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Message Board > Reagan Condolences, Thoughts, Memories . . .Locked
Reagan Condolences, Thoughts, Memories . . .Locked
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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62 posts
Jun 10, 2004
9:47 AM
If you would like to express your condolences, thoughts, prayers or memories for the Reagan family, please do so here. They will be forwarded to the Reagan family.

Tampico plans memorial service for Reagan Sunday
By Adell Newman-Lee, correspondent@qconline.com


TAMPICO -- As this tiny village prepares its final farewell to native son Ronald Reagan, volunteers have met new people, taken hundreds of phone calls, given hundreds of hours to Reagan-related activities and recognized that the passage of time changes all things.

They also have pulled together a memorial service at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Tampico Middle School for the village's favorite son, born in a Main Street upstairs apartment in 1911.

Ann Martin, president of the Tampico Historical Society, said the Sunday memorial service will include:

-- Tampico Community Choir singing "Thanks be to God," "Blessing of Aaron" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

-- Speakers: Illinois Sen. Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo; Mount Saint Clare College history professor Gene Wright of Savanna; Joan Johnson of Tampico; and Lloyd and Amy McElhiney of Tampico, curators of the Ronald Reagan Birthplace Museum.

-- Local clergy with invocation, benediction and remarks.

A military gun salute at Reagan Park in Tampico will follow the hour-long service. Refreshments will be served after the salute at the Tampico Fire Station.

Directional signposts will direct visitors to Tampico.

The Ronald Reagan Birthplace and Tampico Historical Society Museum will be closed during the memorial service but will re-open immediately afterwards for visitors.

Mrs. Martin said Tampico has been very busy since Saturday's announcement of President Reagan's death.

"We have had 500 or so visitors, and it's interesting how they have decided to come," she said. "One European couple, on a cross-country trip of the United States, heard the announcement of Reagan's death on their car radio while they were crossing Iowa and decided to take a slight detour to visit Tampico and see his birthplace."

Greg Sandrock, of Tampico, who has been involved in the financial management of the birthplace for several years, said the site has been so busy he called on college students home on break to help with the crush of visitors.

"Folks stop by as early as 7 a.m. wanting to see the birthplace," said Mr. Sandrock. "And they keep coming until late in the evening."

Mrs. Martin said the Tampico Historical Society Web page has had more than 1,000 visitors since Saturday. Anyone interested in viewing the Web site can access it at http://www.tampicohistoricalsociety.citymax.com

The site has biographical information on Mr. Reagan, a photo gallery devoted to him and other related information.

Mrs. Martin said the community has been deeply moved by the devotion surrounding the late president.

"I don't know, but it seems to me like Ronald Reagan touched people in a way that few presidents ever do," she said. "People seem genuinely saddened that he is gone. It's not mere curiosity for them; it's truly a way to pay tribute and say goodbye."

Denise, Tampico Area Historical Society

Last Edited by Administrator on Mar 20, 2005 1:04 PM
Les Niemi
Jun 11, 2004
7:50 PM
On this evening while I watch the burial proceedings from California, I began to look through all of the Tampico Tornado articles that I have transcribed over the past few years and realized that The Reagan's were very involved in the life of Tampico. As the President's home was Tampico during the most formative years of his life, I'm sure Tampico was a major part of him.

I have copied the articles I have found involving the Reagan family below. I hope they are of value to those who read through them.

Les Niemi
GG Grandson of John Noah and Anna Woodard HOGEBOOM - Early Tampico residents

April 15, 1899
John Allen RAGAN [REAGAN] of Chicago, an engineer on one of the dredges has rented the C.F. GIFFORD residence property on Benton street and will take possession May first. In the mean time a new kitchen and barn will be erected upon the place.

November 3, 1900
Mrs. John REAGAN took the morning train Wednesday for Chicago, where she will visit friends.

November 23, 1901
J.L. RAGAN [REAGAN?] lost a pocket book somewhere on Main street, containing $41 in money and $39 in time checks. So far the finder, if it has been found, has failed to restore it to the owner and Mr. RAGAN [REAGAN?] generously offers as a reward the money contained in the book but he wants the time checks.

December 21, 1901
Your Committee on Town Poor Claims report that they have examined all claims presented to them and recommend the payment of the following and that the clerk be directed to issue orders for the several amounts, to wit:
1 A.C. STANLEY, cash paid out ............1.10
2 J.R. BELL & Son, clothing ..................2.75
3 J. REITER, Shoes
4 M.J. BROWN, dry goods
5 G.H. GRAY, milk
6 W.D. CADY, Livery
12 John REAGAN, 8 days nursing

August 23, 1902
Miss RAGAN [REAGAN?] of Round Grove visited her sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER, this week.

