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Woman of the Century/Mary A. Ripley

RIPLEY, Miss Mary A., author, lecturer MARY A. RIPLEY A woman of the century (page 620 crop).jpgMARY A. RIPLEY. and educator, born in Windham, Conn., 11th January, 1831. She is the daughter of John Huntington Ripley and Eliza L. Spalding Ripley. The Huntington family is prominent in New England. One of its members, Samuel Huntington, signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Miss Ripley is, on her mother's side, of Huguenot ancestry, and is descended from the French family, D'Aubigné, anglicized into Dabney, a well-known Boston name, which is well distributed throughout the country. Miss Ripley, in early childhood, showed studious and literary tastes, and commenced to write stories when very young. She was educated in the country district-schools of western New York, and in the free city-schools of Buffalo, N. Y. She taught school in Buffalo for many years. Her contributions to the press have been, principally, poems, vacation-letters, terse communications on live questions, and brief, common-sense essays, which have attracted much attention and exerted a wide influence. In 1867 an unpretending volume of poems bearing her name was published, and, later, a small book entitled "Parsing Lessons" for school-room use was issued. That was followed by "Household Service," published under the auspices of the Woman's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo. With Miss Ripley the conscience of the teacher has been stronger than the inspiration of the poet. Had she given herself less to her pupils and more to literature, she would assuredly have taken a high place among the poets of our country. Her poems are characterized by vigor and sweetness. She was for twenty-seven years a teacher in the Buffalo high school. It was in the management of boys that she had the most marked success. The respect with which she is regarded by men in every walk of life is evidence that she made a lasting impression upon them as a teacher. Her clear-cut distinctions between what is true and what is false, and her abhorrence of merely mechanical work, gave her a unique position in the educational history of Buffalo. She resigned her position in the Buffalo high school on account of temporary failure of health. When restored physically, she entered the lecture-field, where she funds useful and congenial employment. Her present home is in Kearney, Neb., where she is active in every good word and work. Her decided individuality has made her a potent force in whatever sphere she has entered. She now holds the responsible position of State superintendent of scientific temperance instruction in public schools and colleges for Nebraska. Her duty is to energize the teaching of the State schools on that line.