Tampico, IL is a village located in Tampico Township, Whiteside County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census the village had a total population of 790. Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, was born here and lived here during periods of his childhood. Tampico is located about 40 miles east-northeast of Moline, IL and approximately 110 miles west of Chicago, IL.

Our Main Street lighting is one of the first State Routes in Illinois to feature LED lighting.  Come see our beautiful poles and the “going green” lighting.

Tampico township originally was in Portland until 1852 when the township organization of the county became effective. Why a Mexican or Spanishname was selected is not stated in local histories.

Tampico township is historically known stemming from an account of a “blow out” a storm driven hole of seven acres originally, located about one mile west of Tampico, supposed to have been the result of whirlwinds of annual recurrence for many years. It was one of the curiosities of northwestern Illinois.

Nicholas Lutyens, John Luytens and Hiram Tompkins of New York were the first settlers in the Tampico area. This was in the year 1852, and the following year many other settlers arrived in the area. Nicholas Lutyens built the first house in the Tampico area. The first school house was built in 1856, for the Aldrich district, Orlando McNickle being the first instructor.

In 1856 the Rev. Mr. Pinkey gave the first sermon. The first child born was Emma, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Aldrich on Oct. 23, 1855.

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

The first marriage recorded in Tampico was that of Ellery C. Brown and Miss Susan Gray in 1856. Mrs. Gray was the daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. W.M. Gray. Gray was the pastor of the Methodist Church.

The first traveled road in the township was the road from the Green River to Sterling.

The first Tampico town meeting was held Tuesday, April 2, 1861. Daniel Foy was elected the first supervisor serving from 1861 to 1863. The township furnished its full quota of soldier for the federal army during the war of the rebellion (Civil War).

Tampico had two disasterous fires in the early years and the terrible “Tampico Tornado” which struck on June 6, 1874. The tornado almost leveled the entire village, destroying many buildings and seriously injuring 10 of the residents. No fatalities were reported from the tornado.

The village of Tampico is in the northeast corner of Tampico township, built upon the original farm land of John W. Glassburn who came from Gallia County Ohio in 1856 and settled the land. Glassburn built the first house in the village. The next was a frame building built by S.B. Winter in the autumn of 1871 and used by him as a residence, store and post office.

Buying and cribbing corn was the first industry in Tampico, as soon as the railroad had been completed. There were 35,000 bushels of corn handled the very first winter.

Tampico was organized as a village July 1, 1872. Its first trustees were D. McMillan, E.W. High, Alfred Smith, J.W. Glassburn, J.H. Cain and H.I. Denison.

The Tampico post office was established Sept. 1, 1871 and J.S. Kimball was the first postmaster. Previous to the establishment of the post office, John W. Glassburn ran a private mail route between Yorktown and Sterling. Chauncey Dow was the first rural mail carrier.

The weekly “Tampico Tornado” was established May 4, 1876 by A.D. Hill and Charles F. Gifford.

The first churches and the year established in Tampico were: the Methodist Episcopal CHurch in 1871; St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in 1875.

The first public school was built in 1869, a mile south of the present town, however, when the railroad was built, the school was moved to the town proper. A.W. Bastian was the teacher. During the second year of the school, Miss Rosa Laughlin was hired as a teacher.

The Masonic Lodge was instituted in Tampico on July 24, 1875.

In the year 1929, the population of Tampico was estimated at 650. During this same year H.E. Rise was mayor Commissioners that year were C.E. McKenzie, N.E. Denison, L.W. Denison and dean Richardsn, J.M. Olson was the city clerk and R.F. Woods, city treasurer.

F.E. Foy was the marshal in Tampico in 1929, J.M. Olsson was the supervisor, H.E. Cain, Town Clerk; Charles McGonagle and WIlliam McCreedy, justices of the peace; F.C. SHank and Ellsworth PEters, constables and t.A. Pierce, Canada Thistle commissioner.

Tampico school trustees in 1929 included James Kelly, William Frank Jr., and Richard Allen. A.E. Allen was school treasurer.

Jerome E. Robbins was the superintendent of the Tampico Township High School in 1929 along with the following faculty; Miss Nia E. Shaw, English; Miss Verna Gruett, History and Biology; Miss Edyth Kirk, Latin and Mathematics; Miss Maxine Marchwardt, home economics and science; George L. Murray, Agriculture, science and coach of the athletic teams; W.E. Yates, supervisor of instrumental music and Miss Clare McCune instructor of vocal music.

Mrs. C.R. Aldrich was superintendent of the grade school and teacher of the seventh and eighth grades. Miss Jean Sunderland taught fifth and sixth grades; Miss Bernice McKenzie, third and fourth grades and Miss Mary Staack, first and second grades.

In 1929, the Rev. Fr. Joseph P. Lynch was pastor of St. Marys Catholic Church. The Rev. Frank T. Palm was pastor of the Methodist Church. The Rev. Theodore C. Meyer was pastor of the Baptist Church and the Rev. John Cunniff Weir, pastor of the Christian Church.

Mrs. T.F. Dillon was president of the Tampico Womens’ Club in 1929.

The lodges of Tampico were the M.W.C. Camp No.9; Francis E. Willard Camp No. 1043; Royal Neighbors of America; Yorktown Lodge No.655; A.F. and A.M.; Morning Star Chapter No. 382, O.E.S.; Mystic Workers, Women’s Relief Corps; American Legion Post and Auxiliary and Boy Scout Troup 101.

In 1929, two banks formed the financial center of Tampico. The First National Bank was organized in 1908. The officers wre C.R. Aldrich, president; Arthur Aldrich, vice president and R.F. Wood, cashier.

The Tampico State Bank was originally established in 1882 and incorporated as a state bank in 1918. A.E. Bennett was the president of the State Bank in 1929 along with John L. Wetzell, vice president; Roy Brown, cashier; L.W> Denison, assistant cashier and Ethel Davis, bookkeeper.

The Tampico Farmer Shipping Association record for 1928 was 10,034 hogs shipped, 378 head of cattle, 532 calves and 174 sheep, making a total of some 11,118 head in all, weighing 2,849, 539 pounds and taking 153 railroad cars to make the shipments which was the averagenumber of shipments for the seven previous years.

In 1928 some $253,201.32 was paid the owners of the livestock and the average for the same seven years for the same number of cars was $234,954.44

Shipments for 1929, up to October 1, of that year was 87 cars, composed of 5,356 hogs, 281 cattle, 302 calves and 54 sheep, for a total of 6,083 head weighing 1,704,700 pounds and returning the owners $174, 965.03.

Officers of the Tampico Shipping Association in 1929 included H.A. Maxfield, president; Carl Rasmussen, vice president; R.S. Allen, secretary; and F.B. Potter, J.W. Johnson, Arthur Aldrich, Cecil Wheelock, Tomy Harmsen, George J. Saathoff, directors. Mr. H.J. Russell was the manager of the association.

Hospitals/medical centers near Tampico:


Airports located in Tampico:
Harms Airstrip Airport [

Colleges/universities nearest to Tampico:

Ashford University
Black Hawk College
Kaplan University
Augustana College
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Saint Ambrose University
Eastern Iowa Community College District

Public elementary/middle schools in Tampico:

Tampico Middle School
Tampico Elementary School