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Education in Ripley, MS
Historical Collection of School Pictures

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Stonewall College

In 1866, the old school property on south Main Street was leased to Mrs. M. J. Buchanan for 99 years and she erected a large school building which opened as Stonewall College, a school for girls. Its early success was due in large to the assistance given by Mrs. Buchanan's brother-in-law, Col. W. C. Falkner. The name of the school was almost certainly his idea in honor of Stonewall Jackson. The school had a large enrollment not only of local girls, but of boarding students. One of those students was Modena Lowrey who graduated in 1869, and became known nationally as Mother Berry of Blue Mountain College. The first building burned in 1883, and the property was turned over to Miss Harriett Winkler who had a large but not as pretentious building constructed. However without Mrs. Buchanan the school lost much of its prestige and patronage. In the fall of 1886 "Old Stonewall" lost its identity by being merged with the Ripley Institute to form the Ripley Male and Female Academy. 

(Condensed from HISTORY OF TIPPAH COUNTY by Andrew Brown)

Ripley Male and Female Academy


This building was built in 1883, to replace the second Stonewall College which had been destroyed by fire.  In 1886, it became Ripley Male and Female College (Academy) a private institution with the average monthly tuition being around $3.  In 1904, the board of Alderman of Ripley purchased the building to be used for a public school and in 1905 it became the first school for the Ripley Separate School District.   It was used as a public school until 1915, when a new brick building was constructed.

Ripley School early 1900's 
(click on picture for larger view)

Field Day in Ripley
early 1900's


Field Day Finals - Downtown Ripley

This event was held every year at schools in Tippah County from around 1900 to the 1930's.  The school children would participate in competitions in academics and athletics.  The finals were held in Ripley and drew large crowds to the city to watch the festivities. 

Ripley High School



In 1916,  school aged students began attending this new brick building and continued attending school here until 1970 when a new school was built. 

1932 Ripley High School Football Team



 From top row right:   Mosby  Moore "Mutt" Alsup, 4th from the right, is Orville Simpson.  Oscar Shannon was the coach.  If you can name any of the other players, drop me a email and I will add their name. 

Ripley Graduating Class 1936


First Row: Josephine Dickerson, Addie Mae Jamieson, Bill Gurney, Elizabeth Cox, Mildred White, Second Row; Verda Reed, Mansel Jamieson, Onie Frances Smith, Jamie Finger, Lillian Pickens, Martha Alvis  Third Row:  Evangleline Dickerson, Wade Carter, Winifred Finger, James Wingo, Mattie Lee Elrod,  Supt. Travis McCharen  Forth Row: Portis Gandy, Miss Emma Bostwick - sponsor,    Edward Nabors, Elmer Yancey, Herman Reed, Virginia Linebarger, Charles Murry  Fifth Row: James K. Weatherly, Olin Mauldin, Collins Mitchell, Clarence McCollum. 

Ripley Parade

Ripley Graduating Class 1937

Pictured here from bottom left: 
Butch Mohundro, Ruth Barkley, Sperry Bartlett, Jane Gurney, Eugene Webb, Alton Measlaws, Margaret Moffit, Louise Hill, Earnestine Haney, Betty Smith, Bobbie Craig, Cliff Giles, Jr., James Kelly, Sara Delia Puler, Miss Emma Bostwick- sponsor, Shea Clayburgh, Ruth Rogers, Naomi Wicker, Mavis Thompson, Westley McGan, Mr. Travis McCharen- principal, Allie Golden Conner, Hugh Merritt, Bertie Childers, W. M. Dickenson. 

 1949 county wide FHA-FFA Parade


Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America: a grouping of Tippah County highschool students march in a parade held in downtown Ripley in 1949.

Ripley School Band

Ripley Elementary 
5th Grade 1953-54


  © 2004,  by Melissa McCoy-Bell.  All rights reserved.