition Plant on the National Priorities List. Contamination of the city's groundwater in the Memphis Sand Aquifer of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and RDX was of particular concern.34
In 1989, the EPA, United States Army and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) signed a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for the site. The FFA ensures that the parties would fully investigate environmental impacts associated with past and present activities at the installation and complete appropriate cleanup actions through established schedules and enforceable milestones.34
In the early 1990s, the United States Army financed the relocation of the city's drinking water well field. The United States Army implemented institutional controls to prohibit groundwater use in contaminated areas.3435
In 2010, the third Five-Year Review found that the cleanup activities were protecting people and the environment.34
In 2013, the United States Army submitted its Site-wide Feasibility Study to the EPA for approval.36 The cleanup of affected soil was completed leaving the cleanup and long term care of the groundwater contamination plume. The velocities of the plume vary, but the direction is primarily North towards the Rutherford Fork of the Obion River and from the Northwest boundary towards the city.343536
As of 2013[update] the EPA and the United States Army expect to decide on a preferred groundwater cleanup option in 2013. The EPA and the United States Army plan to begin remedial design of the site in 2014 and complete the remedy by 2016.3435
- Mary Lee (Harris) Cagle, one of the first influential women and pastors of the Church of the Nazarene. In 1894 she helped found a 14 member New Testament Church of Christ in Milan.37
- Gordon Browning, the Governor of Tennessee from 1937 to 1939 and 1949 to 1953. His childhood home is located on the grounds of the Milan Army Ammunition Plant.6
- Kelsie Brown Harder, the onomastician expert and director of the Place Name Survey of the United States. In 1942, Harder was employed by the U.S. Department of War, in Milan.3839
- Andrew 'Andy' Holt, the 16th president of the University of Tennessee from 1959 to 1970, was born in Milan.40
- Benjamin Caldwell Cantwell, the major league baseball pitcher, was born in Milan on 13 April 1902.41
- Burnis 'Wild Bill' Wright, the Negro League baseball pitcher and outfielder, was born in Milan on 6 June 1914.42
- Tyrus Turner Barber, the major league baseball outfielder and first baseman, died in Milan on 20 October 1968 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.43
- Joe Staton, the illustrator and writer of comic books such as E-Man, graduated from Milan High School in 1966.44
- Kellye Cash-Sheppard, the 1986 Miss Tennessee and 1987 Miss America turned musical artist, resides in Milan.454647
- "Goodspeed's History of Gibson County". TNGenWeb.org. 1886. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Hargett, Tre (2010). Tennessee Blue Book 2009-2010. Tennessee Secretary of State. p. 664.
- Capace, Nancy (2000). Encyclopedia of Tennessee. North American Book Distributors. p. 202.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "National Register of Historic Places - Weekly List". nps.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
- "Research & Education Center at Milan - Milan NoTill". tennessee.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Tennessee Department of Health - Pioneering Accomplishments". tn.us. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "What is MEGA?". MilanSSD.org. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "City of Milan TN - Transportation". CityOfMilanTN.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "West Tennessee Healthcare - Milan General Hospital". WTH.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture - Milan Arsenal". TennesseeEncyclopedia.net. 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Milan Mirror-Exchange - About Us". MilanMirrorExchange.com. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "City of Milan TN - Parks & Recreation". CityOfMilanTN.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "City of Milan TN - Library". TheGolfCourses.net. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
- "B. D. Bryant Memorial Library". MilanPBC.org. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Federal Communications Commission - FM Query Results". FCC.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "City of Milan TN - Events & Attractions". CityOfMilanTN.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Milan Golf and Country Club". milangolfcountryclub.com. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Milan Special School District". MilanSSD.org. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Milan Special School District - Central Office Personnel". MilanSSD.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Milan High School Alumni Association - Alumni Day". MilanAlumni.org. Retrieved 20132-07-06.
- "Milan High School Alumni Association - Scholarship Information". MilanAlumni.org. Retrieved 20132-07-06.
- "Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame - Tucker, John". tshf.net. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Miss Johnnie Kathleen Hale Metcalf". tn-roots.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Research & Education Center at Milan - Museum". tennessee.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Research & Education Center at Milan - Research". tennessee.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "UT Institute of Agriculture Announces Intent to Close Milan 4-H Center". utk.edu. 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Parkins, Victor (12 March 2013). "Final arsenal layoff...". Milan Mirror Exchange. pp. 1, 2.
- "Milan Would Be Devastated". SpeakToPower.org. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Milan Army Ammunition Plant". EPA.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Army Defense Environmental Restoration Program - Installation Action Plan FY2012". Army.mil. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Short, Steve (4 June 2013). "Milestones reached in arsenal groundwater restoration". Milan Mirror Exchange. p. 5.
- "Encyclopedia of Alabama: Mary Lee Cagle". encyclopediaofalabama.org. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "Kelsie B. Harder, Name Expert, Dies at 84". The New York Times. 2007-04-22. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "In Memory of Dr. Kelsie Brown Harder". memorialsolutions.com. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "Andrew D. Holt, UT's Sixteenth President (1959-1970)". utk.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "Ben Cantwell". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "Wild Bill Wright". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "Turner Barber". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- "Joe Staton, Man of Energy! - The prolific cartoonist on E-Man, Mauser & Charlton Comics". TwoMorrows.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- Associated Press (14 September 1986). "Miss America grandniece of Johnny Cash". Houston Chronicle. p. 3.
- "Cash to perform at Picnic with the Pops". Herald-Dispatch. 9 August 2009.
- "Celebrities born and raised in Gibson County". Jackson Sun. 17 May 2009.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Milan, Tennessee.|
- City of Milan
- Milan Special School District
- Milan Army Ammunition Plant Environmental Cleanup Program