From The Jefferson Bee, April 1939
Some Early History Of Old Church Near Angus, Built 80 Years Ago at Old Rippey
An Angus subscriber of The Bee sent an inquiry recently as to the origin of the building a half mile west of Angus, better known now as Maple Grove Church. After a period of about 80 years it is sometimes hard to "rejuvenate" history, but in the case of the old church building, the Bee man wrote his brother, Dr. H. E. Lovejoy, of Rocky Ford, Colo., who still recalls incidents of pre-Civil war times. He writes as follows:
"The old church you refer to I think I can give a fairly good history. It was built in the late 50’s as the Old Rippey school house, and was all of native lumber and walnut siding, and it stood near a big brush patch about 20 feet east of the Old Rippey Cemetery, and near the southeast corner, facing to the south.. Walnut benches of the homemade kind were used inside.
I started to school there in 1863. Maggie Fagan was the teacher, received $20 per month, and probably "boarded around".
Later she married Dr. Peter Mower of Perry. Both are long since "gathered to their father" but their descendants may still be found in the Perry locality.
I think about the year 1866 the school house was moved--while school was going on-- to the west side of "Main Street" in Old Rippey, close to the Gibson blacksmith shop. This school had the credit of sending 30 pupils and one teacher (A. R. Mills) to the Civil War. There were a number of good teachers who presided over the old school bunch, and pupils came from quite a distance, and I can recall quite a number of them.
Later the township was re-districted as to school districts and a new school was built a half mile or more west of Old Rippey to accommodate the Adkins, Newman and other children. About 1875 this last school house was then moved to the center of old district No. 3, and later became known as the Heater school.
The first school house--located on Main street near the blacksmith shop--was bought by the Methodist people, probably when H. B. Kees was local minister, and moved to West Angus for a church, and during the years they have had wonderful revivals in it.
I remember when attending the old school when the Lovejoy barn was struck by lightning and as the smoke arose from some new hay, and immense black clouds of it blew over the village, our brother, Walter, made a break for the door of the school house saying, "I’m going home." The lightning killed the John Adams horse that was in the barn, but the fire fighters succeeded in smothering the flames and the barn was saved after a heroic fight."