Tippecanoe City was founded in 1840, along the developing Miami and Erie Canal. Its name derives from Presidential candidate William Henry Harrison’s nickname, Tippecanoe, which derived from his heroism at the Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811.
The early city was a popular stopping-off point for the boatmen. The original downtown included a large number of bars and a red light district. The now dry canal locks can be seen just East of downtown. As Tippecanoe City grew, it merged with Hyattsville, a contemporaneous village located on Hyatt Street. Cowlesville and Ginghamsburg are other villages in Monroe township that may be likewise annexed in the future.
Development of the railroads in the 1850’s and 1860’s put the canals out of business and slowed the city’s initially rapid growth. Ruins of a repair shop (yard barn) for the old Inter-Urban rail system can still be seen on the outskirts of town.
The development of U.S Highway 25 (County Road 25-A) and subsequently Interstate 75 brought construction and vibrance back to the town.