Missouri Counties
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Missouri Counties

Missouri has one hundred and fourteen counties and one independent city. St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County and is referred to as a "city not within a county." Following the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Louisiana into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties.

Ripley County, Missouri

Ripley County Education, Geography, and HistoryRipley County, Missouri Courthouse

Ripley County is a county located in the Ozarks in the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 14,100. The largest city and county seat is Doniphan. The county was officially organized on January 5, 1833, and is named after Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, a soldier who served with distinction in the War of 1812.

The original area included what would later become Oregon, Howell, Shannon and Carter counties.

Etymology - Origin of Ripley County Name

Named for Eleazar W. Ripley, a soldier in the War of 1812.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Ripley County

It is one of the southern border divisions lying between Butler County on the east and Oregon County on the west. By an act of the General Assembly of Msisouri, it was formed from Wayne County January 5, 1833. Wetmore defines the boundary: "beginning in Cane Creek, where the southern boundary line of the state crosses the same, in range five east; thence with the state line to a point where the same crosses the north fork of White River; thence running a northwardly direction on the dividing ridge between the headwaters of Spring, Eleven Points, and Current rivers, and the waters Osage and Gasconade rivers, to the southwest corner of Washington County; thence east along the township line between townships thirty-three and thirty-four, to the Madison County line; thence south with said line to Black River; thence with said river, along the middle of the main channel therof, to a point due west of Cedar Cabin; thence with the southwest boundary of Wayne County to the beginning." Thus, Ripley originally was the mother of Howell, Oregon, Carter, and the western part of Butler counties, besides some divisions farther north. The assemby decreed that John Howard and John Greegs of Wayne County and Allen Duncan of Madison County be commissioners to select a seat of justice and that the courts be held in the house of Isaac E. Kelly, until the county court should fix a temporary seat of justice. Van Buren (q.v.) was selected as the county seat. It was named for General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (1782-1839) of the War of 1812, who was conspicuous for gallantry in the defense of Fort Erie on August 15, 1814. General Ripley was a member of Congress from Louisiana from 1835-1839. (Goodspeed (1888) 183; Williams, HISTORY OF MISSOURI, 572; Douglass I.306; Wetmore, 159; MISSOURI LAWS (1832-1833), 55-56; MISSOURI LAWS, 15th General Assembly, 35-36; DICT. OF AMER. BIOG. XV, 621)

Source: Pottenger, Cora Ann. "Place Names Of Five Southern Border Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1945.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 632 square miles (1,640 km2), of which 630 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Carter County (north)
  • Butler County (east)
  • Clay County, Arkansas (southeast)
  • Randolph County, Arkansas (southwest)
  • Oregon County (west)


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Ripley County, 62.1% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 7.8% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Current River Area Vocational School - Doniphan - (09-12)
Doniphan R-I School District - Doniphan
Naylor R-II School District - Naylor
Ripley County (Gatewood) R-III School District - Gatewood - (K-08)
Ripley County (Lone Star) R-IV School District - Doniphan

Private schools

West Point Christian Academy - Doniphan - (K-11) - Assemblies of God/Pentecostal

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