T he west side of Milano built up first but John Fraim built a two-story brick building on the east side.
In 1893, Mike Fleming built a two story rock building near Fraim’s building. Joe Fowler built a single story brick building nearby and operated a dry goods store there. After a while he either closed or sold out.
John Fraim and R. F. Poole operated a General Merchandise store in Fraim’s two story brick building. Fraim sold out to Poole. Several years later Poole closed his store and sold the building to Dr. J. W. Hudson.
J. D. Hooker and wife Martha built a single story frame building just east of the Fraim store. The Hookers operated a Hardware Store, with the business in the front of the store and their living quarters in the back.
The Cole Hotel was west of Joe Fowler’s store owned by Jim and Sarah Stewart. They operated the hotel until it was destroyed by fire in 1911.
Joe Morgan’s grocery store was located in the vicinity of Stewart’s Hotel as was another store that advertised a place that sold a drink of low alcohol, something called “ale.”
The owner was nicknamed Hop Ale Smith, Smith being his last name.
Tom Carnes operated a grocery store in Milano and Dow and Steve Carnes operated Carnes Mill and Cotton Gin five miles north of Milano out near the Tom Westbrook farm.
Other businesses were Hamm’s Store and Frank Plaster’s Blacksmith Shop on the east side of town.
Steam powered the locomotives on the railroad, and coal was stored in Milano to refuel the engines. Water was needed to produce steam to drive the engines, and Santa Fe Railroad had a deep well, pump and storage tank in Milano.
There was another well and storage tank at Sand Point. Refueling stations were located approximately eight miles apart.
Count the miles from Hearne, to Gause, to Milano, to Rockdale, to Nile Community, about eight miles apart if you are traveling west.
Next week, we learn about Milano’s train-based economy.