Mary A. Ripley

By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section 10, . Lot 214
Date of Death: 6/3/1893

Miss Ripley was a teacher at the old Central High School for 27 years. She was primarily an educator, although she displayed talents in other fields, as well.

She was born in Windham, Connecticut, but was educated in the schools of Western New York. She published a volume of poems; a book entitled Passing Lessons. But her greatest talent appeared to be the management of boys, as for years she headed the Boys Department at Central School. It has been said, "with Miss Ripley the conscience of the teacher was 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 higher place among the poets of our country."

Ms. Ripley was also a member of the club known as the "Nameless." This was group of 10 men and women who loved poetry and literature. Some of the members were William Pryor Letchworth, J.D. Larned, George Selkirk, and David Gray. Many times they would gather at the Glen Iris Inn, in what is now Letchworth State Park , and recite poetry.

The text below was proffered by a great nephew, Skip Higgins

Mary Ann Ripley was born about 1831 in Windham, CT, the daughter of John Huntington Ripley and Eliza S. Spaulding. 

She died on June 3, 1893, in Kearney, Nebraska, and her body was returned to Forest Lawn Cemetery  in Buffalo for burial.  Other members of the family were also in Kearney at this time, and they all returned to western NY state eventually. 

In addition to the book of poems Passing Lessons, she was also the author of a grammar text book by the name of Exercises in Analysis and Parsing, published in 1873 in Buffalo by Breed, Lent and Company. 

While in Kearney, she served as president of a women's club known as the "Nineteenth Century Club" and she was a member of the WCTU.

Her sister Charlotte Elizabeth Ripley was two years younger, and she became the wife of William Parish Bushnell.  Mr. and Mrs. Bushnell were the parents of five children, and they are also buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. 

Their daughter Lillian Mary Bushnell married Floyd Manley  Higgins and they lived in Warsaw, NY.  Their daughter Katherine Bushnell married Godfrey J. Fellner of Buffalo, and they made their home on Condon Avenue in Buffalo.

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