My grandfather, Walter Harrison Ripley, was born May 22, 1888,
in Leslie, Ingham County, Michgan, the last born son of Jacob and
Minerva Ripley of Leslie. In 1880, Jacob Ripley was living in
Henrietta Township of Jackson County, but by the time of Walters
birth in May of 1888, his parents had just moved to Leslie Village
in Ingham County. Walter's birth, childhood and school years
were all spent in the rural small town setting of Leslie.
At the age of 21, Walter was still living with his dad Jacob, mother Minerva and sister
Julia. He was working at the time as a lineman for a early Ingham County telephone
On February 20, 1913, Walter was married to Grace
Evelyn Hudler, a daughter of Cassius and Christena
Hudler, originally of Waterloo Township in Jackson
County. Walter was renting his own place on Meeker
Street in Leslie Village.
Walter and Grace lost their first son, Allen O. Ripley,
in 1913 but by 1920, their second son Raymond was
five years old, and was already in school, but could
not yet read or write. Walter at that time was paying
the familys way, working as a machinist. Next the
family moved back to Jackson, where Henry J was
born in 1923. Henry didn't have a middle name, just
the letter J.
The family was living in Leoni Township of Jackson County in 1930. Walter, who was now 42 years
old, was still working as a machinist. Raymond was 15 years old and Henry J was 7.
Walt and Grace had separated by the early 1940's and Walt had a new lady enter his life by the mid
1940's. She was Mary Ellen Jones, who was 52 in 1945 when Walt was 57. Mary was a daughter
of Paul C. and Martha Jones of Huntsville, Alabama.
The following was taken from a clipping in the Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper in Jackson,
Michigan after Walters death. "Walt, was one of Leslie's first auto mechanics in the early days of
car making and was employeed by the Briscoe automobile plant in the 1920's, working as a test
driver. He worked at the Sparks Withington Company in Jackson, before moving to Flint, Michigan
in the early 1940's. He worked there at the Fisher Body plant until his retirement. He was a member of several
Walter Harrison Ripley
May 22, 1888 - August 3, 1967
Grace Evelyn Hudler