Friday, February 26, 2016

Sideroad: The Disaster of the S/S Atlantic: Mary Janette Ripley Fisher

Mary Ripley Fisher, 1871
The clan of William Young Ripley was not only tight-knit, but incredibly interesting from a historical perspective. Two were Generals in the Civil War, two were lost at sea (different seas, different years), one would marry and her daughter would marry a General, and one was the adoptive mother of the first woman Chiropractor in Vermont (License #1, issued in 1909). I could go on about the rest of the twigs and branches of this family tree, and hope to share a few of the more interesting.

Mary Jane Ripley Fisher was the oldest daughter of William Young Ripley of Rutland, Vermont and his second wife, Jane Betsey Warren - learn more here.

In summary from"With Pen or Sword: Lives and times of the remarkable Rutland Ripleys," by Robert G Steele:


Mary Jane Ripley Fisher was the first Ripley to head to a foreign land. It was still war time being summer of 1864. Despite being the least adventurous of the clan, was about to head to London. At the ripe old age of 29, she had married Cyrus Fisher and moved to his home in Vergennes, some 50 miles to the north. They honeymooned at Niagara Falls. Cyrus was a full-bearded, handsome, and ambitious young lawyer. He had made arrangements to go to London as a representative of Emma Mine Company of Utah, a company headquartered in New York City, presumably to market their securities in Europe. The one of the clan she would miss the most was her sister Mary, who had married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Once arrived in London, she wrote home frequently, and glimpses of those letters are available in Pen & Sword, starting at page 171. Her early life there was one of routine. Cyrus worked long hours and she had few friends or activities in which to partake. She did do a little sightseeing and  her description of her trip to Windsor Castle follows:
"The housekeeper allowed us to go into them (the Royal Chambers) since we are foreigners, but will not allow the English people in, and was very anxious that we should not tell of it here, as it would be a great desecration. She said we must not touch anything, but as I went up first and she last I sat down in the Queen's seat before the housekeeper came in. No one sits in the Queen's Closet since the death of the  Prince Consort."
Cyrus Fisher, 1871
On April 15, 1865, her beloved sister Mary died in childbirth - the same day as the assassination of President Lincoln. Mary took to her bed and grieved for weeks. She wore black and and had nightmares involving her sister's death. Her husband stayed by her bedside during those days until she was recovered enough to resume some sort of daily life. Her grieving would continue and she would occasionally take to her bed. During all this time, they lived as lodgers or in apartments, the cost of housekeeping being out of reach.
According to her letters, nourishment took up a large part of her communiques. She asked to have food shipped over as she found the lack of vegetables in the diet of Londoners appalling. She was constantly on a diet and despite it became quite fat. She learned to dress in a style more European and stylish and they entertained quite often.
She had various health concerns over the next years and Cyrus was most solicitous. They traveled to Paris and Mary met with further health issues, delaying her return to London. During this time they also made a trip to Rutland for a visit. Cyrus went back to tend to his law business and while there, finally found a small London house to let in the Hyde Park neighborhood that they could afford.
Cyrus' practice was prospering and he took an additional job with Brooks, a prominent banking house in the City as a trial advisor.
Over the course of the next little time - from 1871 to 1872, they traveled Europe. In 1873, the stock markets began to tumble and before long the world was in a depression. Cyrus had made a number of loans and found himself short of money. Mr Park, President of the Emma Mine Co., owed him 4,200 Pounds, a very substantial amount. He was in New York. Cyrus decided that he would need to see Mr Park personally about the loan and made arrangements  with Cunard Line, but another of those who owed Cyrus money, Colonel Fuller, owed him 50 Pounds - he could not pay in cash, so he provided them with first class  passage to New York on the White Star liner, Atlantic in payment of the debt.
The Fisher's embarked from Liverpool and were happy with their comfortable cabin and saloon deck. The Atlantic was less than two years old and carried 50 cabin passengers. Almost 900 others were also carried below decks, mostly immigrants. Later reports said the ship had left with less than optimum amounts of coal for the journey due to the Welsh coal miner strike.
The executives of White Star instead of loading enough coal for a round trip, laden it only with enough for the West-bound segment.  Four days into the trip, they were caught amidst a full-fledged North Atlantic gale. The captain calculated that if the storm continued one more day, they would have no chance of reaching New York before running out of fuel. Accordingly, he altered course to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On March 31, 1873, they spotted the Halifax shoreline. The captain was unfamiliar with the harbor and the port could not support the ship in the storm and no harbor pilot could get a ship out to help.
On April 1, 1873, they went aground on Mars Head, at Cape Propsect, 25 miles from Halifax. Only one lifeboat was launched and it sunk immediately. Within 15 minutes, she began to break up. Most of those aboard were swept out to sea, with only a few strong enough to struggle ashore. Of the 50 cabin passengers, only 13 survived. One told of seeing Cyrus and Mary on deck together, clinging to the rigging as wave after wave washed over them.
All together, 535 people died. All the women and children aboard perished, making it the greatest maritime disaster of all time until another White Star ship bound for New York would sink 39 years later - The Titanic.
Seneca Dorr was sent to Halifax to recover the remains. Unfortunately, they were never brought up. He was able to recover Mary's chest and all the "court dresses" and costly lace inside.
William was left to deal with the estate. The Fisher finances were tangled. Mr Park wrote from New York expressing sympathy, but stating that far from his owing 4,200 Pounds to Cyrus, Cyrus owed him 7,000 Pounds - he seemed to take advantage of Cyrus' death and ensured that he did not have to pay back the princely sum. Many other financial issues came up. Many admitted that while Cyrus was scrupulously honest, he had been spending more than his income and was trying to make it up in the London Stock Exchange. It also came out that he borrowed certain sums from his father-in-law W Y Ripley, on the security of Mary's potential inheritance on WY's death. Cyrus and Mary, still in their 30s, with the enthusiasm and optimism of youth, had lived it up in London, but their quest for the end of the rainbow led them to no pot of gold, but only a morass of debt and untimely death.
In Rutland, there was a memorial service, with an abundance of black crepe and calla lilies. Their epitaph on the marble shaft in the cemetery reads: Their bodies rest in ocean graves."


