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Welcome to the Town of Milan, Indiana!
A drive through the quiet neighborhood of Old Milan gives few clues that it was
once the bustling center of trade at the crossroads of the Brookville-Madison and
Aurora-Napoleon routes. The earliest settlers most likely arrived in the 1820s
and early 1830s. We do know that Stephen Selwyn Harding opened the first store,
and that a post office opened in that store on February 1, 1837. The settlers referred
to their little village as Harding's Store.
The community took the name of Milan in 1842 according to Price Myers, author of
"1954 Milan Centennial History, Yesterday and Today". He wrote "Many of the first
settlers were Germans, and a few Swiss, and gave much of their attention to grape
culture and processing of wine. It is probable that some of them may have
come from the grape growing areas of Milan (mi-lahn), a province and city of Lombardy
in Northern Italy, and used their influence to change the name to Milan (mye-luhn)."
An 1868 business listing for Milan does include a wine manufacturer. Milan is listed
alphabetically in H.C. Chandler & Co.'s Busness Directory and Shipper's Guide For
The State of Indiana. Milan is described as, "A town in Ripley County, one and a
half miles from the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, forty-two miles from Cincinnati,
and eight from Versailles, the county seat.