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Country: United States
City: Milan, Gibson County, Tenn.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 701
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 4,518
Earliest Date: 5 March 1874
Latest Date: 31 December 1887
William A. Wade established the Milan Exchange in March 1874. Wade grew up in Lebanon in Middle Tennessee and learned the printer’s trade in Nashville, where he worked until the outbreak of the Civil War. Wade enlisted in the Confederate Army, was captured at the battle of Gettysburg, and held in Federal prisons until the end of the war. Upon returning home, Wade edited and published the Lebanon Herald. Wade remained in Lebanon until 1871, when he moved to Nashville and became secretary and treasurer of the Southern Newspaper Union. Wade also served for many years as treasurer of the Tennessee Press Association.
In the late 19th century, the town of Milan was prospering. Located at the crossing of the Illinois Central and the Louisville and Nashville railroads, Milan was the center of the fruit-growing and stock-raising area of West Tennessee. In the inaugural editorial of the Exchange, Wade assured the paper’s readers, “our columns shall be devoted specially to advertising and building up Milan and West Tennessee.” And indeed, the majority of the paper’s ads were for the railroads and local businesses. The front page of the first issue of the Exchange contained stories drawn primarily from other press sources, as well as a poem and humorous quips. Unusually, the date was not printed on the front page of the paper until the third issue. In the opening edition, Wade stated that he would “pay little attention to politics until the [presidential election] campaign opens, then we expect to support the nominee of the party opposed to radicalism.” In 1876, the paper backed the Democratic candidate, Samuel J. Tilden.
In November 1878, Louis J. Brooks joined the Exchange as co-publisher. Brooks came to Milan directly from the Jackson Tribune and Sun, with considerable newspaper experience in other locations in the state. Brooks served at the Exchange for two years before moving back to Jackson to work at the West Tennessee Whig. In January 1879, the Exchange announced that the paper would be enlarged to “mammoth proportions.” It doubled its size from four to eight pages and proclaimed, “Our columns will contain more reading matter, weekly, than any other journal in the state.” In April 1881, Wade sold the Exchange to B.L. Murrell and W.E. Turner, publishers of recently established (and failed) rival, the Milan Monitor. After only one week, Murrell was replaced by James G. Hall, and by the end of August 1881, Wade was back at the helm of the Exchange where he remained until the late 1890s. Upon Wade’s death, his wife, Cora Moore Wade, became proprietor and George Williamson, editor. In 1903, the Haynie family purchased the Exchange and ran it for several decades. The Milan Mirror acquired the Exchange in 1978. The new paper was named the Milan Mirror-Exchange and is still published weekly.
Provided by: University of Tennessee