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Ripley, Ohio facts for kids

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Ripley, Ohio
Looking north on Second Street (U.S. Route 52) in Ripley
Looking north on Second Street (U.S. Route 52) in Ripley
"Freedoms Landing - Where thousands found freedom on the Underground Railroad"
Location of Ripley, Ohio
Location of Ripley, Ohio
Location of Ripley in Brown County
Location of Ripley in Brown County
Country United States
State Ohio
County Brown
Township Union
 • Total 2.29 sq mi (5.94 km2)
 • Land 1.99 sq mi (5.15 km2)
 • Water 0.30 sq mi (0.79 km2)
502 ft (153 m)
 • Total 1,750
 • Estimate 
 • Density 853.19/sq mi (329.46/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 937, 326
FIPS code 39-67272
GNIS feature ID 1061608

Ripley is a village in Union Township, Brown County, Ohio, United States, along the Ohio River 50 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The population was 1,750 at the 2010 census.



Colonel James Poage, a veteran of the American Revolution, arrived in the free state of Ohio from Staunton, Virginia in 1804 to claim the 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) he had been granted in what was called the Virginia Military District. Poage was among a large group of veterans who received land grants in what was first organized as the Northwest Territory north of the Ohio River for their service in the American Revolutionary War, and freed their slaves when they settled there. Poage and his family laid out the town of Staunton in 1812; it was renamed in 1816 to honor General Eleazar Wheelock Ripley, an American officer of the War of 1812.

Given its location on the river, Ripley became a destination for slaves escaping from slavery in Kentucky on the other side. Both black and white residents developed a network, making Ripley an early stop on the Underground Railroad, to help slaves escape North to freedom. A number of prominent abolitionists lived in the town in the 19th century, mainly on Front Street near the river, including John Rankin, former slave John Parker, former slave William Q. Atwood, Thomas McCague, Thomas Collins and Dr. Alexander Campbell.

Rankin moved from Kentucky to Ripley in 1822 and later built a house on Liberty Hill overlooking the town, the river and the Kentucky shore. From there, he signaled escaping slaves with a lantern on a flagpole [1] and provided them shelter. (It is now known as the John Rankin House (Ripley, Ohio), and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.) The account of Margaret Garner, a slave woman who escaped across the frozen river to Ripley in 1838 and stayed in Rankin's house, inspired the character of Eliza in Harriet Beecher Stowe's landmark book, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). The bestselling book of the nineteenth century, it aroused controversy and strengthened the abolitionist movement. Rankin was the minister at the Ripley Presbyterian Church for twenty-four years.


Ripley is located at 38°44′22″N 83°50′28″W / 38.73944°N 83.84111°W / 38.73944; -83.84111 (38.739416, -83.841102). The town is surrounded by steep, rolling hills on the northeast, Red Oak Creek on the southeast, and the Ohio River on the southwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.30 square miles (5.96 km2), of which 1.99 square miles (5.15 km2) is land and 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 421
1830 572 35.9%
1840 816 42.7%
1850 1,780 118.1%
1860 2,715 52.5%
1870 2,323 −14.4%
1880 2,546 9.6%
1890 2,483 −2.5%
1900 2,248 −9.5%
1910 1,840 −18.1%
1920 1,529 −16.9%
1930 1,556 1.8%
1940 1,623 4.3%
1950 1,792 10.4%
1960 2,174 21.3%
1970 2,745 26.3%
1980 2,174 −20.8%
1990 1,816 −16.5%
2000 1,745 −3.9%
2010 1,750 0.3%
2019 (est.) 1,697 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,750 people, 759 households, and 469 families living in the village. The population density was 879.4 inhabitants per square mile (339.5/km2). There were 931 housing units at an average density of 467.8 per square mile (180.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 92.6% White, 4.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.

There were 759 households, of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.2% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the village was 42.2 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.8% were from 25 to 44; 30% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

Notable people

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