April 26, 1906
Mr. John REAGAN went to Clinton Saturday and attended a large meeting of the Knights of Columbus there Sunday. A class of seventy-five received the work which was followed by a banquet and jollification.

April 26, 1906
Mrs. John REAGAN went to Fulton Friday evening where she visited until Monday with friends.

April 27, 1906
Mr. and Mrs. J.W. REAGAN spent Sunday in their old home, Fulton.

August 3, 1906
Mr. and Mrs. John REAGAN are visiting in Indiana.

September 21, 1906
Fulton Journal: - John REAGAN here is preparing his household goods for shipment to Tampico where he will reside. He has been employed as clerk in H.C. PITNEY's store in the enterprising town since last spring.

January 18, 1907
Miss Kate REGAN [REAGAN] returned to her home in Sterling Tuesday after a visit with her sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER.

April 26, 1907
Mr. and Mrs. John REAGAN entertained Dr. CLENDENEN and Mr. BALDWIN and ladies of Fulton Wednesday.

May 10, 1907
Miss Kate REAGAN and Mrs. KNOX of Sterling visited their sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER here this week.

July 26, 1907
John REAGAN and wife went to Chicago via Sterling last Saturday. From there they went to Fulton and then to Quincy. John is taking his two weeks vacation, a much needed rest.

August 30, 1907
Miss SMITH of Fulton was the guest of Mrs. John REAGAN Monday and Tuesday.

October 11, 1907
George K. Allen Aged Citizen is Found Dead in Bed When Called in Morning
George K. ALLEN, an aged citizen and one of the old citizens of Tampico was found dead in his bed at the home of William DEITZ Sunday morning about 7 o'clock. Mr. DEITZ rents the ALLEN farm which is located on the eastern boundary of the village and Mr. ALLEN made his home with the DEITZ''.
Mrs. DEITZ rapped on the door of Mr. ALLEN's bed room about 7 o'clock ..... When found he had been dead about five or six hours according to the opinion of the physician who was summoned.
...... Death was probably due to heart trouble or rheumatism of that organ because he was affected by rheumatism.
Coroner J.G. LIMERICK of Rock Falls held an inquest at the DIETZ home Sunday afternoon. The following were the jurors: L.M. FRALICH, James GRAHAM, Shuler STEADMAN, Guy PARENT, Charles BURDEN and John REAGAN.
.....George K. ALLEN was born in Sussex County, New Jersey on February 15, 1831. His early manhood was spent in his native state but in 1853 he came west with the stream of emigrants who were settling the prairies of the west and located in Bureau County, south of Wyanet where he lived until the spring of 1865 when he moved to Tampico township, one year was spent on the farm now occupied by Robt. HELLIER but since that time, nearly a half a century the farm just east of town was his home. He married in 1861 Catherine HAGAN and although no children blessed the union, they adopted a son, Fred ALLEN and raised him as their own child. He was the only surviving relative. Two brothers and five sisters having proceeded him to that country from which no traveler returns.

February 10, 1911
John REAGAN has been calling thirty-seven inches a yard and giving seventeen ounces for a pound this week at PITNEY's store he has been feeling so jubilant over the arrival of a ten pound boy Monday [Ronald REAGAN].

January 25, 1912
John REAGAN and aunt, Mrs. BALDWIN went to Ottawa last Saturday to consult specialists in regard to his health having been told point blank by doctors both in Clinton and Sterling that he had a very bad case of tuberculosis of the throat and lings being at that time unable to talk much above a whisper and that the disease had reached such a stage that there was no hope of recovery. Mr. REAGAN was pretty blue when he landed in Ottawa but felt like jumping over the doctor's office after the specialist had made a thorough examination and found that there was no tuberculosis, nothing but severe inflamation of his vocal cords. The specialist in throat troubles said that could be cured in three or four treatments. Mrs. BALDWIN returned home Monday evening and Mr. REAGAN is expected Wednesday, cured.

January 30, 1913
A Dramatic Club Organized
The Tampico Dramatic Club met at the home of Jack REAGAN this week and organized by electing the following officers:
President - R.M. BROCK
Secretary - Jack REAGAN
Treasurer - Percy HAYES
Instructor - M.G. FRANCE
The club is planning on giving a heavy English play called "My Lady Darrell."

February 13, 1913
Will REAGAN of Fulton was here this week visiting his brother, John REAGAN.

June 5, 1913
Mr. and Mrs. Jack REAGAN and children and Mr. and Mrs. C.M. TUGGLE motored to Annawan Sunday where they visited a cousin of Mrs. TUGGLE.

July 3, 1913
Mrs. John REAGAN and children returned last Sunday from their visit among relatives at White Pigeon.

