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History from Centennial
Please note, there are many inacurracies in this year book. Information found here should be used and compared with other sources. The TAHS is considering a revision to the book in the near future.

Source: Tampico Centennial Year Book - 1975
Pages 14-15

Early History

John W. Glassburn was the founder of the Village of Tampico. He located in the township about 1858 and lived within its confines all his life. In 1861 he bought 160 acres on section 14 and 15 and that holding became the site of the community of Tampico. He had numerous investments in local businesses including the elevator which was erected as soon as the rairoad station site was located.

In 1882 , he and W. W. Craddock built and organized the Tampico Bank.

Mr. Glassburn's benefactions were many. He gave parcels of ground to the school and various church organizations and sided the latter with financial gifts when they built.

At one time he owned 1400 acres of farm-land west of the village but in later life disposed of most of his property. Mr. Glassburn's secret of success may have been based on the old formula of first things first. When he settled in Tampico, he build a grainary and lived in it until his home was erected. In 1887, he replaced the latter building with a brick residence. He died June 12, 1917.

John W Glassburn, a native of Gallia County, Ohio, came to Whiteside County in 1857, settling at first on a place near Yorktown, where he remained until 1861, when he moved to a farm consisting of 160 acres, and this included the whole present village of Tampico. Mr. Glassburn was a successful  farmer for years,  until the railroad passed through the town in 1871. He bought the interest of the firm Fisher and Thompson-Bryant, grain dealers. The firm then became Glassburn and Bryant, and erected a lage elevator. Largely to purchase and store corn, and ship grain and produce, making Tampico a convenient market for farmers of the surround country, and be able to send it to Chicago. He platted the town of Tampico, and gave his entire attention to the work for a year. He then engaged in a grain and stock business, shipping grain and stock to Chicago. The venture proved successful, and he continued in the business for 30 years, meeting with prosperity. In 1882, with W. W. Craddock, he established a private bank, to accommodate people of the vicinity. For a time he regarded banking as a side issue. This continued until March 1885, when Mr. Craddock retired, and A. T. Glassburn, his son, purchased his interests. About 1882 he built the present Tampico Bank, the first, and still today, the only bank in the Village.

Mr. Glassburn, father of Tampico, laid out his farm in 1861, where the town now stand. He paid $7.50 per acre for the land. He was of solid frame and hopeful expression. He journeyed across the country from Ohio to Illinois, making the trip in a wagon. He set the cover off his lumber wagon and used it for shelter until he could build a house.

A portion of the town is level prairie, interspersed with sloughs, and the balance rolling prairie with, here and there, a sand ridge. The big slough a mile and one-half north of town was the best known of any in the south part of the county, previous to it being ditched by the county and side ditches, and was frequently, during the winter and spring, sometimes even extending into summer, converted with water from a mile to two miles in width, and was a favorite place for all kinds of water fowl found in this part of the country. Water would be from 1 to 2 feet deep, often partially frozen, so that those compelled to pass over the slough had not only to contend with the mire and water, but also the ice. In early times, these unacquainted with it would often get lost and wander about until they became mired, and then have to rest as besst they culd until help came. Often a wagon would sink so low that boxes of goods would be half submerged. It was hard to keep horses heads above water. In 1862 the slough was piked, and the work made it quite passible. The County Ditch draining the slough was dug in 1863 and 1864.

Before the Post Office, John W. Glassburn ran a private line between Sterling and Yorktown for the convenience of those on the route. The Post Office was established in 1871.

In 1881, Dewitt West moved into Tampico and quit farming. He located in a home on the northwest corner of Joy and Glassburn Streets and built a shop north of it. There he did woodwork. . In 1886 he expanded his business by the installation of a grist-mill for custom grinding. He acquired metal-working equipment at an unknown date.

