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The Tampico Area Historical Society encompasses parts of Whiteside County and Bureau County in Illinois. Focus is on Tampico, Hume Twp., Hahnaman/Deer Grove, & Prophetstown in Whiteside County & Yorktown & Thomas in Bureau County.
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810 posts
Jan 27, 2012
11:54 AM
In H. E. Cain's account of the History of Tampico, he talks of a place known as Culpepper, located on Main Street, south of Tampico town.

Does anyone have any stories or documents about this place? I'm hoping that there are those that had stories passed down from ancestors about this place.


Last Edited by on Jan 27, 2012 11:55 AM
160 posts
Jan 28, 2012
1:22 PM
Denise, from what I can gather from his Bent Wilson Bio., was that John C. Aldrich purchased a farm on the southeast side of Tampico. He built a store and had dry goods, clothing and provisions. In his obit.,(27 Feb. 1897) the name of Culpepper was tied to his place.

J. C. Aldrich Obituary (on this site)

Last Edited by on Feb 03, 2012 9:27 AM
161 posts
Jan 28, 2012
1:59 PM
I went to the old Sterling Gazette's and ran a search on Tampico & Culpepper:

In the Tampico news for 12 - 11 - 1880, T. ? ? Davis Has opened the old Culpepper store which he has lately purchased, and now displays a large stock of groceries and ready made clothing for sale.

I believe he would be Thomas H. Benton Davis, son of Reuben Davis. 1880 census he and family are in Tampico and occ. is General Merchant. He later went to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

162 posts
Jan 28, 2012
2:33 PM
I found another one in the Gazette's: 14 Sept. 1878.
Tampico Sept., 11;
Aldrich & Co., have moved their stock of goods from Culpeppper into the building formerly occipied by Mosshart & Berry, and we predict for them an increase in business. Bent Davis has gone to Chicago for more goods.

811 posts
Jan 30, 2012
4:02 PM
Thanks so much, Jack. This helps alot!
163 posts
Jan 30, 2012
5:05 PM
While searching in the old Sterling papers, I ran across an article written by Mrs. William Waterhouse, titled "Tells of Indians and Customs of Pioneers". She was the daughter of Emma (Aldrich) Myers, wife of Marritt Arthur Myers Jr., and later on wife of T.O. Steadman. Emma was first born in Tampico Twp., 23 Oct. 1855, daughter of Rufus Aldrich. I believe the issue of the paper was called the Diamond Jubilee Edition. It was on page 90 of over 130 pages.

Anyway I found things there about some of the first's of Tampico. Also, I looked at the 1872 Plat map, and at that time the land where I think Culpepper was at, was owned by J. W. Glassburn. It could be that the farm mentioned in the above data as becoming property of J. C. Aldrich and eventually became known as Culpepper was in 1872 J. W's. Unless Culpepper was in fact the one half mile south of present town where J.C. had his residence. (see 1872 plat and Mrs. Waterhouse's article.


Last Edited by on Feb 03, 2012 9:32 AM
812 posts
Jan 31, 2012
7:52 AM
Hi Jack, Yes, I have been reviewing that map for a while trying to ascertain where it was. Ironically, I used one of those articles for our last meeting regarding the history of the businesses on Main Street.

I was a little confused because the first school in Tampico [pg 460]was on Aldrich property one mile south of town, which I thought was down by Osage or Rt. 92. I saw on the 1872 map there is a school on J. C. Aldrich's land. But his land is on the west side.

Mark Newman's house is on the corner of Hahnaman and Main and we know it was the original P. O. (Kimball addition). Again, this is on the west side and the article stated the east side: "John C. Aldrich purchased a farm on the southeast side of Tampico. He built a store and had dry goods, clothing and provisions. In his obit.,(27 Feb. 1897) the name of Culpepper was tied to his place."

Thanks for the due diligence on this. I'll see if I can find anything in Morrison to substantiate it's location.