Sideroads: Charming Charley Ripley

Charles Henry Ripley, 1866
The clan of William Young Ripley was not only tight-knit, but incredibly interesting from a historical perspective. Two were Generals in the Civil War, two were lost at sea (different seas, different years), one would marry and her daughter would marry a General, and one was the adoptive mother of the first woman Chiropractor in Vermont (License #1, issued in 1909). I could go on about the rest of the twigs and branches of this family tree, and hope to share a few of the more interesting.

Charles Henry Ripley was the youngest son of William Young Ripley of Rutland, Vermont and his second wife, Jane Betsey Warren - learn more here

In summary from"With Pen or Sword: Lives and times of the remarkable Rutland Ripleys," by Robert G Steele:
He was a poor student. He was still in school when the war broke out, and was with difficulty restrained by the family from immediately following his brothers into the service. When in the second year of the war, Mr Lincoln issued his call for additional volunteers, the spirited youngster could no longer be kept on a leash. Unlike his brothers, he cared nothing for officer status and the implications of responsibility it carried. Charley signed up for nine months as a private soldier. His first act on receiving his enlistment bounty was to come home and pay, as far as the money went, the debts he had managed to run up in two years of idleness. This gesture prompted his brother William to express the pious hope he would return safely after his service, "free from bad habits."
In October, 1862, not long after William's  return from the battlefields, the younger brother went off to join his regiment, the Twelfth Vermont Infantry. His sister Agnes came home from school to see him off. If Charley Ripley's army career is remarkable for anything, it is for the fact that it did not include any fighting whatsoever. On the way south he had time to do some sightseeing in Washington before his unit was ordered into camp across the river in Virginia. There he was assigned to guard and picket duty at various locations, and to work on the construction of barracks and shelters for troops. In his letters home, his main concerns were getting food sent to him and to keep awake on guard duty, in that order. From Wolf Run Shoals he wrote his sister Mary, "Please send me ten or twleve pounds of butter (put up in a sound wooden box), fifteen or twenty pounds of good strong cheese, two or three gallons of thick maple syrup, a few (say at least a half dozen) mince pies, a few sweet pickled cucumbers or citron or anything else you can get without any trouble. You may think that I have sent for a good deal, but even that amount will not last long down here. The rest of the boys get more boxes from home than I do, and we always share. Button has had as much as 20 pounds of butter and forty pounds of cheese."
Tiring of guard duty, Charley dreamed of the luxury of being an officer, or even a noncom. Edward,  himself a paroled war prisoner at the time, saw a sergeancy opening up in his own regiment and tried vainly to have Charley transferred. 
At the end of his enlistment, he came back home and was mustered out of service 14 Jul 1863. He had earned corporal's chevrons.
Perhaps here is the place to record that for Charley Ripley, the pursuit of happiness was often enhanced by the imbibing of alcoholic spirits Despite the total abstention of their parents, all three of the Ripley boys drank on occasion, but only Charley had difficulty putting on the brakes. 
Charley worked briefly int he office of the marble works, but his heart was not in it. For all his waywardness, Charley was endowed with a special kind of innocent charm which not only attracted strangers to him but also roused the protective instincts of his siblings.
Since no job suited him in Rutland, his parents invented one hoping to keep his adventurous spirit and incurable wanderlust in check. They sent him off to the Wild West of his dreams for the ostensible purpose of investigating the mining possibilities in the Montana territory. In the Spring of 1866, with is mother's bible in is pocket, and gold coins in his moneybelt, with promises to be good, to stay sober and tent strictly to business, Charley Ripley left on his long trip, eager for any adventure.
