Tipton is located along the State Highway 99 corridor. Dubbed initially "Tips End," as it was located at the end of the railroad line, Tipton, also known as "the State Cotton Capital" of California, originates in the explosive growth of the Old West Frontier.

Tipton was created by the Southern Pacific Railroad when the rail stop was constructed in 1872. Numerous stories of its "wild and wooly past" abound. Many famous gangs plagued the early railroads of the San Joaquin Valley, among them the infamous Dalton Gang. There was a great deal of monetary exchange in those days, and its primary form of transport was the railroads. Gunfights and lawlessness slowly gave way to more civilized means of settling disputes. 

Among a few tales, the town's one story states it came from a war between local cattlemen and settlers arriving via the newly built railroad. A local attorney, Tipton Lindsey, championed the cause of homesteaders by introducing legislation requiring stockmen to restrain their livestock from trespassing on farmers' crops. 

Thus the seeds of a working partnership were sown that still survive. A grateful community named the town in his honor.

The town blossomed into the 1920s when Dust Bowl immigrants flooded in and set up tents and labor camps on the town's outskirts. Tipton is now home to a vibrant dairy industry.