Last Edited by on Feb 03, 2012 11:54 AM
164 posts
Feb 01, 2012
9:04 AM
Denise, I believe I have the mystery of Culpepper figured out, but it will take some time to get it outlined in my mind, and time to type it out.
813 posts
Feb 01, 2012
10:35 AM
Oh Jack, I LOVE it when you write your histories. I'll be waiting with bated breath to read it!
165 posts
Feb 01, 2012
11:05 AM
Dear All,

It is only going to take a few short words to put Culpepper on the map for us, which I will put at the end of this write, but first things first.

I haven't as yet figured out just when the Gazettes Diamond Jubilee Edition was published, (celebrating their 75 year)but I believe the words of Emma Aldrich Myers Steadman and her daughter Mary (aka Mae) Myers Waterhouse need to added to this collection of data pertaining to Culpepper. If one does a search in the Early Gazettes looking for Rufus Aldrich (Rufus was father of J.C. Aldrich, father to Emma Aldrich, and Grandfather of Mary) you will find that this edition (as I remember) the Standard and dated 1877-12-06, (page 90) but was published well into the 1900's by the Gazette. A good portion of the full article are in the words of Emma (first child b. in Tampico Twp.) and some by her daughter Mary. Emma tells of her father Rufus. I'll proceed here with a short portion of thier account of what pertains to data for our search on Culpepper.

"TOWN HALL AND STORE..... The first Town Hall built in Tampico Township was built by J.C. Aldrich on the NE corner of his farm, one half mile South of the present townsite, this farm is now owned by R.N. Hellier. The building was erected for the farmers Grange and later was used as a Town Hall and also for Church purposes. The first salaried Minister in Tampico, Rev. G.W. Carr, a Methodist Minister from Prophetstown, preached there. About this time J. W. Kimball built his home on the hill in the south part of town. (Township) He rented the front part to Mr. Connor from Prophetstown for a grocery store. This was the first store in the town. Mrs. J. W. Kimball had the first millinery store in thye town, this being in the same building."

Some notes to keep in our minds while going through this......
1. Information about Dr. Reuben Davis. He intered the merchantile business in 1877 with his son, Thomas H. Benton Davis. Thomas (and it could have been his father's bank roll) purchased and conducted business out of the Culpepper structure that was purchased from J.C. Aldrich. Later on Reuben built a brick building on the main street of Tampico. Note: July 30, 1881 Tampico news... "Bent Davis has opened his store and now offers a portion of his old stock for sale."

The building built by J. C. eventually ended up in the business district of Tampico, but the year is elusive. At the moment, I'm thinking T.H.B. Davis was out on the half acre where it was first standing, or it could be Davis was in it after it was moved to the business district. Whiteside County by Wayne Bastian, page 444....." First religious services in the township were held in the Aldrich School on the west line of section 22. The time was about 1856 and the officiating Wesleyan minister was a Mr. Pinkney. Soon after, the Rev. William Gray arrived. He was of Protestant Methodist belief and remained for many years. The Methodist Episcopal society was organized in 1871. Prior to that year, meetings were held every other week in the Town Hall south of Tampico. After the moving of the hall into what was to become the village of Tampico, the society met in Sheldon Hall on Main Street, with it's pastor, the Rev. L:. A. Sanford of Sterling."

Another note.... Emma and daughter did not mention that the building on J. C.'s farm was used as a school, but it is listed as a school on the 1872 plat map, and it could be that this map is what Bastian took for his infromation. According to Emma, the first school out that way was built on her grandfathers farm and the lumber was drought from Sterling. However, it could have been used for a school.

So then, we have south of Tampico Town, the first store (Emma) the first town Hall and Grange, and the first cemetery, and in information about J. C. Aldrich which directly points Culpepper his way south of Tampico.

Another note: Gazette, 29 April, 1944.

This by H. E. Cain;
CULPEPPER IS SUBURB Culpepper was a town by itself and consisted of a store located on the present Edward Fullerton property on south Main Street. The store was built by a Grange with the idea in mind to later build an elevator and granary but that was never accomplished. It was a big day in town when a sidewalk was built to "Culpepper." The store later moved into the present business district and is the building now occupied by Harry Hurd Jr."