The story of his trip west can be read starting on page 288 of Pen and Sword. After many months, he returned when his money and credit ran low.
In 1870, he, with his mother's blessing headed West to The Colorado Territory with Henry Strong as his assistant and John Gilliland. He purchased 40 acres of virgin land Las Animas. The ranch took shape over many months. It was hard going and he had to rely on his brothers for financial assistance and for improvements to the ranch. By 1877, he was able to ship steers to market in Kansas City because the trains had arrived. But in 1878 and 1879 Charley experienced a series of losses that would devastate him both emotionally and financially. His days as rancher were coming to an end. He returned to Rutland to determine what would be next.
Eight Modern Views of Famous Places in Tokyo of Great Japan (Dai Nippon Tokyo kaika meisho hakkei no zu)1875
He boarded a tramp steamer referred to as "Kate" bound for New York with a cargo for Yokohama, Japan.  He was its sole passenger. It made its way around Cape Horn and across the oceans. He arrive in the land of the Empire of the Rising Sun in the spring of 1879 and fell in love. Tokyo had a small colony of Americans and Europeans. He took up residence in a hotel that many of them stayed in. From his home base in Tokyo, but without the slightest intention of keeping to the limits of the cities to which he was restricted by law, Charley set out to explore the interior. Dressed in native garb, he climbed mountains, swam in the lakes, sought out the byways, wandering at will throughout the land. Enemies by edict became his friends by the simple applciation of the Golden Rule. He quickly adapted to the customs of the country and observed all the taboos, thus was welcome everywhere. 
After two years there, he tired of staying in hotels. The income left to him by his father was more than $3,000 per year, and the exchange rate between the dollar and yen was sharply in his favor. He was able to rent a house in Toyko for $9 per month and that he could run it with a man cook and his wife as housekeeper for $9 more. He lived at 33 Tsukji where he lived for the remainder of his life.
He also traveled to neighboring lands like the interior of China, Hong Kong and to Siam and Cambodia and wrote letters back about his travels and adventures, also published in Pen and Sword.
After six years in the Orient Charley planned a return visit to Rutland. He brought gifts and photographs and spent many months visiting old friends and haunts. In the fall of 1886, he said his last farewells to the family and returned contentedly to his adopted country, his faithful servants, his tatami mats, his futon, and his Kiku San (whose duty was to play the samisen).
"A local steamer as old as the hills, lean like a greyhoudn, and eaten up with rust worse than a condemned water tank," This description by Joseph Conrad, in his most famous novel, of the fictional Patna, could as well be applied to the actual Lorne as she lay at anchor alongside the Saigon jetty in November, 1887. The ship's officers were English, the crew polyglot, and for the Patna's Moslem pilgrims, substitute Chinese workers returning to their homeland.
It was typical of Charley Ripley, returning from yet another expedition in India and Siam, to scorn the ease of the regular passenger steamers and take passage on this creaky rust-bucket. Except for the officers, he was the only white man aboard. Cargo loaded at last, the ancient vessel crept slowly out of Saigon harbor. November 29th found her clanking and wheezing as she plowed through the placid South China Sea towards Hong Kong.
Six days later, at midnight, off the coast of Hainan, the Lorne struck an uncharted rock and immediately began to fill. There was instant pandemonium aboard as passengers and crew became panic-stricken and unmanageable. In the efforts to get the lifeboats lowered several were swamped or damaged. Charley worked valiantly and unceasingly with the crew to get the boats filled and free, after which the tackle was cut and they pulled for shore. At the end only five ship's officers and Charley remained on board the sinking ship. The six survivors clung to the keel of the remaining overturned boat, but clung to it in order to remain afloat.
As daylight came, the weakened men dropped off one by one. Charley hung on for more than ten hours, and then slipped away. Only one survived to tell the tale-he had held on for 30 hours.

