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Litton Life Support
2734 Hickory Grove Rd
PO Box 4508
Davenport, IA 52808

Spencer Bros. Disposal
New Windsor, IL

Mane Designs
Viola, IL

Quad-Cities Graduate Studies Center
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Taylor Freezers 1885 Earhart Dr
Sandwich IL 60548

Marycrest International University
1607 W 12 St
Davenport, IA 52804

St. Ambrose University
518 W Locust
Davenport, IA 52804

Palmer College of Chiropractic
1000 Brady St
Davenport, IA 52803

Augustana College
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

H & R Block
1715 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52804

Milan proud of business

By Brian Buehler, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

MILAN -- The village of Milan is not shy about attracting new business. According to some historical accounts the village even got its name in an effort to attract a new company to town.

According to an account on record at the Rock Island County Historical Society, the village changed its name to Milan to woo a watch manufacturer to what was then Camden Mills. While the manufacturer never did produce a watch, the name stuck.

Many other businesses have made Milan their home before and since. The building intended to house the watch company later housed the Artista Piano Player Company, said Steve Seiver, Milan village administrator. The building on Vandruff's Island was torn down only about 10 or 15 years ago.

A report in the Moline Review in 1874 boasted that the village had 12 or 15 stores, a cotton factory, distillery and two or three large grist mills. With a population of about 2,000 Milan is destined to be "one of the foremost towns in the county," said the Review.

With the Rock River as a source of power attracted early industry, today its only benefit is its aesthetic value, said Mr. Seiver. Today the largest employers in Milan are Eagle Food Stores with its headquarters and distribution center located in Milan, John Deere and Export Packaging. Several small manufacturers also operate out of Milan.

"Historically Milan is a very good place to do business, we're not just a typical bedroom community," said Mr. Seiver.

As a matter of fact, more people come to work in Milan than leave Milan to work in other communities, Mr. Seiver said.

"We try to make sure there's a good product, in terms of location, transportation, utilities, cost of doing business and the labor pool," Mr Seiver said of attracting new businesses. Milan employers can pull labor from Moline and Rock Island, most people in the Quad-Cities can reach Milan in 15 minutes.

Future growth will be determined by the national as well as Quad-Cities economy. Much of the village's growth in industrial jobs comes from profitable small manufacturers, many of whom are expanding at a rate of 10 percent to 15 percent a year.

Although the village is bordered by the Rock River on the north, the Quad Cities International Airport on the east and by the city of Rock Island, there is still some room for new industry, said Mr. Seiver. There is developable land within the city with water and sewer and also adjacent to rail transportation.

Although consumers from the north side of the Rock River do not think of Milan as a shopping destination, it is a better retail market than people may think, Mr. Seiver said.

With a population he estimates between 6,000 and 6,500, the village supports two large supermarkets and a smaller food market. Retailers are "missing the boat" when they only look at Milan's population, he said. Many residents from outlying communities do some of their shopping in Milan rather than go in to the Quad Cites, according to Siever.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.