At the center of what is now Tipp City was once a 140-acre farm purchased by Robert Evans in 1828. Evans worked diligently for eleven years clearing the heavily wooded tract in order to build a home, only to trade the land to his brother-in-law, John Clark in 1839. Clark had moved to the area in 1810, with his mother and several other families and settled in Cowlesville. In 1820, Clark constructed a flat boat at the mouth of Honey Creek - where the John Clark Memorial Bridge now stands. He used the flat boat to haul hides, flour and pork to markets in Cincinnati.
Clark envisioned the potential success for a town located in a pivotal position - the intersection of the Miami-Erie Canal (completed in approximately 1837) and the road that ran between Greenville and Springfield, established around 1813 and designated as a state route in 1817 (current State Route 571). Clark acted upon his vision and had the land surveyed as the site for a town.
The first plat was recorded in 1840 and contained 17 lots. This same year, William Henry Harrison was campaigning for the presidency of the United States, using the rallying slogan of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too." Clark, who was an admirer of Harrison, adopted the name "Tippecanoe" and recorded it with the plat. In approximately 1850, citizens officially added the word "City" and the village became known as Tippecanoe City.