Jackson County History

West Virginia


Ripley was originally owned and settled by William, John, and Lewis Rodgers. They received a grant of 400 acres in 1768 where "Sycamore Creek joins Big Mill Creek". The land was later sold to Jacob and Ann Starcher around 1803. Jacob Starcher erected a grist mill in 1824 and laid out the town in 1830, naming it in honor of Harry Ripley, a young minister who was to be married. But before the wedding took place he drowned in Big Mill Creek, about one and a half miles north of town.

When Jackson County was formed in 1831, the residents of the county could not decide where to locate the county seat. The people who lived along the Ohio River near the Ravenswood settlement favored that location. The people who lived farther inland objected. The Virginia General Assembly appointed an independent commission to make the final decision which selected Ripley. In 1832, the Starchers donated 8 acres of land to the county, 2 acres for the location of the county courthouse and jail, and six for the general use of the new county. A public school and a cemetery were later located on the land. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1832.

The post office was established in 1832 with the name Jackson Court House. The name was shortened in 1893 to Jackson. In 1897 the name became Ripley.

During the Civil War, Ripley remained under control of the Union except for a brief incursion by Confederate General Albert G. Jenkins in September 1862.

The last public hanging in West Virginia took place in Ripley in 1897, when John Morgan was hanged for murder.

Welcome to Ripley


Ripley 4th Of July

The Last Public Hanging in West Virginia 1897

Ripley Train Depot

Ripley, West Virginia - Fourth of July 1965

Ripley during the 1890's

Ripley during the 1950's

Ripley, year unknown

B&O Ripley Branch-Millwood to Ripley

Click here to visit B&O Railroad Ripley Branch - Millwood to Ripley.