July 17, 1913
REAGAN Auto Goes In Ditch
Jack REAGAN and family and Ed McGRATH and family had a narrow escape from a trip over in Mr. REAGAN's Ford car while returning from Rock Island last Sunday evening near Erie. Mr. REAGAN was driving the car and did not see a rut on accout of some weeds along the road and the car tilted over against a stump which kept it from going clear over. None of the occupants were injured and all were able to step out of the car. The windshield of the car was broken and top torn somewhat.

August 7, 1913
Mr. and Mrs. Jack REAGAN motored to Fulton last week Sunday and on their return Misses Stella SMITH of Fulton and Gertrude H. WILSON of Lyons, Iowa, returned with them for a visit here.

September 4, 1913
Mr and Mrs. John REAGAN and children motored down to Quincey Sunday where they are visiting his sister.

November 20, 1913
Rear Auto Wheel Collapsed
One of the rear wheels of John REAGAN's auto collapsed just after reaching the pavement in Rock Falls Sunday night on a trip from here. The broken wheel caused the car to tango squarely around and the occupants, Mr. and Mrs. John DALEY and Mr. and Mrs. REAGAN were somewhat surprised when the wheel broke and the car waltzed. A new wheel was secured and the auto party got home safely.

August 20, 1914
Miss Lorea REAGAN of Sterling visited her aunt, Mrs. E.C. BOYER last week and this returning home Wednesday morning.

October 29, 1914
Miss Kate REAGAN of Sterling visited her sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER here this week.

May 20, 1915
John REAGAN who has been employed in one of the large department stores in Chicago has resigned his position there and on Monday went to Galesburg where he has secured a better position. He spent Sunday in Tmapico visiting his old friend, Glenn STEADMAN.

July 29, 1915
Miss Kate REAGAN of Sterling was an over Sunday visitor at the home of her sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER.

July 19, 1917
MIss Kate REAGAN of Sterling visited her sister, Mrs. E.C. BOYER here last week.

August 28, 1919
Jack REAGAN who has moved here and will work at the H.C. PITNEY store went to Chicago Monday morning where he spent the day buying goods for the store.

August 28, 1919
Jack REAGAN and family of Monmouth moved to Tampico last week into the flats above H.C. PITNEY's store. Mr. REAGAN will be employed in Mr. PITNEY's store and will be a valuable addition to the force. He is experienced in up-to-date store methods and at Monmouth had charge of one department of a large store including the buying of goods and the overseer of the clerks. He is also a graduate of the American school of Proctipedics and will have charge of the shoe department in the PITNEY store. Mr. REAGAN and family formerly resided in Tampico and have many friends who will welcome them back.

October 16, 1919
Jack REAGAN went to Chicago Tuesday morning to purchase goods for H.C. PITNEY's store.

January 14, 1920
Miss Millie LUTYENS was tendered a reception by members of the Christian church at the church Monday evening. There were about seventy five present and the evening was spent socially. Mrs. J.E. REAGAN on behalf of the guests presented Miss LUTYENS a purse of about $10. Refreshments were served and everyone present voiced their congratualations to Miss LUTYENS on her coming marriage to Forrest E. BESS.

January 22, 1920
Mrs. J.E. REAGAN entertained her Sunday School class, at her home Thursday evening, Jan. 15. Owing to sickness some of the members were unable to attend. During the buisness session officers were elected for the new year as follows: Mrs. REAGAN, teacher and president; Tracy PIERCE, Vice Pres.; Clark FOY, Sec.; Fay STALCUP, Treas.; Victor LONGEST, reporter; Mrs. GRABILL, chairman of flower committee; Mrs. Lizzie McKENZIE our Phone Scout. Voted to name the class, True Blue. After the business, refreshments were served. The next class social will be held Feb. 5th at the home of Mrs. Clark FOY.

January 29, 1920
Jack REAGAN was in Chicago last week where he spent two days buying goods for PITNEY's store.

January 29, 1920
While in Chicago last week Jack REAGAN attneded the Retailers convention where he heard some splendid speaches and also enjoyed a good banquet.

February 12, 1920
Mrs. REAGAN's Sunday School class the "True Blues," held their class social at her home Thursday evening, Feb. 5th, Mrs. Dorothy HEINRICHS class meeting with them also. The evening was spent in games, music, and singing, after which light refreshment were served.
The two classes have decided to enterain each others class every two weeks; the next social will be at the home of Miss Bessie McKENZIE Friday evening, Feb. 20, then the True Blue's will hold their next social at the home of Mrs. Mack PIERCE, Thursday, March 4th.

March 11, 1920
Mrs. Jack REAGAN was called to White Pigeon, north of Morrison last week by a phone message which told of the serious sickness of her sister.

March 11, 1920
Jack REAGAN received word Monday of the death of his wife's sister, Mrs. Jennie PIERCE at White Pigeon where Mrs. REAGAN had been called on account of her sickness. Death occurred Monday afternoon about 5 o'clock and was due to a clot on the brain. She is survived by her husband, three sisters and three brothers. Funeral services will be held at Fulton on Thursday.