In Sept. 1887, he razed some of the sheds on his property and built a barn-like strcture to contain an "electric plant" for Tampico. The generator must have been more than customarily successful because the first failure of power did not occur until November, 1887 - about a year after service was begun. (Photo: Tampico Electric Light Plant)

   Mr. West died in Oct., 1909, and his widow, Mrs. Anna West, and daughter, Miss Darlene West, contnued to operate the plant. In July, 1910, the local paper commented that it was probably the only electric-light plant in the state which was run by two women. (Photo: Mrs. Dewitt West, Proprietor of Electric Plant)

One of the first settlers of the town was Nicholas Lutyens. John Lutyens and Hiram Tompkins from the State of New York, and Jacob Bunley from Canada in 1852. In 1853 came Aaron S. Miller from Groten, Tompkins County, and Geo. W. Carter from Fox River Valley, although originally from New York State. Wm. Aldrich and Rev. William Gray came in the latter from New York, Rufus Aldrich from Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Daniel Foy from Cattaraugus County, New York, and James Conroy from New York came in 1855, and J. C. Aldrich from Bradford County, Pennsylvania, John W. Glassburn and T. A. Glassburn from Gallia County, Ohio, in 1856, A. M. Smith came from Alleghany County, New York, in 1857, J. P. Badgley also came in 1857 from Gallia County, Ohio, and following them that year came large numbers of others.

The first house was put up by Nicholas Lutyens in the southeast part of the town in 1852. The first school house was built in July 1856 in what was known as the Aldrich district, and Orlando McNickle taught the first school, commencing in the fall of that year.

The first minister who held services in the town was Rev. McPinkney (Editor's Note: I think this should be Rev. John Pinkney) of Wesleyan Methodist. He preached in the Aldrich school house, Glassburn schoolhouse, and also in private dwellings. Rev. Wm. H. Gray of Protestant Methodist was the next minister.

The first child born in the town was Anna Aldrich, a daughter of Rufus and Mary A. Aldrich, her birth occurring Oct. 23, 1855. (Editor's note: I believe her name was Emma Aldrich, not Anna)

The first death was that of Mrs. Baker, a daughter of Jacob Barney, who died in the summer of 1856.

The first traveled road in the town was the one leading from Sterling to Yorktown and Green River. The road branched at the J. W. Glassburn farm, the branches running respectively to Yorktown and Green River. In 1856 a road was legally laid out, running from the burying ground south of the Village to the south line of the Township, and in  1858 it was extended northward all the way through the town. The second road was laid out in 1857, and commences at the south line of the town, between  Section 31 and 32, running north 2 miles to the north line of Section 29 and 30, and then east 3 miles to Tampico village.

The first town meeting after the complete organization of the town was held on Tuesday, April 2, 1861. The principal officers of the town have been: SUPERVISORS: 1861-63, Daniel Foy; 1864- J. C. Aldrich; 1865 - Daniel Foy; 1866-69 - G. A. Stilson; 1870-73 J.C. Aldrich; 1874-75 - M. H. Brewer; 1876-77 - T. M. Wylie.   TOWN CLERK: 1861-63 - Eleary C. Brown; 1864 - J. M. Vandermark; 1865 - G. A. Stilson; 1866-69 - Eleary C. Brown; 1870-73 - M. H. Brewer; 1874-75 - T. M. Wylie; 1876-77 - T. S. Beach. ASSESSORS: 1861 - Rufus Aldrich; 1862-64 - A. M. Smith; 1865 - Charles C. Ring; 1866-67 - A. M. Smith; 1868-70 - A. S. Pratt; 1871-72 - Rufus Aldrich; 1873 -  Geo. W. Apley; 1874 - Isaac West; 1875-77 - Rufus Aldrich. COLLECTIORS: 1861 - John P. Badgley; 1862 - Isaac West; 1863 - William Pinkney; 1864 - G. T. Marfleet;  1865 - John P. Badgley; 1866 - J. T. Gray; 1867 - Charles A. Lane; 1868-70 - H. L. Denison; 1871 - Maurice Fitzgerald; 1872-77 - W. L. Gowen. JUSTICES OF THE PEACE: 1861 - Joseph Rainer, Aaron S. Miller; 1864 - Daniel Foy, Eleary C. Brown; 1868 - John C. Hunt, George T. Marfleet; 1871 - T. H. C. Dow; 1873 - J. H. Kane; 1873 - J. H. Kane; 1876 - Maurice Fitzgerald; 1877 - J. F. Leonard, James H. King.

The Assessors book of Tampico Township for 1877 shows 11,068 acres of improved land, and 11, 661 of unimproved. The number of improved lots is 109, and of unimproved 91. the total assessed value of all lands is $205,208. Number of horses, 616; cattle, 1,228; mules and asses, 22; sheep, 30;  hogs, 1,535; wagons and carriages, 205; sewing and knitting machines, 109; melodeons and organs, 33. Value of personal property, $60,414; railroad property, $26,814. Total assessed value of all property, $307,071.



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