John Fred William Riepe & Anna Wilhelmina [Luetger] Riepe Joseph Creighton Riepe, Sr. Bertha Fredericka [Riepe] Lord Ruby Fern Riepe & Otis Wendell Riepe Sophia [Peine] Riepe Josephine Catherine [Riepe] Ernst  

Notable Riepes

Adelbert Riepe (#42)
Rev. Charles Knapp Riepe (#877)
Ewald Riepe (#2820)
Joseph Creighton Riepe, Sr. (#855)
Lillian I. [Crim] Riepe (#1680)
Milton Oscar Riepe (#341)
Col. Quenten Albert Riepe (#949)
Renee Dawn Riepe, DVM (#179)
Russell Casper Riepe, Jr., PhD (#2323)
Walter Herbert Riepe (#1385)





November 16, 1816 - October 10, 1890


Biography of Peter Frederick Wilhelm Riepe, taken from the book, Geschichte Der Stadt, Davenport public library special collection department.

Wilhelm Riepe

"Riepe was a real son of the "red earth", a man of inflexible independence and constancy in the service of the true and the good. He was born at Haspe in Westphalia on November 16, 1816, receiving his professional formation in the teacher training institution at Moers under the supervision of the famous pedagogue Adolph Diesterweg. He then attended lectures in natural science at the University of Berlin and several years later was teaching in his home city. He was drawn into the popular movement of 1848 thereby destroying his prospects of promotion in his profession. In 1850 he emigrated to America and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. From there he went to Baltimore after several years, marrying Louise von Possner in 1854, and coming to Davenport in 1857. For a short time he taught at the Free German School with Henry True, but soon he set up his own private school in the Building of the First Davenport Hotel at the foot of the Ripley Street. In Riepe's school the first Davenport Kindergarten was taught in 1860. Caroline Hoepfner and the two sisters, Dora and Mina Plambeck (Mrs. H. Vollmer and Mrs. L. Bruening) taught there and in a little garden when the weather was nice. The school had different locations. Riepe was the first to introduce gymnastics for the girls in Davenport. He was an extremely active man. Besides his own school he gave German instruction at a trade school, and in conjunction with N. Nissen, Julius Schroeder, Otto Smith and his special friend W.H. Pratt he founded an evening school for new languages, arithmetic, geometry, drawing and the natural sciences. Instruction took place on Sunday forenoons and Wednesday and Friday evenings and cost only 10 cents per month. During the Civil War he opened his school without tutition to the children of soldiers and instruction in gymnastics and swimming. Although he would create competition in so doing he supported the introduction of German instruction in the public schools as early as 1858. in 1866 he bought twenty acres of land in the Blackhawk area west of the city and planted a vineyard. About twelve years later he was instructor of German Language and supervisor of German instruction in the City schools. As a man of good musical training Riepe also was a leading personality in social life here. For a long time he led the Choral practices of the "Thalia" once the strongest German organization of Davenport. He often directed the Men's chorus too when its director, tired of the frequent friction, had angrily thrown down his baton. Riepe remained true to his love for nature, especially zoology and botany, till the end of his life. He was one of the half dozen nature lovers who met in 1867 and 1868. They discussed scientific questions and ways to promote common research in the natural sciences and old times, for which the area provided rich material. From that small group the Academy of Sciences developed, in which Riepe held the office of Vice-president till his death. Wilhelm Riepe died on October 10, 1890. In May of 1893 his wife followed him. Two daughters, Mrs. Melanie Weymann and Clara Riepe live in New York. The only son, Adalbert Riepe, has for 35 years been the propietor of the German Pioneer Drug store of Davenport, which was founded by Dr. Henry Ditzen in 1850. It was a coincidence that the academy lost its two oldest members at the same time. Wm. H. Pratt had left the institute to spend the rest of his life with his children in Minneapolis. He had planned to leave on the same day that Riepe died; he remained a few days longer to attend the funeral of his friend and collaborator. Many of his former pupils, the teachers, and the whole liberal community of the city was present. Pratt died in December of 1893 in Minneapolis."


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Last modified:  Saturday, January 15, 2011 06:18 PM