Tales of Old Rippey School Told

Jefferson Herald October 26, 1954 for Centennial edition


 

The really old 'Old Rippey' school -- that's the one from which the entire class of 30 men and teacher marched to the Civil War -- served its original community well, and then went to Angus in the southeastern corner of the county and became the Maple Grove Church. It went to West Angus, that is, to differentiate that part of Angus in Greene County and the part in Boone County.  In those days, Angus was large enough to have sections of town.

This pre-Civil War information came from Rocky Ford, Colo., where the late Dr. H.E. Lovejoy then made his home.  He was one of the sons of the pioneer Dr. J.C. Lovejoy family, and this is his story, as told in 1939.

                         ~ H.E. Lovejoy's Story ~

"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 the south.  Walnut benches of the home made kind were used inside.

"I started to school there in 1863.  MAGGIE FAGEN 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 fathers' but their descendants may still be found in the Perry locality.

                                 School Moved

"I think about the year l866 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 (sic) school districts, and a new school was built a half mile 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.

                                  School to Church

"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."

                             A.R. MILLS Story

Regarding this same school, the school teacher himself, writing in 1887 in a long series of Jefferson and Washington township history told his story of the school boys marching to the Civil War from this community:

"I will speak of one of Washington Township’s early schools, on account of its patriotism and loyalty.  This school had, in the winter of 1857-8, on its daily register the names of 30 future Union soldiers, add the teacher and director, and 32 belonged to that school who afterwards wore the government blue against the slave holders' rebellion.

                                   School Roster

"The following is the school military roll:  JOHN W. ADKINS, JOHN ATHEY, ARCHIBALD BURK, PHILIP CLINE, WILLIAM DAVIS, MILTON EVENS, HARDIN HALL, DAVIE JOHNS, JOHN B. JOHNS, JOSEPH LOCK, JOSEPH W. MYERS, JOHN ROADS, ROBERT SMITH, MARION TOLIVER, GILLUM S. TOLIVER, THOMAS TURPEN, and WILLIAM ADKINS.

"Also BANGER BURK, VAN BUREN BRAND, LEVI DAVIS, JOHN DAVIS, JAMES M. EVENS, DAILY JOHNS, LEWIS JOHNS, T. MARTIN LEE, HENRY MYERS, JOHN MYERS, JAS. W.SMITH, A. SCOTT, JOHN TOLIVER, JACOB TOLIVER, CALAWA J. TOLIVER, A.R. MILLS, teacher, and ISAAC BROWN, director."