JOSIAS R. RIPLEY is a prominent business man of Staunton. He now holds the position of express agent, is connected with several of the old fire insurance companies, is Notary Public and ex-Police Magistrate. He has been conducting his business as at present for a good many years. Almost his entire life has been passed in this vicinity. He was born in Alton, Ill., June 18, 1836, and is a son of George Ripley, a native of Virginia, born of Virginian parents. The grandfather of our subject died when George was an infant, and he grew up on a farm under the care of his maternal grandfather, with whom he emigrated to Illinois when quite young, the family settling in St. Clair County. After he had attained his majority, he was married in Madison County to Miss Martha P. Randall, a native of Georgia, who came with her parents, when a child to Illinois. The family settled at Edwardsville when it was yet a fort, the year being 1818, the same in which Illinois was admitted to the Union. Her father, Josias Randall, was the first Recorder of Deeds, and with the political and official history of the county he was prominently connected. He and his wife spent their last days in Madison County, and lived to and advanced age.
George Ripley and his wife began their domestic life in St. Clair County, and afterward removed to Alton, but returned to St. Clair in about 1837, making their home at that place until 1849, when they again located in Madison County, not far from Staunton. The mother is still living at the age of eighty-four years, and is yet bright and active. She is a member of the Methodist church and a most estimable lady. George Ripley died on the farm at the age of fifty five years. He was a Whig in politics and a life long member of the Methodist Church. Our subject was the second in order of birth in their family of five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom the sons and one daughter are yet living.
Josias Ripley was reared to manhood in Madison County, and has spent his entire life in that and Macoupin County, except a few years when he was temporarily absent. His educational advantages were limited, but by reading he has become a well informed man, having an excellent knowledge concerning topics of general interest. He is one of the prominent men of Staunton and a leader in all local affairs. He was prominently connected with the organization of the Republican party, of which he has since been a stalwart supporter. A number of local offices he has held, having served as Justice of the Peace, Police Magistrate, a member of the Town Council, and at present is Notary Public, in March, 1863, he entered the Government service as clerk in the Quartermaster's Department, with headquarters at Little Rock and Balls Bluff, Ark., where he remained until July, 1866, when, the war being over, he was discharged and returned to Illinois. Since that time he has resided in Staunton or vicinity.
Mr. Ripley was married in Montgomery County to Miss Sarah M. Sturgis, who was born in Chesterfield, Macoupin County, September 4, 1847, and under the parental roof was reared to womanhood. She was educated in the public schools and a female college at Galesburg, and is an intelligent and cultured lady. Her father, Isaac S. Sturgis, a native of Ohio, became one of the pioneers of Macoupin County, and here married Miss Nancy Chapman, who is said to have been the first white child born in the county, her parents having come to this State in an early day. Mr. Sturgis is a farmer and followed that occupation in Illinois until about fifteen years ago, when with his wife he removed to Elk County, Kan., where they still make their home. Mrs. Ripley is the third in order of birth of their six children, all of whom are now married and are prospering. By the union of our subject and his wife have been born five children - Mary M., wife of E. Friedman, a banker of Staunton; George B., who is employed as salesman in the general store of H. A. Jones; Walter, an employee in the train dispatcher's office at Litchfield; Grace I. and Albert F. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ripley are members of the Methodist church, in which he is an officer, and are active workers. In the social world they rank high, and their friends throughout the community are many.