March 18, 1920
John E. REAGAN and two sons of Tampico came to Fulton Wednesday evening to attend the funeral of Mrs. REAGAN's sister, Mrs. Walter E. PIERCE, who died at her home in Clyde Monday. Mrs. REAGAN had been called to the home of her sister a few days ago and came to Fulton with the funeral cortege. The REAGANS were guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. O.G. BALDWIN while here. - Fulton Journal.

April 8, 1920
All records for large amounts takin in for cash sales were broken last week Saturday at H.C. PITNEY's store and probably ever done at the store in Tampico, were also beaten, according to Jack REAGAN of the store who says that it shows conclusively that it certainly pays to advertise. The sale was advertised by a full page ad in the Tampico, and also by thousands of circulars in the territory outside of which The Tornado circulates. Buyers were attracted from far and near who are quick to see the big bargins offered in these times of high prices.

May 6, 1920
Mrs. REAGAN's class the "True Blues," have decided not to have their social at Mrs. Ralph McKENZIE's Thursday evening, May 6th as announced but there will be a social at the church that evening, to which all members are invited. Each lady something good to eat, for those hungry men.

May 13, 1920
Jack REAGAN made a business trip to Dixon Monday morning.

June 10, 1920
The Missionary society met June 2 at the home of Mrs. H.C. JOHNSON. The following officers were elected:
Pres. - Mrs. J.E. REAGAN
Vice Pres. - Mrs. Geo. LONGEST
Sec. - Mrs. H.C. JOHNSON
Tres. - Mrs. Ray McKENZIE
The society voted to change the date of their meetings from the first Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be held at the church Thursday, July 8th.

July 15, 1920
Jack REAGAN of PITNEY's store went to Chicago Sunday where he spent Monday attending a big convention and meeting at the Retail Boot and Shoe Dealers and securing some xxxpoints in the shoe line.

July 15, 1920
Mrs. Jack REAGAN went over to Clinton last week for a visit and will also visit at Morrison and other places.

July 22, 1920
Mrs. RUSH and Mrs. HUNT, sisters of Mrs. Jack REAGAN went to Aurora Tuesday and Wednesday mornings after a pleasant visit here.

July 29, 1920
Mrs. Jack REAGAN and Mrs. Levi LUTYENS went to Chicago last week Thursday where they spent two days.

August 12, 1920
Mr. and Mrs. John E. REAGAN and two sons of Tampico motored to Fulton Sunday and with Mr. and Mrs. Allen LOCKHART of Clinton were dinner guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. O.G. BALDWIN. - Fulton Journal.

August 26, 1920
Jack REAGAN made a business trip to Chicago this week.

September 9, 1920
H.C. PITNEY Will Dispose Of Stock and Engage In Business In Dixon.
H.C. PITNEY is closing out of his general store business in this place and will move to Dixon at which place he has made arrangements to go into business and to make his future home.
Mr. PITNEY has been closely identified with the buiness and social life of this community for many years, during which time he has built up a splendid business and established an enviable reputation for integrity and upright dealing and taken an active part in every movement for the advancement of the interests of the community.
This decision to move was made some time ago and he has spent considerable time and thought in selecting a place to transfer his business activities to, finally deciding to locate in Dixon.
He has leased a store building for a term of years and will put in a complete line of high grade foot wear exclusively, being assisted in the business by the present manager, Mr. J.E. REAGAN, who will leave soon to assume charge of the new establishment. Mr. PITNEY has purchased a desirable plot and will erect as soon as possible a modern residence in Dixon, but will continue to make his home here until his new residence is completed, and will remain here at least until the first of the year. This decision to leave Tampico is regretted by the many friends of both Mr. and Mrs. PITNEY and Mr. and Mrs. REAGAN, but they extend their best wishes for success and prosperity in thier new home.

October 28, 1920
Before leaving for their new home in Sterling, the H.C. JOHNSON family were given a very delightful surprise on Thursday evening. As usual, the prayer services were held at the Chirstian church and knowing that the family would attend as was their custom, the members and friends of the church thought that a very opportune time to show their appreciation. A splendid service was held with Mrs. Neil REAGAN, leader, and at its close a program was given, supper was served and a social time enjoyed. There were some seventy-five present. Before leaving for home, in a very pleasing manner, Mrs. REAGAN presented Mr. and Mrs. JOHNSON a purse of money as a small token of esteem. Both Mr. and Mrs. JOHNSON responded in a feeling manner. They will be greatly missed in the work of the church and in social circles but our loss will be Sterling's gain.