Sideroads: The Remarkable Ripley's William Young Ripley, Part 2

Vermont Marble Co Quarry, West Rutland,
Vermont about 1865, by Carlos W. Nichols, photographer
See the first part of the story here.

William Young Ripley joined in partnership with a fellow named William F Barnes. Barnes had been the first in the area to marble quarry in about 1840. Marble was used in public building construction and high-end homes. The rich vein of carbonate lime was a boon to the area and the partnership flourished, enriching both, for over a decade. Barnes was the guy in charge of quarrying and Ripley the sawing, cutting, and marketing.


The quarry wasn't far from the Ripley home, called "The Center." As it is described in With Pen and Sword: Lives and Times of the Remarkable Rutland Ripley's, by Robert G. Steele, it had "four chimneys, one at each corner, ample and inviting porches on front and sides of the main building, and behind this a large greenhouse and spacious English garden with gravelled walks between the flower beds radiating from a magnificent elm in the center."


Rutland was the marble center of the state and some even said, of the country. The railroad built a spur into the quarry yard to help transport the marble to banks and courthouses all over the country.


The fruitful partnership came to an end in 1850  when Barnes sold his interest out to Vermont Marble Co. Ripley continue his work under his own name with the marble provided by Vermont Marble. In the meantime, not to rest on his really wealthy laurels, he became president of the Rutland County Bank at age 65. His boys were off serving in the Civil War. Upon their return, he turned the business over to his three sons. Charley, who was ill-suited, left soon thereafter to pursue other adventures. Edward eventually left for New York City, and William Young Warren Ripley remained behind, ultimately selling the marble business to Vermont Marble and Redfield Proctor.His son William also sat on the board of directors and later as president of the Bank.


In 1868, he built an opera house in Rutland.  It's reported in Steele's book to not have been a beautiful building and it may not have been needed in small Rutland, Ripley wouldn't allow it to be used for other musical entertainment, so it became a white elephant. It burned down - with little fanfare - in 1875 about the time he fell and broke his hip. He died at 77 of complications.


Each of his children would forge their own lives and each became an interesting historical subject on their own.  I'll share a couple of stories next.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sideroads: The Remarkable Ripley's William Young Ripley, Part 1

William Young Ripley was the third child of Nathaniel and Sibbel Huntington Ripley. He was born 13 Dec 1797 in Middlebury, Addison, Vermont.

He never spent a day in school, but he and his sisters and brothers were all educated at home. At 12, he was hired out to a farmer, working at a rate of about 19 cents a day for a month. By 13, he was found buying and selling horses on his own and driving long distances, delivering goods. Thirteen was also his age when his mother died. His father had by this time moved to his own farm in Weybridge.

According to With Pen and Sword: Lives and Times of the Remarkable Rutland Ripley's, by Robert G. Steele, Ripley stated, "I fully expected to be a farmer, and live and die in Weybridge. But on the morning of September 11, 1814, I went up to Middlebury, my worldly possessions being some clothes tied up in a handkerchief. There I hired as clerk for Mr Hager's store for $30 a year, and my board and washing."

His wages grew to the princely sum of $150 and he spent four years with Mr Hager. Now 21, he took his employer's "recommendation"  and character references signed by no less than the governor of Vermont and 34 other noted citizens, and joined his brother Samuel in Charleston, South Carolina.

According to Julia's story in With Pen and Sword, his brother did not greet him warmly, thus leaving William to fend for himself. After a couple of unsuitable job, he went to work for Mr. Bryan at his dry goods store for an annual salary of $450 plus lodging and a good discount.  Within a year, his wages had been raised to $750 and he was able to pay his brother Samuel back the small amount he owed him. While living with the Bryan's he met his future wife, Zulma Caroline Thomas.

Zulma was the daughter of Londoner Jean Jacques Thomas and Susanne De Lacy and was born on 29 Mar 1801. She was orphaned at a young age and was raised by Captain William Hall.

