Ripley County is located in the southeastern region of Missouri, bordered by the Ozark Mountains to the north and the scenic Current River to the east. This area has a rich history, full of interesting facts that have helped shape the region into the vibrant community it is today. Here are just a few of the many interesting facts about Ripley County's history.
1. Founder and Father of Ripley County
Ripley County was founded on January 5, 1833, and the first County Court was held in the home of Daniel Dunkin. He is considered the founder and the father of the county due to his involvement in early land surveys and mapping efforts.
2. Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears went through the southern part of Ripley County. Thousands of Cherokee and other Native American tribes were forced out of their homelands and made to walk over 1,000 miles to Oklahoma. Many died of disease, starvation, or exposure to the harsh elements. The Trail of Tears is recognized by the National Park Service as one of the United States' most significant historical events.
3. Iron Industry
Ripley County was a vital player in Missouri's early iron industry. Ore was mined and processed into iron at several locations throughout the county. The industry provided employment and helped spur economic activity.
4. Battle of Pitman's Ferry
The Battle of Pitman's Ferry was fought on April 2, 1864, during the American Civil War. Union troops, led by General Egbert Brown, crossed the Current River near Pitman's Ferry and engaged a Confederate force. The battle resulted in a Union victory and helped secure southeastern Missouri.
5. Ripley County Seat
Doniphan is the county seat of Ripley. The city is named after Alexander W. Doniphan, a Missouri lawyer, soldier, and politician, who represented Ripley County in the Missouri General Assembly.
6. Ripley County Courthouse
The current Ripley County Courthouse was constructed between 1903 and 1904. The building is constructed of brick and features a grand clock tower.
7. Current River State Park
Current River State Park is located at the southern edge of Ripley County. The park covers over 1,800 acres and features two campgrounds, hiking trails, and picnic areas. The park is a popular destination for fishing, floating, and camping.
In conclusion, Ripley County's rich history is filled with fascinating stories and facts that have helped shape the region into the vibrant community it is today. From the early iron industry to the Trail of Tears to the Battle of Pitman's Ferry, the county has played a significant role in Missouri's history. Visitors to Ripley County can enjoy exploring the many historical sites and natural wonders, making it a unique and exciting destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.
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