Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Marker Details

The marker is located in Ronald Reagan Park, 201-205 South Main Street, Tampico.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Tampico Historical Society and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
On February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico in an upstairs apartment at 111 South Main Street.

His father, John "Jack" Reagan, of Irish-Catholic ancestry, was a clerk in the H. C. Pitney Store at 122/124 South Main Street and gave Ronald the nickname "Dutch." His mother, Nelle Wilson Reagan, was of Scots-English background. Ronald had one brother, Neil "Moon" Reagan.

The small town atmosphere of Tampico played an important role in Reagan's formative years. As a child he played on a cannon in this park. The grandchildren of Tampico’s founder, J. W. Glassburn, were his friends and introduced him to horseback riding. In the nearby Hennepin feeder canal, he became an excellent swimmer, a skill he would later use as a lifeguard on the Rock River.

Both of Reagan’s parents were known for their acting ability in productions at Burden’s Opera House, 102 Main Street. His mother’s Christian influence and local churches had a large bearing on his life and values.

Ronald Reagan became a sports announcer, a well-known movie star, served as governor of California from 1967–1975, and then as president of the United States from 1981–1989. He died in 2004 and is buried at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Tampico is also the birthplace of Admiral Joseph M. “Bull” Reeves, knows as the “Father of Carrier Aviation.” The town’s Shaheen family became noted for government and legal services.

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