Communities of Greene County - Rippey
Rippey is located in the southeast corner of Greene County and has three paved roads that pass though the town; county roads P46, E57 and the Iowa Highway 144. The diagonal 144 is a shortcut for many people going to Des Moines from counties to the north or traveling from Des Moines to the Iowa Great Lakes. Rippey is an easy commute to Jefferson, Perry, Boone, and Woodward. It is within 45 minutes of Des Moines or Ames.
Founded in 1855 on the Des Moines to Sioux City Stage Road, Rippey was named after Judge Robert Rippey, one of the early settlers of Greene County. Rippey's business district and the surrounding rural area have changed over the years as the population and work has shifted. Current businesses include the two banks, a convenience store, drainage and tiling company, a car repair business, post office and a grain elevator. The only church in town is the Rippey United Methodist Church.
Rippey has a long baseball history, including having a lighted field since 1949. It is one of the few ball parks that offers a shaded grandstand. Long a source of pride for the community, ball players and fans of all ages have enjoyed the great American pastime since the 1880's at the Rippey Ballpark with its grassed infield.
The Rippey Public Library and Community Center, dedicated in 2013, was completed with the leadership and support of the Friends of Rippey, Rippey Library Board, Rippey City Council and many current and former area residents who contributed in many ways.
Several years ago the Friends of Rippey (F.O.R.) group was formed. One of its first projects was to raise funds for "welcome" signs to be placed on the south and north ends of Rippey along highway 144. The organization has also been interested in seeing a recreation trail built on the abandoned railroad right of way from Rippey to Perry. While grant money is sought for the recreation trail, F.O.R. headed a project to cut unwanted cedar trees out of the area, and the Greene County Conservation Department conducted a couple of "prairie burns" to enhance the native flowers – now enjoyed by those traveling the highway.
One of Rippey's "claim to fame" is being one of the "R's" in the annual "BRR" bicycle ride on the first Saturday of February, regardless of the weather. That's "Bike Ride to Rippey," sponsored by the Perry Chamber of Commerce. Bicyclists from all over the state of Iowa and beyond ride the 23 miles from Perry to Rippey in the February Iowa cold. Rippey has received state and national attention as the destination for this ride. As the only church in town, the United Methodist serves the community on many occasions - at the BRR Ride they make the best "Hot Beef Sundaes".
While small, Rippey has a lot going F.O.R. it – and a lot of "friends" supporting it. For more information on the Rippey area, check out the Rippey News website, www.rippeynews.org featuring weekly news, obituaries and other feature stories, and the Rippey Public Library site at www.rippey.lib.ia.us.