Transcribed by Les Niemi - Tampico Tornado Newspaper
From the Tornado: June 21, 1917 FATHER AND FOUNDER OF TAMPICO IS DEAD
John W. GLASSBURN Father and Founder of Tampico Passes To His Reward.
Tampico's father and foundner, its Grand Old Man, John W. GLASSBURN, has gone to his awaiting reward above. Death came easily as a beautiful benediction at the close of a long, useful life in this community where he has been honored and loved for more than a half century. Early last Thursday morning the physical being, sustained for many days by a determined will, broke the feeble chains that held his soul to earth and he dropped into the sleep of eternity at his old home on South Main street. Death claimed him on his sixty second wedding anniversary and on Flag Day. Had he lived until June 26 he would have been eighty-three years of age. Funeral services were held Sunday at 2 o'clock at the late residence and 2:30 at the Methodist church which was filled to overflowing with relatives and friends who came to pay their last respects to one they had honored and loved all their lives. The services were in charge of Rev. C.W. THORNTON, pastor of the church assisted by Rev. W.J. EYLES of the Baptist church and Eld. Miles BROWNRIGG of the Christian church. Rev. THORTON took for his text James 4:14 "What is Your Life?" Two of Uncle John's favorite hymns: "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder" and "God Be With You Til Meet Again" were sung by a quartette consisting of Mesdames R.N. HELLIER and Geo. ISHERWOOD, Messrs. Jack HELLIER and Homer TURNER. A duet was also sung by Mesdames HELLIER and ISHERWOOD. There was an abundance of beautiful floral tributes which completely covered the alter rail. The remains were laid to rest in the family lot in the Tampico cemetery beside the grave of his wife. The pall bearers were: Jas. STURM, Wm. RUCK, Georege DRAYTON, Will LOVE, O.D. OLSSON, L.K. BRAINERD.
Uncle John as he was called by nearly everyone in this community was born in Springfield township Gallia County, Ohio, June 26, 1834 being a son of John GLASSBURN, one of the hardy pioneers and natives of Virginia who came to Ohio with his parents in the early days. Uncle John was the only survivor of a family of six children, the old generation have all gone to rest with their fathers. He resided with his parents on the home farm in Ohio until he attaned his majority and then hearing the tales of the wonderful west which was then Illinois and Iowa, he resolved to see the country and there seek his fortune. In the meantime like many of this country's most successful men, he attended the district school in his old Ohio home during the few months in the winter that he could be spared from the farm, later in the great school of life and experience, he learned many valuable lessons of thrift, industry and diligence that formed the dominating characteristics of life and were a fine example to his fellow men. As a boy of nineteen years he came to Whiteside county in 1853 to look over the country whieh was then sparsely settled and only a wild prairie. For a short time he worked for a man on the Fox river, later he hired out to Jacob BLACK, proprietor of a grist mill at Milford with whom he continued through the winter. Pleased with Whiteside county and the vicinity of what is now Tampico, Mr. GLASSBURN purchased 16- acres of land from Mr. BLACK or rather made arrangements for its purchase because he had no money. He then returned to his home in Ohio and induced his father to come out and buy the farm of 160 acres upon which his residence now stands and upon which the city of Tampico is built. June 14th, 1855 John W. GLASSBURN was married in Ohio to Miss Olive JOHNSTON who was born in 1838 also in Gallia County, Ohio, and who died Sept. 21, 1905. Her death after a sweet championship with him of more than fifty years, the rearing of a family amid the hardships of the pioneer life of the buy-gone days was a blow from which he never recovered, and as the sunset of his life approached he looked eagerly forward to that time when he should join her before the great White Throne. In company with his brother, Thomas and wife, Uncle John journeyed across the country from Ohio to Illinois, in a prairie schooner, being the only method available to reach the west in those days. The wagon was the home of Uncle John for the many trying days of this overland journey. On arriving in this vicinity he removed the canvas cover from the wagon and used it as a shelter until his shack could be built. He lived on this farm for two years or until he broke the land and made the necessary improvements. Since the spring of 1861 he has lived continously upon the farm which his father purchased, staying first in the grainary until a frame house could be erected, he continued to live in this house until it was replaced in 1877 by a fine brick house, his late home. Uncle John carried on general farming until the railroad was built through here in 1871 when he platted the village of Tampico and made the start that has resulted in a fine, flourishing little city with its business blocks, school, churches and residences. Having faith to carry him