Jackson County was formed from parts
of Mason, Wood, and Kanawha counties. A petition to form a new
county was presented to the General Assembly of Virginia on December
18, 1830, but the request was not granted until March 31, 1831.
The new county was named Jackson in honor of Andrew Jackson,
president of the United States.
On December 19, 1832, a charter was
granted and Ripley was designated as the county seat. Jacob
and Ann Staates Starcher donated eight acres of land on which Ripley
now stands. The public buildings were to be built on two acres
of this land. The remaining six acres were to be laid out in
lots and sold for the benefits of the town. Trustees governed
the town until 1852 when voters elected a council and mayor.
Located in the western part of the
state, Ripley is said to be named after Harry Ripley, a circuit
riding Methodist minister, who with a wedding license in his pocket,
drowned in Mill Creek in 1830.
On December 16, 1897 the last public
hanging in West Virginia was executed in Ripley. John F.
Morgan was hung for the murder of Mrs. Chloe Greene and her two
children on November 3, 1897. Morgan was hung before an
immense crowd of spectators from Jackson and surrounding counties.
A bill was introduced in the next
session of the Legislature to abolish public hangings, which was
enacted into a law. Morgan was the last man in the state to be
publicly hanged after a trial by jury.
Downtown Ripley has always been the
heart of activity for Jackson County. Citizens from outlying
areas of the county come to Ripley to purchase goods, do banking,
and take care of legal matters.
Ripley is truly a great place to
live, work, and raise a family. We invite you to visit our
community and "DISCOVER THE CHARM!"