Milan, Tennessee

Milan, Tennessee
Milan, Tennessee
—  City  —
Location of Milan, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°54′57″N 88°45′29″W / 35.91583°N 88.75806°W / 35.91583; -88.75806Coordinates: 35°54′57″N 88°45′29″W / 35.91583°N 88.75806°W / 35.91583; -88.75806
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Gibson
 - Mayor Chris Crider
 - Vice Mayor Ed Whitby
 - Total 8.0 sq mi (20.8 km2)
 - Land 8.0 sq mi (20.8 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 420 ft (128 m)
Population (2010)
 - Total 7,851
 - Density 981.4/sq mi (378.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 38358
Area code(s) 731
FIPS code 47-48660[1]
GNIS feature ID 1326833[2]

Milan (pronounced "MY-lunn") is a city in Gibson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 7,851 at the 2010 census. The zip code assigned by the U.S. Postal Service is 38358. Residents of Milan are usually referred to as Milanites. It is Gibson County's second largest city, next to Humboldt, Tennessee.

The name of the city supposedly comes from an incident where, upon being asked "Whose land is this?" by a railroad surveyor, an early settler said "It's my land."[citation needed] Although this legend is often repeated, it is likely not true. It is believed the city was named after Milan, Italy.[citation needed] Milan is often referred to as "Bullet Town", due to the Milan Arsenal being located there, despite the fact that the Arsenal manufactures mortar shells and grenades, not bullets.[citation needed]



Milan is located at 35°54′57″N 88°45′29″W / 35.915957°N 88.758035°W / 35.915957; -88.758035.[3] Milan is approximately 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Memphis and 140 miles (230 km) west of Nashville. Elevation is 424 feet (129 m) above sea level.

Milan's elevation of 424 feet (129 m) is the highest point between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico on the former Illinois Central Railroad.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21 km2), all of it land.


At the 2000 census[1], there were 7,664 people, 3,170 households and 2,076 families residing in the city. The population density was 952.2 per square mile (367.6/km2). There were 3,413 housing units at an average density of 424.0 per square mile (163.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.38% White, 22.68% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.

There were 3,170 households of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

Age distribution was 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 79.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.9 males.

The median household income was $30,806, and the median family income was $38,503. Males had a median income of $30,449 versus $21,688 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,255. About 9.4% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.


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.

In the 1940s, Milan became the first city in the south to play Little League baseball.[citation needed]

Led by the late Dr. Robert P. Denney, a long-time dentist in Milan, Milan became the first city in Tennessee to fluoridate its drinking water, and for years its school children were regularly examined in a study of the effects of fluoridation by the University of Tennessee dental school.

Local government

Milan has a mayor-board of aldermen form of government. The mayor, presently Chris Crider, serves a four-year term. There are four wards, each of which elects two aldermen. Milan's City Hall is located downtown. A new public safety building, housing police and fire departments, a jail and a courtroom, has been constructed in the south part of town.


Public education in Milan is provided by the Milan Special School District,[4] 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. She was appointed to the position by the school board in February 2007.

There are three schools, all with modern facilities: Milan High School (which contains the Milan Vo-Tech center) serving grades 9–12, Milan Elementary, serving grades K-4, and Milan Middle, serving grades 5–8. 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; Polk-Clark's is now a community center.

The Milan High athletic teams, the Bulldogs, have won state championships in football, girls' basketball, and baseball.[5] The football team has been considered a state powerhouse since the 1960s. John Tucker,[6] who once held the state record for most victories as a head coach, coached at Milan for 25 years. The Bulldogs won two state championships under Tucker, and have won two under present head coach Jeff Morris. 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 NAIA teams.[citation needed] The former Polk-Clark high school, known as the Buffaloes, fielded powerful basketball teams. In 1960, in addition to winning the state girls' basketball championship, Milan High won the "Quiz 'Em on the Air", a quizbowl-style competition on a Memphis television station..[citation needed] 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.

The Milan High School Alumni Association is believed to be the oldest and most active organization of its kind.[7] Alumni Day is held on the third Saturday in June each year. Each year, the MHSAA presents thousands of dollars in scholarships to graduating seniors. There is also an active Polk-Clark alumni organization.[8]

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. Since its inception in 1990, MEGA has disbursed money for over 150 different projects. The total amount of the endowment is now over $400,000.

Local facilities

Milan is at the junction of U.S. Highway 45E and U.S. Highway 79 (also known as U.S. Highway 70A). State Route 104 also runs through the city. Unlike many cities in West Tennessee, there are no highway bypasses around the city.

Milan is served by two railroads: CSX (formerly Louisville and Nashville) and West Tennessee (formerly Illinois Central, then Norfolk Southern). The Gibson County Airport (general aviation) is located between Milan and Trenton, Tennessee.[9] Airline service is nearby at McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson, Tennessee, and Milan is within a few hours of larger airports at Memphis and Nashville.

Milan is the site of the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum (a part of the University of Tennessee, which has an agricultural experiment station located at Milan). The museum contains more than 2,700 artifacts and farm tools from the local agrarian culture.[10] The University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station conducts crop research, crop management and erosion control experiments. The no-till method of farming originated at the Milan facility.[11] The experiment 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 many states.[12] The Buford Ellington 4-H Club Training Center is located at the experiment station.[13]

Milan has a large, modern city park located on State Route 104. Milan is the home of Johnnie Hale Stadium, an American football facility which bears the name of a female schoolteacher,[14] 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.

The Milan Golf and Country Club, a private club, has an 18-hole course.[15]

The public library, Mildred G. Fields Library, contains 35,000 volumes and is housed in a building on Van Hook Street.[16] The B.D.Bryant Memorial Library, located on First Street, houses a collection of rare religious books. This privately owned library is open to the public.[17] The U.S. Post Office Building in Milan is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Water, sewer, and electricity are provided by the city through the Department of Public Utilities. Drinking water is extracted from deep wells, and is very pure.[citation needed] Electricity is obtained from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Natural gas is provided by the Gibson County Utility District.

Milan General Hospital, a 73-bed acute care facility located on Highland Avenue, has been a for-profit entity since 1998. It was founded as Clemmer Clinic in 1941, and then was a city-owned entity for many years. The city cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, is located on Highland Avenue.

Local industries

The Milan Army Ammunition Plant (also known as the Milan Arsenal) is located outside Milan.


Milan has a weekly newspaper, the Milan Mirror-Exchange. The paper was formed by the merger of the Milan Exchange, which was founded in the nineteenth century, and the Milan Mirror, which dated from the 1960s.[18]

Milan has no television station, but is within the reach of Jackson and Memphis stations. A cable television service is provided by Charter Communications.

Radio stations licensed to Milan are WYNU (92.3 FM) and WAMP (99.1 FM).

In 2006, award winning young adult novelist John Green wrote a novel titled An Abundance of Katherines which took place mainly in Milan, Tennessee.[citation needed]

Notable people

Notable natives and residents of Milan, past and present, include:


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Milan Special School District
  5. ^
  6. ^ John Tucker
  7. ^ Milan High School Alumni Association website
  8. ^ Polk-Clark alumni organization website
  9. ^ Gibson County Airport website
  10. ^ West Tennessee Agricultural Museum
  11. ^ Agricultural Experiment Station
  12. ^ Milan No Till-Field Day
  13. ^ Buford Ellington
  14. ^ Milan alumni website
  15. ^ Milan Golf and Country Club
  16. ^ City of Milan website
  17. ^ B.D. Bryant Memorial Library
  18. ^ Milan Mirror-Exchange website

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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