above and beyond his then present difficulties and having visions of the great future of the plains of the Mississippi and Rock River Valleys, he built and elevator and entered the grain and live stock business in which he continued with abundant success for thirty years, although the struggles of the early days when money was scarce, farmers were terribly poor and the roads quagmires would have disheartened a man of less grit and determination, through all the years he assisted his neighbors and friends in that pull together spirit until fortune blessed the struggles. In 1882 with W.W. CRADDOCK, he established a bank to accomodate the needs of the growing village and farming community which he had established a few years previous. For some time he considered the banking business as a sort of a side line to his extensive elevator, stock and land business; merely conducting the bank to accomodate the people of the community. Mr. CRADDOCK sold his interest in the bank to A.T. GLASSBURN who had been associated with his father in the elevator, grain and live stock business for several years. Two years later Uncle John sold his entire interest and holdings in The Tampico Bank to A.T. GLASSBURN but the understanding that Uncle John would lend his name as president and influence in banking and helping the son to establish his new business on the firm footing. Uncle John has nominally been president of the bank since that time although he has not participated in its management nor had any financial interest it being controlled and owned by A.T. GLASSBURN exclusively. He was always engaged in a greater of less extent in real estate operations and at various times possessed large holdings of land at one time owning 1400 acres west of town known as Lawndale Farm, he also had interests in Canada, the west and other places. He erected a number of business houses and residences in Tampico and thus contributed in a substantial manner to its welfare and improvement. John W. GLASSBURN was rightly proud to tell that he had voted for Abraham LINCOLN although for many years he had been a staunch Democrat. During his later life he was an ardent supporter of the principles of The Prohibition Party and no candidate could receive his endorsement or vote who was not morally clean. In his younger days Tampico citizens recognized his worth, ability and honesty by choosing him mayor and would gladly have tenered him other offices had he not declined them. He was a member of the Methodist church and this beautiful edifice in whose pews he was a regular worshiper every Sunday regardless of weather, until physical infirmities prevented, is a fitting memorial. He gave liberally of his substance toward its erection and no good work of charity ever knocked at his heart or door in vain. In the early days he gave village lots to all the church denominations and for a school purposes in the newly platted village, showing his deep interest in religious and educational matters. As a member of the school board he did effective work and always as a private citizen labored for the best things for this city and community which he considered as his own child. No one ever had to ask where Uncle John stood on any moral issue they knew. He was also a prominent Mason and for years has been a member of Yorktown Lodge No. 655 A.F.&A.M. What little we may say here today cannot add nor detract from his splendid record - it is written indelibly in the hearts of the community which he founded, fostered, nursed and builded to success with a master's hand. Coming west in the early days with naught but his bare hands and stout brave heart, his wife and babe, his grim determination to make and to win carried him through to success - Success in the broadest and fullest sense of that word. Success in that he builded day by day and year by year during his life time, a monument of good works and deeds as a priceless heritage for his relatives, Success also in worldly goods, having accumulated a fortune that came from the sweat and toil of his early struggles and his business foresight. Kind hearted and generous, beaming with a spirit of the Lowly Nazerene who loved all mankind, Uncle John will not be forgotten soon in this community which has been his home so long. His counsel, advice and substance were forth coming to all deserving friends in need. Many in this community owe their success to him because of his advice in trying times, because of his financial aid in critical periods. His generous whole hearted support of everything desireable and deserving, have rightly given him the title of Tampico's Grand Old Man. His place the community can never be filled, his memory will be as blessed solace to his son A.T. GLASSBURN, his two daughters, Mrs. Jennie REEVES of Denver and Mrs. May HOVEY of Independence, Iowa, and his nine grandchildren and seven great grand children. Relatives from out of town who were here to attend the funeral were: Mrs. Jennie REEVES of Denver, Mr. and Mrs. S.B. HOVEY of Independence, Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. HOVEY of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Mr. and Mrs. Wayne GLASSBURN of Ames, Iowa.