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Ripley City

Ripley City Offices are located at 203 South Church Street, Ripley WV 25271; phone: 304-372-3482.

The Ripley Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Text below was selected and transcribed from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]

Beginnings

[Jacob] Starcher petitioned the State of Virginia on December 5, 1832 and his request was granted on December 19, 1832 for the establishment of a town, Ripley. Previous histories state that Ripley was named for Harry Ripley, a circuit riding Methodist minister who drowned crossing Mill Creek around 1830, about 3 miles south of Ripley. He apparently had a marriage license in his pocket when he drowned and there is a record of such a license issued to him but that is all that is known of Harry Ripley.

Ephraim Evans, one of the first justices of the first county court, and Robert Lowther, a leading lawyer, the first postmaster and a good surveyor, were appointed by the court to lay out and plat the town of Ripley. The historic district basically encompasses most of the original plat of land that was laid out for the county seat in 1832 in addition to the immediate residential areas surrounding the downtown. Evans and Lowther laid out the town with the courthouse at its center. The courthouse square remains the center of activity within the district. The four streets around the courthouse were named for the four compass points: North, East, South and West Streets. North Street is the only street today to retain its original name. South Street is now Main Street; West Street is now Maple Street; and East Street is now Court Street, directly in front of the courthouse.

Jacob Starcher, Joseph Mayers, Ira Lindsey, Robert Lowther and Peter Click were appointed as town trustees. They were empowered to make by-laws and ordinances for regulating the police, regulating the building of houses, improving public streets and alleys and other necessary policies for the good of the town. This trustee system of government lasted until 1852 when it was replaced by a town council and a mayor to be elected by voters. The first mayor was Clemont T. Thaw.

More: see this comprehensive transcription of the Ripley Historic District.

  1. Gioulis, Michael, Ripley Historic District, nomination document, 2004, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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