In 1822, William went into business for himself and married his bride on 05 Dec 1822. They boarded
Poet Julia Ripley Dorr
with the Bryan's for several months before purchasing a home for $1,000 - William wanted to owe no man according to his report.  Finally came the birth of their only child, Julia Caroline, on 13 Feb 1825. Julia would grow up to be the famous poet, Julia Ripley Dorr.  William purchased his only slave, Nancy, who was to be a nanny to Julia, but "She did not behave well, and I would not send her to be whipped, as was the custom. She took advantage of this leniency; and so I sold he to get rid of her, for just five dollars more than I paid for her." When they moved to their home on King Street, they had three servants: cook, chamber maid, and nurse. All three were cumulatively paid the princely sum of $22 per month.

Zulma's health was failing so the Ripley's had her bed loaded aboard a steamer in the Charleston Harbor. They made it to New York and then finally reached Nathaniel Ripley's house in Weybridge on 29 Jul 1826. After a brief rally, she died on 02 Aug 1826. According to Julia Ripley Door, "Prominent among the early settlers of Middlebury, were the Youngs and the Warrens, close friends and intimate neighbors of the Ripleys." Both families were in attendance for the Ripleys in those dark days.

Once Zulma was gone, William set about closing up his affairs in Charleston. Julia was left in the care of Mrs Hastings Warren. Julia remembers those two years fondly. By the time her father had established his firm of Ripley, Waldo & Ripley, commission merchants in New York, and had called for his daughter, she had forgotten him. She did adjust and off they went to the home of Mrs Westcott who ran a boarding school for a small group of girls. Julia spent two years there. Then, it was back to Vermont and Grandfather Nathaniel's house. It was there that William announced to her he was remarrying. She was six. The wedding to Jane Betsey Warren, was held  on 10 Feb 1831.

Her first sibling would arrive two years later - William Young Warren Ripley on 31 Dec 1832. Julia again found herself shipped out soon after his arrival to a boarding school in Plattsburgh, run by Mrs Harriet Adams, a sister of "Grandmother Warren." It sounded, from her description, to be a less than happy time spent there.

In 1834, she returned to find a sister, Mary, born 17 Jun 1834. She spent a lot of time from that point forward at the Warren's in Middlebury, attending school in bits and pieces here and there.

William, in the meantime, had wearied of the farm life, having not reached 40. He invested in a glass factory in Lake Dunmore. He also sold the farm and moved to Rutland. Here he would embark on his second and most successful career.

Told in Part 2.





Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Big Sideroad: William Harvey Baker

William Harvey Baker has no connection to me at all. He is the brother of a young woman who
Look at that baby face
married a Ripley descendant so far removed from my family as to be silly of me to be researching. But, in the course of this sideroad - which I feel compelled at times to go down because of sheer curiosity, I discovered a tragic tale.

Raymond Hugh "Punky" Shores (the Ripley relation) was 18 years old when he died. He'd just gotten married to William's sister (not named because she is presumed to be still living) who was also 18. He went to work for a logging company and was killed in an accident very soon after. According to the report, he got wedged between a log loader and a lumber truck and was crushed. He died en route to the hospital.

His young widow had a really bad week. Only the day before, her mother, Theresa (Miller) Baker, 38, was arrested for the murder of her former husband, William Garland Baker, age 40. She sat in Ada County jail in Idaho for some little time before her story started to unravel.

Mrs Baker stated that while having dinner with the family, Mr Baker became threatening. Mrs Baker went to the bedroom to get a .25 automatic pistol and returned and started firing.

After days of intensive questioning, an entirely different story came to light.

Idaho State Journal, Pocatello, ID 20 Dec 1955
Mrs Baker spent 10 days in the county jail when at last young William Harvey, under questioning, finally confessed to the crime. After his father threatened to kill the entire family, Mrs Baker sent the youngest son, Crocket, out to get wood and she left the room. She heard two shots, returned to the room, and fainted. When she regained consciousness, she took the gun, a .25 caliber Italian automatic pistol, from her son and told him she would take the blame.

He was charged with homicide under the Youth Rehabilitative Act, was sent to trial on 05 Jun 1956. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to no more than 10 years in the Idaho Penitentiary. The records I located indicated he may have been released after serving four years, in 1960. He went on to live a full life, dying in 2008 in Texas. His mother predeceased him in 2001.

