You are here: Home / Rippey Recollections / Angus Memories by Lynn Wilson, March 30, 2019

Angus Memories by Lynn Wilson, March 30, 2019

After reading last week's articles on Angus, I received this message from 1959 Rippey graduate, Lynn Wilson. The article triggered some childhood memories of listening to the stories the "old" guys use to share about Angus. Lynn is a great Rippey supporter and is always interested in the weekly happenings and gave me permission to share. Jean Borgeson, March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019

Hi Jean,

 Hope you’re doing well. Saw your article on Angus in the Rippey News. Several years ago I read in the News that a guy from Ogden gave a talk on Angus at one of the Greene County Historical Society meetings. I called him, and learned a few tidbits about the town that I didn’t know. The reason Angus quickly exploded into a boom town in the 1880’s was because James J. Hill, the St. Paul, MN railroad tycoon, started buying his coal there. He switched suppliers a few years later, and Angus went into a rapid decline (from 7,000 people to almost nothing). Many of the houses were moved to surrounding towns, like Rippey. Dad told me the house we lived in across the street from the park (south) was originally two houses from Angus joined together (it still has a strange shape). When I was a kid I used to love to listen to the “old” guys like Orrie Stevens, Oscar Fisher, Chet Riley, Doug Garren, etc., talk about their experiences in Angus when they were young. They’d talk a lot about Whiskey Row, with the 16 saloons, and the infamous Burns gang, whom you could order just about anything from (like Sears). They would then steal whatever you wanted, and sell to you for a nominal price. Orrie told Dad he used to buy his suits from the Burns gang. I was also told that Angus was the only place in the region where you could buy a steamship ticket to Europe. My great grandparents, George & Hannah Wilson, both immigrants from England, first met at a minister’s house in Angus, and were married there in 1886. George worked in the Angus mines to save money so he could buy a farm, which he did, just east of Rippey, and they raised eight children there. Hard to imagine today what Angus once was.