History of Ripon, California
Ripon is a city located in San Joaquin County , California. At the 2010 census , the population was 14,297. Originally known as Stanislaus City, Ripon was renamed Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1876. Ripon, WI was the hometown of Applias Crooks, the first postmaster in the community.
Twenty miles from Stockton, it was first settled in the early ’60s, with most of the settlers living along the river. There were two of the first settlers in the Ripon district, W. H. Hughes, who had taken up the preemption claim in 1857, and Perry Yaple, who had settled there in 1861, had previously owned a barley grinding mill in Stockton. Hughes owned the land to which Ripon is now located.
When the railroad arrived in 1872, he gave them the right-of – way and the depot. The company set up a small station and named it Stanislaus Station. This station was in use until February 1912, when it was replaced by the existing larger structure. For some time, Stanislaus City, as some called it, was the terminus of the road that was then being built in Fresno. The company built a cattle farm and it was the shipping point for a large quantity of stock, including the cattle of Trahern & McMullen and also for a large quantity of wheat and barley grown on the sandy plains, the grain being shipped in flat cars to Stockton or Point Costa for storage.
The nucleus of the town began in 1874, when the man named A. B. Cook came from San Diego to open a store. Not pleased with the name of Stanislaus City, he renamed it Ripon after his birthplace in Wisconsin. Cook was an enterprising fellow, and he had the government set up a post office there under the name of Ripon, and was appointed postmaster.
The next postmasters were Perry Yaple, Jr., and E. C. Dickerson, man. The post office has always been in some store, and the place has changed its owners several times, with each new owner being appointed postmaster. Some of the Ripon merchants were Henry Bowman, B. F. Yaple, Frank Hutchingson, and E. That’s C. Dickerson and J. H. Little, who built a store in 1884.
The town at that time was of considerable size, with a hotel, a blacksmith shop, a school, two large warehouses and 14 residences, but the writer complained about the delay of the supervisors in building a bridge across the Stanislaus River. There was no transportation except a toll ferry, and he said that a free ferry or bridge would bring a good deal of trade that way. The first brick building in Ripon was built by Perry Yaple, who burned the brick in the summer of 1886. It was a two-story building, the Odd Fellows occupying the second floor. This lodge, Mt. Horeb, No. 58, was established by Grand Warden L. L. Alexander in Sonora on May 27, 1856.
After the withdrawal of gold mining, the lodge began to lose its members until scarcely enough members were left to hold the charter. One of the members at this time, Wm. E. Garatt, taken to Ripon, and through his efforts the lodge was removed from Sonora to Ripon. The lodge has 121 members in good standing. Progressive Rebekah Lodge No. 229, Ripon, was established on 30 March 1906 by Grand Warden Ella Van Court, assisted by Ann Sorenson of Modesto, District Deputy Grand President. There were eleven charter members, and that evening thirty-eight were initiated.
A great expansion of the city began in 1998. Areas north of the 99 freeway were set aside for housing divisions, and huge swaths of agricultural land were set aside for development. In 2003, the Jack Tone Road intersection was rebuilt, starting a gigantic commercial development for two truck stops, Loves and Flying J that year. The next few years saw the addition of a number of restaurants and shopping centers.