Byron Ripley
Byron Ripley

BYRON RIPLEY, cashier of the Iron River Bank, with the public spirit characteristic of the best Americans, while always extensibly occupied with the business cares incidental to his position, has yet also maintained a keen interest in politics, and has been active in all movements for the public good, his achievements fitting him for effective work in any sphere.

Mr. Ripley was born in 1850, in Brockville, Ont., where he remained until he was eighteen years old, attending the public schools, when he went to Conneaut, Ohio, and entered an academy from which he was graduated later. After leaving the academy he remained at Conneaut until 1872, engaged in the milling business. In that year he went to Port Austin, Mich., where for nine years he continued his previous occupation as a miller. In 1881 he went into the law office of George S. Engle & Company, of Port Austin, with whom he read law for four years. At the end of that time he left Michigan, and in compnay with Mr. Engle went to Aberdeen, Brown Co., S. D., they were engaged there in a loaning and collection agency for a year and then Mr. Ripley decided to try his fortunes elsewhere. Removing to Roscoe, S.D., he bought a hotel and carried it on for four years, operating in connection with it a stage line from Ipswich to Le Beau, 100 miles west, on the east side of the Missouri River. In 1890 he undertook the management of a hotel in WEst Superior, at the time when the boom was at its height, and then in the course of the following year he settled in Iron River.

At that time there was properly speaking no town there, as it was merely the western terminal of the South Shore Road. It's growth, however, was rapid, and it soon became a flourishing little town. Mr. Ripley was appointed deputy postmaster, and held that position some time. In 1892 he established the first newspaper in town. The Iron River Times; at first he was associated with Mr. J.A. Munger, of Ashland, as editor, but before long he bought Mr. Munger out and continued the publication until he sold it in 1897. The paper was Republican in its tone. After giving up his newspaper work he bought an interest in the bank, and has since been identified with it in the capacity of cashier and vice president; its business is of a general banking character.

Mr. Ripley is a strong Republican in his views, and while never an active politician, he has displayed much interest in public affairs, and has been a delegate to numerous conventions.

In 1872, at the time of his removal to Port Austin, Mr. Ripley was married to Miss Mary Patrick, daughter of Samuel Patrick, of that place. Only one son has come to them, George W., born in 1879, and now cashier of the Iron River Bank. There is also resident in Iron River, a brother of Mr. Ripley, who came there in 1893 and lives on a farm, where his mother makes her home with him. The father, Thomas Ripley, was a native of Connecticut, but went to Canada when a young man, and afterwards removed to Huron County, Mich., where he died in 1883.

Return to Home Page