November 11, 1920
We were glad to see so many right on time for Sunday School last Lord's Day, two of the classes won stars; the older classes will have to wake up or they wil have to entertain the younger classes, the way it looks now, keep the good work up kiddies. Come next Sunday at ten o'clock. If you have no home churc, you will find a warm welcome awaiting you.
The Woman's Missionary Society will meet at the home of Mrs. Tom NOON next Thursday P.M. Mrs. Lizzie McKENZIE, leader. All members are urged to come, visitors welcome.

November 25, 1920
Let us all be in our places next Lord's day, help your class to win a gold star, the last bell rings at ten o'clock, come.
There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true.
Then give to teh world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you.
A box will be packed next week to be sent to the "Near East Relief." This call comes to all of you for old clothing.

December 9, 1920
J.E. REAGAN spent Monday of this week in Dixon transacting business and making preparations for moving to that city soon.

We had a fine attendance at our Missionary Day program last Lord's Day and a free will offering was taken for the work which amounted to $12.64. It goes to show that even though the little church is without a Minister, we are doing some good at least, in our being faithful to the work, and we are winning souls for the Master, another one of teh young men came forward Sunday morning, taking a stand for Christ, Mr. Harry SHERE, we are glad to announce, was that young man.
Everyone should come out and be in thier classes at ten o'clock each Lord's day and try and find someone to bring with you that has now home church.
The Woman's Missionary Society will meet at the home of Mrs. Lizzie McKENZIE Thursday, Dec. 9th and we wil have with us that afternoon, Mrs. John A. BAKER one of the "County Officers," who will give a fine talk along the general lines of the work, so members of the Society make your "phones-hum," get busy, and call all the ladies of the Church Wed., so as to give them all a chance to share in this big treat. Mrs. H.C. JOHNSON is the one to thank for this as she is going to bring Mrs. BAKER with her, so that will be a double treat for you all to have Mrs. JOHNSON with you again.
I wish to take this way now of bidding you all Good bye, and to thank you all for the pleasant months of love and fellowship and kindnesses shown to me by you all and to thank my class, the True Blues, for the pleasant surprise given on m last Thursday evening and for their lovely gift, and may they always remain just what their class name is, "True Blue."
We will be living at 816 Hennepin Ave., Dixon, Ill. and the latch key will always be hanging outside for any of our Tampico friends with a warm welcome awaiting you all.

December 16, 1920
Mr. and Mrs. J.T. [sic] REAGAN packed their household goods and moved to Dixon last week where Mr. REAGAN will enter the shoe business in a well located building which is being equipped for that line of goods. The building is being remodeled and made ready for the installation of the lastes and best in the way of fixtures and equipment and Mr. REAGAN expects to have one of the finest shoe stores in the northern part of the state.
Mr. and Mrs. REAGAN and family have been closely identified with the business, social and religious life of this community during their residence here, having always been willing to do their best in the way of supporting every worthy cause and leave behind them a host of friends who wish them every success and happiness in their new home.

December 16, 1920
Mrs. J.E. REAGAN was given a pleasant surprise before leaving for her new home in Dixon when a number of the young people of the Christian church went to her home to bid her good-bye. They spent the evening together in singing and playing games and later refreshments were served, the crowd having prepared for this part of the entertainment.
As a slight reminder of the friends left behind, Mrs. Georgia GLASSBURN presented Mrs. REAGAN with a nice casserole to which she responded very nicely. Mrs. REAGAN has been a faithful and untiring worker in the church and will be greatly missed by both members and friends of the organization.

December 30, 1920
H.C. PITNEY was a Monday morning passenger to the city where he was met by J.E. REAGAN of Dixson and together they purchased new fixtures for their store in Dixon.
Richard Hinton
Jun 14, 2004
7:35 AM
Ronald Reagan has been a part my life for nearly six decades now. Growing up in Tampico, I was much aware of this famous actor from our little town. When a teenager my family moved to Santa Monica, California where in 1961, as a sixteen-year old, I first heard Mr. Reagan at one of his much-celebrated early speaches. He was so dynamic the buzz bagan immediately as to electing him governor. Like others, I pushed forward to meet him and will always recall his firm handshake and glowing smile as I introduced myself as being from Tampico. Later I proudly proclaimed to my High School classmates that I was from Tampico, Illinois, the birthplace of Ronald Reagan who would someday be President. In 1966 I recall driving a fifty mile round-trip back to my parents home just so I could cast my first-ever vote for Reagan. Today I have many thoughts. I think of my political chum and best fried, Jon Warmbrodt, who as a Marine Lieutenant, gave his life for his beliefs in Viet-Nam. I think of the solid salute of Mickey Rooney at the Presidents gravesite and of the crowds who found they loved Ronald Reagan more than they had realized. I remember the heart-break of Reagan not winning the nomination in 1976 and the joy of his victory of 1980. Most of all I will always remember how my wife, realizing my grief this weekend, tenderly read aloud to me the first chapter of the biography, Dutch, as we shared lunch together...
Angela Wausau
Jul 01, 2004
7:16 AM
How blessed is Illinois to be the home to two of the greatest Presidents that this country will ever have? President Abraham Lincoln and President Ronald Reagan

