The History of Doniphan

Visit Doniphan and step back in time. Watch the checker games and horse shoe pitching at the court house, which was built in 1899. Then stroll through our historic downtown with it's numerous shops and businesses. Finally, take a moment to rest under the gazebo in the park for a while and think about Doniphan's long past.

The city of Doniphan is named after Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan; lawyer, soldier and statesman. In 1846, during the Mexican-American War, Colonel Doniphan led 856 Missouri volunteers into Mexico. There he fought numerous battles, winning victories at the Brazito River, Sacramento, Chihuahua and Saltillo. In all, Doniphan marched 3,600 miles across hostile terrain, while incurring with very few casualties, before finally returning to his beloved Missouri.

Doniphan is also the county seat of Ripley county. Ripley county is named after Eleazar W. Ripley, a hero of the War of 1812. Besides being promoted to the rank of major general, Ripley was also presented by Congress with a gold metal in honor of his superior military service.

Doniphan's military history hasn't always been a positive one, however. During the Civil War Doniphan was burned by retreating Union forces before the advance of Confederate General Sterling Price. Fortunately Doniphan's historic records weren't destroyed (they had been hidden in a nearby cave by a quick-thinking county clerk) and Doniphan isn't about to let it's past be destroyed today. Come visit the Heritage Homestead park, where you can experience what life in the 1860's was like. Also you can trace part of the "Trail of Tears" over which American Indians were relocated to the West in the 1830s.

Come visit Doniphan and discover your past.

Heritage Homestead features a restored cabin from the 1860's, a Blacksmith shop and barn. It is located next to Pioneer Cemetary.


Part of historic, downtown Doniphan

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