What a baby faced young man. We can only speculate what the conditions were that caused both the divorce and the death. But, abusive husbands and ex-husbands were no less prevalent then than they are now.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sideroads: The Remarkable Ripley's Judge Colonel David C Ripley

Several of Joshua Ripley's children were as adventurous as he himself had been. And many left Appalachia for Iowa and Illinois. But for today, we will focus on his third child, David C. Ripley, the forefather of many of the northeast Iowa Ripley's.

David was born in Warren County, New York on 20 Feb 1798. He then moved to Gallia County, Ohio, deep in Appalachia, where his father had gone to preach the Baptist gospel. He married Easter Griswold on 13 Oct 1819 in Lawrence County.

He served his first term as Sheriff of Gallia County from 1834-1838. He then served a term as a state legislator for the term beginning December 1838. After his service in the legislature, he served as Sheriff again from 1845-1853.

After a visit to Iowa in 1853, he and his wife had seven children by the time he decided to join his oldest son, Sanford, in Riverton Township, in what became Floyd County, Iowa in 1854. Sanford had arrived in Nashua, Chickasaw County, the year previously. David's brother Joseph's entourage, of which Sanford was part, had arrived. "The following year he moved in 94 N 16 W, where he built the log house in the grove in which all early settlers were welcome to stay until they had their cabin or shanty finished." Joseph's family eventually moved on to Fremont County, Iowa. David's father Joshua (see previous post) and sister Roxie and husband John Dovenor, sister Cynthia and husband Stephen Johnson, and sister Phebe and husband George Carter all came to Cedar County some time prior to 1850. Phebe is reported to have died there in 1849. George returned eventually to Gallia County.

The Ripley's were one of the founding families in the area, along with several other Gallia County families including the Parishes, Warburtons, Wilcoxes, Clarks, Dyases, Gibsons and Perrys. He was elected County Judge which position he held during the old county seat fight.

Ripley Bridge, Ripley Crossing, Floyd County
This was rugged, untamed territory and after multiple skirmishes with Indians, including a solo foray by David into Minnesota after the raiding Indians, the David Ripley's pulled up stakes and relocated to Boulder in the Colorado Territory in 1861. There he again felt the call to serve and rode with the Territorial Rangers during the Indian Wars. He then served in the Colorado Territory Legislature, Third Session in 1863, where he served as the Chairman of the Education Committee.

In 1866 he came east, stopping in Missouri, where he lived one year. He then came back to Iowa, settling in Fremont County and Decatur County but by 1870 had returned to Riverton Township where he lived with his son Sanford. He suffered from prostate cancer for five long, painful years before dying in 1881. His wife Easter lived until 1893.
Judge Colonel David C Ripley & wife Easter Griswold Ripley
Judge Colonel David C. Ripley's funeral was attended by many. His son Sanford also made a mark in the Floyd County area. This sketch was published:
"Sanford Ripley was born in Gallia County, Ohio, July 27, 1829.  He left there in March, 1953 and came, via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to Muscatine, Iowa; from there with a two-horse team, in company with others, to Red Oak Grove, Cedar County, Iowa; from there to where Nashua is now, June 4, 1853.  His father built the first house inside the town of Nashua.  George H Clark built one a little outside in 1851 or 1852.  In the fall of 1854, Mr Ripley moved to the place where he still lives, section 34, range 15, Riverton Township.  Snow being knee-deep and no house there, the family camped under the wagon till he could build a cabin.  He has 250 acres of well-improved land.  He married in 1846 to Susan Norton, nee Bumgartner, who was born in Gallia County, Ohio, in January 1820.  They have three childre, Esther, born Dec 31, 1855; Lovina, Oct 6, 1860; Maria, June 14, 1863.  He ran out with a compass and staked the first road from Nashua, going in a northwesterly direction till he struck section 1, range 94-17, which is now Union Township.  This continued to be the regular traveled road for may years. 
History of Floyd County, Iowa;  Together with Sketches of Its...Vol 2"
The sketch does not include his son William, who died in 1881 and is buried in Riverton Cemetery.
Sanford Ripley Family: Front Sanford & Susan Back: Lovina Ripley Parker, William Ripley, Mariah Ripley Lindaman, Easter Ripley Wert (before 1881)

Riverton Cemetery in Floyd County is chock-full of early settlers, incuding David Ripley, his wife Easter and many of his children. The names in this cemetery are rife through the early history of this area.

We'll head back to Nathaniel Ripley's son, William Young Ripley, of the Remarkable Ripley's of Rutland, Vermont, next.