Posted by Angela Wausau, WI on June 9, 2004
Art Griffith
Jul 01, 2004
7:16 AM
Ronald Reagan's Parents John Edward “Jack”Reagan Birth: 13 Jul 1883, Fulton, Whitesides Co IL Parents: Father John Reagan Birth: 1855, London, England Mother Jennie Cusick Birth 1857 in Java, Genesse Co, NY Death: 18 May 1941, Beverly Hills, LA Co, CA Married: 8 Nov 1904 Nelle "Clyde" Wilson Nelle "Clyde" Wilson Birth: 24 Jul 1883 in Clyde Twp, Whitesides Co, IL Parents: Father Thomas Wilson Mother Mary Ann Elsey Death: 24 Jul 1962 in Beverly Hills, LA Co, CA.

Posted by Art Griffith on June 13, 2004
Art Griffith
Jul 01, 2004
7:18 AM
Ronald Reagan: I was born February 6, 1911, in a flat above the local bank in Tampico, Illinois. According to family legend, when my father ran up the stairs and looked at his newborn son, he quipped: "He looks like a fat little Dutchman. But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day." During my mother's pregnancy, my parents had decided to call me Donald. But after one of her sisters beat her to it and named her son Donald, I became Ronald. I never thought "Ronald" was rugged enough for a young red-blooded American boy and as soon as I could, I asked people to call me "Dutch." That was a nickname that grew out of my father's calling me "the Dutchman" whenever he referred to me. My delivery, I was told, was a difficult one and my mother was informed that she shouldn't have any more children. So that left four of us - Jack, Nelle, and my brother, Neil, who had been born two years earlier. In high school, my brother had a teammate on the football team, Winston McReynolds, who was his closest buddy and they were so inseparable the other players began referring to Neil as "Moon" and Winston as "Mushmouth" - the names of the two lead characters in the "Moon Mullins" comic strip. Neil's nickname stuck and, from then on, about the only person who ever called him Neil was my mother. My dad - his name was John Edward Reagan but everyone called him Jack - was destined by God, I think, to be a salesman. His forebears had come to America from County Tipperary by way of England during Ireland's potato famine and he was endowed with the gift of blarney and the charm of a leprechaun. No one I ever met could tell a story better than he could. Nelle Wilson Reagan, my mother, was of Scots-English ancestry. She met and fell in love with my father shortly after the turn of the century in one of the tiny farm towns that were planted on the Illinois prairie by pioneers as they moved westward across the continent during the nineteenth century. They were married in Fulton, Illinois, about forty miles from Dixon, in 1904. While my father was a cynic and tended to suspect the worst of people, my mother was the opposite. She always expected to find the best in people and often did, even among the prisoners at our local jail to whom she frequently brought hot meals. I learned from my father the value of hard work and ambition, and maybe a little something about telling a story. From my mother, I learned the value of prayer, how to have dreams and believe I could make them come true. My parents constantly drummed into me the importance of judging people as individuals. There was no more grievous sin at our household than a racial slur or other evidence of religious or racial intolerance. A lot of it, I think, was because my dad had learned what discrimination was like firsthand. He'd grown up in an era when some stores still had signs at their door saying, NO DOGS OR IRISHMEN ALLOWED. When my brother and I were growing up, there were still ugly tumors of racial bigotry in much of America, including the corner of Illinois where we lived. My mother always taught us: "Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you," and "Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are." When I was a child, we moved a lot. My father was constantly searching for a better life and I was forever the new kid in school. During one period of four years, I attended four different schools. We moved to wherever my father's ambition took him. Tampico, the place where I was born, had a population of only 820. There was a short paved main street, a railroad station, two or three churches, and a couple of stores, including the one where my father worked. When I was a baby, we moved from the flat above the bank into a house facing a park in the center of Tampico that had a Civil War cannon flanked by a pyramid of cannonballs. One of my first memories was of crossing the park with my brother on our way to an ice wagon that had pulled up to the depot. A pair of toddlers intent on plucking some refreshing shards of ice from the back of the wagon, we crawled over the tracks beneath a huge freight train that had just pulled in. We'd hardly made it when the train pulled out with a hissing burst of steam. Our mother, who had come out on the porch in time to see the escapade, met us in the middle of the park and inflicted the appropriate punishment. When I was two, we moved to Chicago, where my father had gotten a promising job selling shoes at the Marshall Field's department store. We moved into a small flat near the University of Chicago that was lighted by a single gas jet brought to life with the deposit of a quarter in a slot down the hall. After we'd been in Chicago for less than two years, Jack was offered a job at O.T. Johnson's, a big department store in Galesburg 140 miles to the west of Chicago, and we moved again, this time to a completely different world. Instead of noisy streets and crowds of people, it consisted of meadows and caves, trees and streams, and the joys of small-town life. From that time onward, I guess I've always been partial to small towns and the outdoors. World War I started when we were in Galesburg. Like almost every other American during those years, I was filled with pride every time I heard a band play "Over There" or I thought of our doughboys crossing the Atlantic on a noble mission to save our friends in Europe. There were some days when everybody in Galesburg dropped whatever they were doing and rushed down to the depot to cheer on a troop train passing through town. The train windows were usually open to the air and the doughboys would be in their khaki uniforms and would wave to us; we waved back and cheered. Once my mother picked me up and gave me a penny, which I gave to a soldier, saying in my small voice, "Good luck." Not long after the war ended, we moved again, this time back to Tampico, where my dad had been offered the job of managing the same H.C. Pitney General Store he was working at when I was born, and we moved into an apartment above the store. The owner, Mr. Pitney, who wasn't so much a merchant as an investor, liked my father and promised that, as soon as he could, he would try to help him become part owner of a shoe store. After a year or so, we packed up all our belongings and headed for Dixon, where, keeping his promise, Mr. Pitney had decided to open a swank shoe store called the Fashion Boot Shop with Jack as his partner. It was in Dixon that I really found myself. http://www.ronaldreagan.com/tampico.html The family tree comes from: http://www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/ronald-reagan/d0/i0000004.htm?Welcome=1087954990 Further information can be found at: http://www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/ronald-reagan/d0/i0000005.htm#i5 I hope this helps with clarification.

