Ripley is located in Brown County, Ohio along the Ohio River about fifty miles east of Cincinnati. It was started around 1812 by Colonel James Poage. At the time, it was called Staunton from a Virginia town by the same name. It was changed to Ripley to honor General Eleazer Ripley who was an officer in the war of 1812.
Ripley was an important station on the Underground Railroad. It was here that escaping slaves would cross the Ohio River in search of freedom. Once across the river, the destination would be the Freedom Stairs leading to Reverend John Rankin's house high on the hill overlooking Ripley. It was the stories of Ripley and the narrow escapes of the slaves that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write the story of Eliza in her book Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Many members of my family settled in this small town as early as the mid-1800's. The Haitz's owned a farm just outside the town. The Becker's and the Linn's were store owners selling men's clothing. Michael Beyersdoerfer owned a vineyard just outside of Ripley and is listed in the Vintage of 1858 as producing wine there.