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The city of Ripon, illustrated
by A. Ruger, Chicago
Lithographing Co., 1867
(Library of  Congress  - 
G4124.R7A3 1867 .R8 Rug 198)

"Little White Schoolhouse,"
birthplace in 1854 of the
Republican Party in Ripon

Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


Land Patent Records
1847 Wisconsin Territorial Census
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Ripon's Booth War, 1860
D. P. Mapes Account of the Early City of Ripon, 1870
John Scott Horner: A Biographical Sketch, 1906
, Edward Huntington Merrell
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Civil War Veterans Credited to the Town and City of Ripon
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Ripon Social News, The Fairwater Register, 1903-1905
Trip Diary of Friedrich Nohl, German Immigrant, 1849*
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Ripon College Archives:
     Biography of Samuel M. Pedrick**
     The Founders of Ripon College**
     Members of the Wisconsin Phalanx/Ceresco Commune**
     Record Book of the Wisconsin Phalanx**

Although a rich and important town, Ripon has little history of interest not to be found in the history of the Wisconsin Phalanx and the city of Ripon. The first settlement and all important events took place within the limits of the city of Ripon. As to who made the first settlement of that portion of the town outside of the city is not undisputed, though D. P. Mapes, Dr. Spalding and A. Loper were among the first. This is a magnificent town as to location and soil, Green Lake Prairie, on which it largely lies, being unsurpassed in Wisconsin. The original marsh land, what there was, is now productive meadow or pasture, and the oak openings have been turned into wheat fields. Rush Lake touches the north side of the town, but destroys the value of but little land.

By an act approved January 23, 1845, the present towns of Ripon and Rosendale were erected into the town of Ceresco, the first election being held in April of that year, at the house of Lester Rounds. The next year, the town was reduced, by the organization of Rosendale, to its present dimensions - Township 16 north, Range 14 east.

The Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railway crosses the town from east to west; the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul from north to south, and the Oshkosh & Mississippi crosses Sections 1, 11, 12, 14 and 15, extending northeast from Ripon City.

At Arcade, a mile west of Ripon City, is a fine water-power, which drives the Arcade Flouring-Mills, owned by J. N. Foster and W. F. and S. Crawford. The mill is equipped, also, with steam machinery, for use during low water, and is one of the most modern and prosperous custom mills in the county.

The offices of Chairman and Town Clerk have been filled in Ripon by the following: 1845 (Ceresco), Morris Farmin and Uriel Farmnin; 1846, Lester Rounds and William Starr; 1847, J. M. Clark and William Starr: 1848, D. P. Mapes and William Starr; 1849, William Starr and James Stewart; 1850, William Starr and Stephen Bates; 1851, Warren Chase and Stephen Bates; 1852, E. A. Newton and Samuel Sumner; 1853, T. B. Robbins and Samuel Sumner; 1854, A. B. Beardsley and Samuel Sumner; 1855, A. B. Beardsley and C. J. Allen; 1856, D. P. Mapes and J. V. Fitch. 1857 (Ripon), H. H. Mead and H. S. Town, and also Abram Thomas and H. S. Town; 1858, Abram Thomas and S. M. Brown; 1859, Abram Thomas and Ferdinand Richter; 1860, Abram Thomas and Ferdinand Richter; 1861, T. B. Robbins and H. E. Stilwell; 1862, T. B. Robbins and H. E. Stilwell; 1863, T. B. Robbins and H. E. Stilwell; 1864, T. B. Robbins and H. E. Stilwell; 1865, William Light and H. E. Stilwell; 1866, William Light and H. E. Stilwell; 1867, H. H. Dixon and H. E. Stilwell; 1868, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1869, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1870, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1871, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1872, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1873, A. A. Loper and H. E. Stilwell; 1874, A. A. Loper and I. F. Stickle; 1875, E. P. West and I. F. Stickle, W. M. Ralston; 1876, E. P. West and W. M. Ralston; 1877, W. M. Ralston and J. M. Bonnell; 1878, W. M. Ralston, A. R. Hargrave and J. M. Bonnell; 1879, E. Babcock and J. M. Bonnell.

History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin,
Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880

* Link to University of Texas URL http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~churchh/nohlmigd.html#usa. The source is the genealogical compendium, Our Family Museum, by James Nohl Churchyard, 1694 Santa Margarita Drive, Fallbrook, CA  92028-1639. It is available only on this web site and has not been printed.

** Link to Ripon College Archives, URL http://www.ripon.edu/dept/archives/.

*** Like many similar publications of the period, Western's 1880 history relies heavily on interviews with early residents conducted many years later. Narratives were subject to selective, sometimes creative recollection, and the resulting work should be appreciated for the historical publication that it is but viewed with a critical eye as a history. We caution viewers to verify the data contained in these early stories.

Last updated 2/15/2000

This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Ripon. If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.