Posted by Art Griffith on June 22, 2004
Jul 01, 2004
7:19 AM
Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman had 3 children: Maureen Reagan, born January 4, 1941; died of malignant melanoma August 8, 2001. Son, Michael Reagan, born March 18, 1945; adopted by Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman on March 21, 1945. A daughter, Christine Reagan, was born prematurely on June 26, 1947 and passed away nine hours later. (divorced in 1948) http://www.meredy.com/janewyman/

Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2004
Bernie Rasmussen
Jul 01, 2004
7:19 AM
Interesting site. Just found you! Ronald Reagan’s Second Wife First Lady: Nancy Reagan Given Name: Anne Frances Robbins b, Manhattan, NY July 6, 1921 (Although she lists her birth date as July 6, 1923) Mother: Edith Luckett, b., Petersburg, VA (Actress) Father: Kenneth Seymour Robbins b,. Pittsfield, MA Nov 1890 (Salesman) Anne was nicknamed "Nancy" at a very young age. Her father divorced her mother shortly after she was born, so she knew very little about him. In she 1923 moved to Bethesda, Maryland, and was raised by her maternal aunt in Aunt Virginia and Uncle Audley Galbraith, until the the age of eight, while her mother pursued her acting career. On May 20, 1929 in Chicago, IL. Edith then married Dr. Loyal Davis Dr. Loyal Davis (Neurosurgeon) was born in 1896 in IL and died on Aug 19, 1982 in Phoenix, AZ.) in the Summer of 1929 Anne Francis moved to Chicago to be with her with mother and step-father. In 1935 she was legally adopted by her step-father Dr. Loyal Davis and became Nancy Davis. She attended the Latin School in Chicago and went on to study Drama at Smith College, graduating in 1943.

Posted by Bernie Rasmussen on June 24, 2004
B.J. Bellini
Jul 01, 2004
7:21 AM
Extra Reagan Sites: To Send Condolences Directly to the Reagan Family: https://www.ronaldreaganmemorial.com/condolence_book.asp http://rememberronaldreagan.com/contents/memories/ http://rememberronaldreagan.com/

Posted by B.J. Bellini on June 11, 2004
88 posts
Aug 10, 2004
2:32 AM
Tampico, IL - John David reports
Visitors remember Ronald Reagan at birthplace and museum


POSTED: 6/8/04 3:31 PM
UPDATED: 6/8/04 7:39 PM

By John David

TAMPICO -- Amy and Lloyd McElhiney welcome about 4,000 visitors each year to the Ronald Reagan Birthplace and museum in Tampico, Illinois. As volunteers, this is a labor of love. They help visitors to capture a snapshot of Ronald Reagan's America.

"I think they want to know more about how he developed the character he represented later in life," said Lloyd McElhiney.

Angie Denver came with her family from Gravette, Arkansas, to experience it all. A first-time voter in 1984, she marked her ballot for Ronald Reagan.

"We found our that his birthplace was real close, and we said, 'Oh cool, let's go visit,'" Denver said. "It was meaningful to us because it was our first election."

