Ripley is a town in southeastern Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 423 at the 2010 census, a decline of 9.2 percent from 444 at the 2000 census.The town was named after William P. Ripley, the fourteenth president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Location within Payne County and Oklahoma
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (often called simply the Santa Fe) developed Ripley and auctioned the first lots on January 13, 1900. The first wagon bridge across theCimarron River was completed July 31, 1900, which was the excuse for a big party that lasted until the wee hours of the next morning.
Agriculture became the main source of income besides the railroad. A large farm named Morehead Plantation hired many African-American laborers to produce cotton. The cotton business declined sharply after World War I, but oil discoveries in the county offset the cotton decline for awhile. However, oil markets declined in the late 1920s and the beginning of the Great Depression caused the town economy to decline. Ripley's population declined from a peak of 487 in 1930 to 292 in 1950 and 263 in 1960. The population rebounded to 451 in 1980 and 376 in 1990.