TALES OF OLD RIPPEY SCHOOL TOLD
LOVEJOY, FAGEN, MOWER, MILLS, ADKINS, NEWMAN, KEES, ADAMS, ATHEY, BURK, CLINE, DAVIS, EVENS, HALL, JOHNS, LOCK, MYERS, ROADS, SMITH, TOLIVER, TURPEN, BURK, BRAND, DAVIS, LEE
Posted By: Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert (email)
Date: 3/1/2009 at 13:36:17
The Jefferson Herald
October 26, 1954
'Tales Of Old Rippey School Told'
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.
"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
"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
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.
"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, 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."
And even Mr. Mills continued to tell how these men fared in battle.
"BROWN fell commanding his company at Champion Hills, Miss.; MILTON EVENS
was mortally wounded at Charleston, Mo.; HALL fell at the madly contested
battle at Altoony Pass, Ga.; JOHN W. ADKINS and ROBERT SMITH died at
"MARION and JOHN TOLIVER, JOHN ROADS, THOMAS TURPEN and DAILY JOHNS died in
the army; VAN BUREN BRAND died at home from army exposures. The most of the
others were wounded, some very severely and some more than once. The
survivors returned to civil life to be good and honorable citizens, and
quite a number have filled places of trust and honor.
"If the state of Iowa can find a county school with a better war record, the
survivors of this school will give them nine cheers and a tiger."
A third source of information is the late B.F. OSBORN of Rippey, who told us
that this building again was sold 30 years ago, when it ceased to function
as a church, to JOHN ANDREWS, who rebuilt it on the same location where it
had been a church, and used it as a home. Despite its long service and
having been moved on rollers, the building continued to be in first-class
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
February 27, 2009
Greene Documents maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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