In Tampico, visitors soak up the history and get a feel for small town life that shaped Ronald Reagan's early years.

The Reagans last visited Tampico in May 1992. It was a time for smiles and nostalgia. A happy trip for church services, lunch at the Dutch Diner and tour of the museum and birthplace.

"His main comment was, 'I don't know why my folks moved. It looks like a nice apartment,'" McElhiney recalled.

Those who visit today get a glimpse of life in 1911. A place where a president was born.

"You get to see where it all started and what a really great guy he was all along," said Loretta Dotson, Freeport, Illinois.

And a chance to remember the long road from Tampico to the White House.

"I think he's going to be remembered as one of the best presidents the U.S. has ever had," said Dean Ruckman, Freeport, Illinois.

It's something they can picture from their time in Tampico.

The birthplace and museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Denise, Tampico Area Historical Society
89 posts
Aug 10, 2004
2:33 AM

Please contact Jan Kemp for more information on this press release.

06/14/2004 Tollway Board Renames Tollway Portion of I-88 Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway

Directors Approve Governor’s Request to Honor Illinois’ Native Son

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors today approved a resolution renaming the Tollway portion of I-88 Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. During a special meeting of the board, including IDOT Secretary Tim Martin, an Ex-officio director, members voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to rename the East-West Tollway from the Eisenhower Expressway (milepost 140.5) to Rte. 30 – Rock Falls (milepost 44.2). The Illinois Department of Transportation’s portion of I-88 was renamed last week.

The vote by the Tollway Board honors Governor Rod Blagojevich’s request to pay tribute to President Reagan by renaming the main interstate that passes just south of his childhood home of Dixon. “I am excited that the Tollway acted swiftly on the Governor’s request to honor President Reagan,” said Tollway Chairman John Mitola. “Now, when people drive on I-88, they’ll remember Ronald Reagan and everything he did for our country. They’ll remember his strength and convictions. They’ll remember the way he restored our belief in the American dream.”

Last week, as the nation grieved the loss of the former President, the Governor issued an executive order renaming the portion of I-88 managed by IDOT as “Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.” IDOT oversees the stretch of road from Sterling to the Quad Cities, and the interstate’s new name took effect immediately. The Tollway and IDOT will now be coordinating design and placement of signs on I-88 to reflect its new name.

Ronald Reagan spent his entire youth in Illinois. He was born in Tampico in 1911, moved to Chicago’s South Side, to Monmouth and back to Tampico before his parents John and Nelle settled in Dixon. He lived in Dixon until he was 21 years old. He died on June 5th at the age of 93.

Illinois Tollway Resolution No. 16471

To Rename East-West Tollway (I-88)

“Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway”

WHEREAS, The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (the “Tollway”), pursuant to the Toll Highway Act, 605 ILCS 10/1 et seq., (the “Act”), is granted all powers necessary to carry out its legislative purposes as to the construction, operation, regulation and maintenance of its system of toll highways; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan was a native son of Illinois, born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911 in a five-room flat over a bakery, the second son of store clerk John Reagan and seamstress Nelle Reagan; and

WHEREAS, the Reagan family moved to Chicago’s South Side, to Monmouth, and back to Tampico before settling in Dixon, Illinois; and

WHEREAS, Ronald Reagan graduated from Dixon High School, where he participated in drama, basketball, football and track, and was elected student body president; and

WHEREAS, Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois, where he appeared in 14 plays, won letters in football, swimming and track, coached the swim team, and served as student body president during his senior year; and

WHEREAS, Although Ronald Reagan had a long and varied career, ranging from the movie screens of Hollywood, to the Governor’s mansion in California, and finally to the White House as the fortieth President of the United States, Ronald Reagan spent his entire youth in Illinois; and

WHEREAS, with his death on June 5, 2004, the United States of America and the State of Illinois have lost a charismatic and inspiring leader. President Ronald Reagan leaves behind a legacy that will clearly resonate in this country and throughout the world for years to come.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority as follows:

That portion of I-88 (East-West Tollway) from milepost 140.5 (Eisenhower Expressway) to milepost 44.2 (Rte. 30 - Rock Falls) shall be re-named the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. Furthermore, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority shall erect appropriate plaques or signs giving notice of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway.

Approved by: John Mitola, Chairman

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority maintains and operates 274 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the East-West Tollway (I-88), the North-South Tollway (I-355), the Northwest Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94, I-294, I-80/I-294). The Illinois Tollway offers customers I-PASS electronic toll collection for congestion relief and ease of travel. Customers can buy an I-PASS at Jewel-Osco or online at www.getipass.com, where existing I-PASS customers can now also manage their account online.

Denise, Tampico Area Historical Society
Jeff Breedlove
Aug 10, 2004
7:10 AM
God Bless Ronald Reagan!

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicoareahistory@gmail.com  We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK.