Biographical Index to Whiteside County, Illinois History 1908
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Whiteside History 1908 > Tampico 1908

Source: History of Whiteside County, Illinois
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908
By William W. Davis, M.A.
With Biographical Sketches of some Prominent Citizens of the County
Vol. 1
Reprinted by: Higgenson Book Company
148 Washington Street, P.O. Box 778, Salem, MA 91970, Phone: 978-7170 Fax: 978-745-8025

Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society

Page: 202


I hear thee speak of the better land,
Thou called its children a happy band;
Mother, oh, where is that radiant shore?
Shall we not seek it, and weep no more?
Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies?  - Mrs. Hemans

Tampico sounds like Mexico, and calls up suggestions of dates and palms, but it is not so far south, although on the southernmost tier ofour townships. If you leave Sterling in the morning at seven on the Burlington, change at Denrock, and take the train on the Mendota branch, you will reach Tampico at nine. As you alight at the station, the first object that catches theeye is the soldiers' monument on a small triangular plaza in Spanish. It is made of granite, seventeen feet to the head of the infantry soldier on the summit. On each of the four sides, these stirring names, Pea Ridge, Resaca, Atlanta, Gettysburg. Below, El Caney, Guayama, of the Spanish-American Waar. Also the inscription, This stone is a reminder of the cost and value of the Union of the States, 1861-1865. Erected by the G.A.R., W.R.C., and loyal citizens. It cost about $700. A handsome ornament, and in a place where it appeals to the traveler to pause and think.

Every place has its great name that shades all others. In Chicago it was Marshall Field, in Philadelphia it is John Wanamaker. In Tampico it is John W. Glassburn. Theodore Parker once asked a stranger visiting in Boston if he had seen George Ticknor, the Spanish historian. "No," replied the man. "Well," said Parker, "you might as well visit hell, and not see the devil, as come to Boston, and miss Ticknor." Mr. Glassburn is called the father of Tampico, and is today its prominent citizen. He came to Whiteside in 1856, and laid out his farm in 1861 where the town now stands. He paid $7.50 per acre for the land. He is a man of solid frame, and a hopeful expression that promises many more years of activity.

On the Main street which runs north and south, and Market street, east and west, there are forty business houses, stores, restaurants, shops. On a corner  is the Tampico Bank, established 1882. J. W. Glassburn is president, A. T. Glassburn vice-pres., and A. C. Glassburn and T. A. Curnow, assistant cashiers. Chicago, New York and foreign exchange bought and sold. The Pitney House is kept by O. D. Pitney., and old timer, who came in 1863 there were more frogs and wild ducks than good citizens in Tampico. He came originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, and has reminiscences of Joshua R. Giddings, James A. Garfield, and the worthies of that heroic district. He is "mine host" of the novels, who sits down in the common room, and chats with his guests.

Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.

Simpson's lumber yard is the largest of that business, one of twenty or thirty branches in different cities, and near is Legg's poultry house, shipping chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, chiefly to Boston market. A good point for fowls, Tampico in this respect ranking second in the list, Polo standing first, and Sterling third for the supply of barnyard roasts.

Tampico Tornado is the name of the forceful journal that faithfully carries forward the various interests of the community. George Isherwood, a practical printer, an aggressive and intelligent young man, is editor and proprietor. For the benefit of foreign advertisers, he has a standing bulletin at the head of a column that sets forth the claims of the town at a glance:

Tampico, Illinois

Tampico is located in southern Whiteside County, on the Burlington Ry., 24 miles southeast of Morrison, the county seat, in one of the best farming sections of Illinois. It has a population of 1,500 and is a model little city of neat, progressive and alive to the signs of the times. Its religious interests are well cared for by the Methodist, Catholic, Christian and Baptist churches, while the public schools are excellent, well conducted and largely attended. It is lighted by electricity and is one of the best grain and live stock markets in this latitude. Tampico has a bank, two elevators, two lumber yards, cement works, feed mill, two poultry and egg house, newspaper, and two hotels. All other lines of business are represented by wide-awake buiness men and it is a fine trading point.

The Tornado was etablished in 1876 by C. F. Gifford, who published it until seven years ago, when it was sold to A. D. Hill, who in turn transferred to Mr. Isherwood. One of the oldest weeklies in the county.


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