Milano featured surplus, lodges, lots of music

This is the final article in the series on Milano.

A s time passed, T. E. Walker and Son operated a General Store and Gulf Service Station.

It was located on the east side of town, just before you get to the east Intersection of Texas 36 to Caldwell and US 79 to Hearne.

About this same time, Mrs. Basil McGregor operated an antique shop on the east side of town.

A lv in Beathard operated a Texaco service station and grocery store three miles north of Texas 36 in the Milano area.

Carlos and Leona Sloan operated a café in Milano for 23 years.

After World War II ended, W. A. Belt Sr. operated a War Surplus Yard on the north side of Milano.

One could buy many different types of surplus military goods there from old fatigues, mess kits, army cots. It was a popular place to shop.

Churches organized in Milano included Baptist, Christian, Methodist, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Assembly of God Latin American Church and Church of Christ.

The Milano Lions Club was chartered May 12, 1959. The Lions Club built a fire house in 1960.

Lodges in Milano included Order of Odd Fellows, Woodman of the World Camp, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, Milano Lodge No. 605 AF & AM, Milano Chapter No. 584, Order of the Eastern Star, Milano Rebekah Lodge No. 465, and Cliff Post No. 4459 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Milano is known for its countywestern and bluegrass music.

A tragic two-car accident on the US 79 viaduct took the life of recording star Johnny Horton in November 1960.

A performer at the Louisiana Hayride he was best known for his recording “The Battle of New Orleans”.

Other popular stars to perform at the Milano School Gym in the 1970’s were Ernest Tubbs, Loretta Lynn, Jack Greene, Jack Wright and Kitty Wells.

Milano native Garland Westbrook known as “Billy Western” was involved in Western Music as he organized events and contracted performers in that industry.

The music venue still runs strong in Milano, as “Broken Chains” band performs monthly in the ”Milano Opry, A Big Show in a Small Town”.

Reference: Milano, Texas 1873- 1965, Basil McGregor, published by The Rockdale Reporter.

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