If we track history of Harry Hurd we should find the location of where this structure stood for the second time. If we track real estate deals, we should find where Bent Davis had his first store, which at the moment appears to be in old Culpepper. If we read again the words of H. E. Cain and use his words with a BIG SMILE as we go through them, I think his sidewalk to Culpepper was the opening of the cement road going south out of town to CULPEPPER.

P.S. I haven't had so much fun sence we figured out L L Higday.

Last Edited by on Feb 02, 2012 5:00 PM
166 posts
Feb 01, 2012
1:38 PM
If anybody is interested...... I found Harry Martin Hurd's obit at genealogytrails, (father of Harry Hurd Jr.) and he was a farmer and a business man in Tampico before retiring. The obit of son Harry (Bud) Hurd Jr. 1993 obit is on this web site.

States Harry Jr. owned and operated a tavern and restaurant in Tampico for a number of years. Really makes me wonder if the tavern-restaurant was that of the Culpepper town hall that J. C. Aldrich built.

814 posts
Feb 02, 2012
7:41 AM
Oh Jack, THANK YOU! Funny - it was the H. C. Cain article that started me on this quest. I ran across it while gathering information for our "History of Main Street Business." I have identified some of those Main St. businesses mentioned above, so I will go do some cross-referencing to pinpoint their locations on Main St. and report back. Again, let me thank you, Jack. You have saved me so much time (because I am doing the "Main St. History..." on my own as far as records, etc. And your presentations are far more interesting than mine. You are such a delight to have on this board. (and I was just talking about Miss Higday the other day!) Please keep us posted if you run across anything else.
167 posts
Feb 02, 2012
9:05 AM

Just two things to mention.....
1. Above where I used the words about the highway going to the "suburb of Culpepper", I wish I had used Suburb of Culpepper. Please edit it in if you can.

2. Tampico news, Oct. 1930..... "Harry Hurd purchased the Murphy residence on the northern part of town."


Last Edited by on Feb 02, 2012 4:20 PM
168 posts
Feb 02, 2012
12:12 PM
I see I have made quite an error about EMMA ALDRICH. She was the daughter of Rufus Aldrich, and not the daughter of John C. Aldrich. So then, the Gazette material that was published in the Diamond edition goes to Mary Waterhouse, where she mentioned Rufus as grandfather.

Sorry..... Jack
815 posts
Feb 02, 2012
5:02 PM
Hi Jack,
1. I have changed "town" to "suburb"
2. Changed references to great grandfather and grandfather to reflect correct relationships to Rufus.
3. The Gazette started publishing in 1854, which would make the publish date for their Diamond Jubilee, 1929 (if my math is correct!).
Thanks again. Off to watch American Idol. lol
169 posts
Feb 03, 2012
7:18 AM
Thanks Denise,

With out going back to the old Gazette's I'll type from my short memory, but as memory serves, I believe there was some Tampico news about Mary Waterhouse and her mother then Mrs. (Emma) T. O. Steadman getting ready for a move in 1930. Appears they were living together at the time of the Gazette's Diamond publication.
816 posts
Feb 03, 2012
11:39 AM
Just and FYI regarding John C. Aldrich vs. John H. Aldrich. Both names are on the 1872 plat map as owning property in Tampico Twp. John H. was born in PA abt.1841 and is the son of Rufus Aldrich, and sibling of Emma Aldrich. John C. Aldrich was born in NY abt 1820. Our obituary for John C. Aldrich, shows him born 1820 and references his father as Rufus Aldrich. Our Rufus was born 1817 & died 1911. There is a reference to his brother "John" who I believe is the John C. Aldrich. I think Rufus & Polly were the parents of Rufus & John C. John C. would be the uncle of Emma Aldrich.

Also, an article in the Sterling Gazette dated Dec. 29, 1929 has an article printed in Morrison's Sentinel offering congratulations to the Gazette on their Diamond Jubilee Editon, printed Monday, Dec. 9, 1929.

Various Histories on Tampico on TAHS website

Last Edited by on Feb 03, 2012 1:14 PM

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