Tipp History

A Short History of Tipp City

Tipp City lies just north of Dayton, Ohio at the intersection of I-75 and State Route 571. Founded in 1840, Tipp City was once a hub of shipping and trading activity on the Erie Canal. The city was founded as Tippecanoe City and was named after presidential candidate William Henry Harrison’s campaign nickname, Tippecanoe, which he received after leading his troops to defeat the Shawnee Indian leader Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. The small town was located on the Miami and Erie Canal, a crucial waterway that paralleled the Great Miami River and provided a shipping lane north to Lake Erie and south to the Ohio River at Cincinnati. The canal passed just east of the downtown, and a small portion of the canal and one lock are still visible in Tipp’s Canal Lock Park. Tippecanoe City eventually merged with Hyattsville, another small village to the west at the corner of Hyatt Street and State Route 571.

Eventually, the development of railway lines in the 1850′s gave the canals direct competition, but they continued in operation until most of the Dayton-area canal system was damaged in the famous 1913 flood. Most municipalities decided not to repair their portions of the canal and the system fell into a state of disrepair. Soon afterward, Interstate 75 passed directly to the west of town, causing most of the traffic to enter town from the west.

The Tipp City Name – and How it Came to Be

In the 1930′s, confusion developed between Tippecanoe City and Tippecanoe, another small town in northern Ohio. Mail service complicated the issue as mail was sometimes delivered to the wrong town. In 1938, The U.S. Postal Service abbreviated the town’s name to resolve the issue. Local proponents of a name change back to the original Tippecanoe City have long been gathering signatures for a proposed petition to revert to the original name.