Submitted by Marrie Miller
Owning, and for years operating, a large and productive ranch on the Belle Fourche, at the very base of the Devils Tower, one of those natural phenomena found in various places, which, seemingly the wizard Time has reared to count his ages by, Augustus L Ripley, now the popular, widely known and highly esteemed Boniface and liverymen of Sundance, Wyo, has had impressive lessons of the bounty of nature and her mighty power. His ranch is one of the most desirable and fruitful in that section of the state, generously supporting his large herds of superior cattle. The lofty tower under whose shadow the ranch lies in its peaceful beauty, is one of the most interesting natural objects to be seen within a range of many miles, even in a country where the scenery is everywhere full of the picturesque and the sublime. This tower is a gigantic column of granite rising to a height of 1,280 feet from the river bank 800 feet from die waters edge. Until 1896 the foot of man had never scaled its shaggy and precipitous sides or rested on its inhospitable summit, but, in that year, Mr Ripleys son, Willard, and his friend, William B Rogers, climbed to the top of the tower, being the first white men ever to make the ascent. They occupied seven weeks in the expedition, and their preparations for it, making ladders and other appliances and accomplishing the feat. The peak is now a great resort for tourists. In Mr. Ripley the blood of the Cavaliers of Virginia mingles with that of the hardy and resourceful people of New England, his father, Jonathan Ripley, being a native of the Old Dominion, belonging to a family prominent in the history of the state from Colonial times; his mother, Nancy Frost, having been born and reared in Perry county, Maine, where he was born on June 7, 1837. The father was a ship builder and lumberman in Maine, who, in 1854, removed his family to Wisconsin, settling in Grand Rapids, there engaging in the lumber industry until his death in 1866. His widow survived until 1878, when she died and was buried at Warsaw, Minn, the place of her last home. Mr Ripley was principally educated at Gardner, Maine, and removed with his parents to Grand Rapids when he was seventeen years old, making his home with them in that city and assisting his father in the business. In 1850 he started a lumber business of his own at Grand Rapids, conducting it with success and expanding volume until 1875, finding food for it all over the lumber territory of the state, and establishing mills in various places. In 1875 he relinquished this business and removed to Clay county, Iowa, there purchasing land and engaging in farming until 1879. In the autumn of 1880 he came to the
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