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Eccles G Van Riper
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Birth: Oct. 4, 1841
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: unknown

Mayor of Evansville, Indiana 1870.

Mayor William Walker, died in office in 1870 and Mr. Van Riper was elected by the Council as acting-mayor, with all the powers. etc., of the position. He occupied this position three months. At the end of the three months, a new election was ordered for mayor. He was offered the nomination by his party, but declined, not wishing to abandon business for a political position.

On the lst of November, 1871, he sailed from New York for Liverpool. Since that time, he has been traveling all over the Continent of Europe

In 1862, after having spent the winter in purchasing Tobacco, the business of Messrs. Fatman & Co., of New York, conceived the idea of engaging in a Cotton operation, along the line of the contending armies. He was sent to Alabama, and did a splendid business there, until the fall of Memphis, when he removed his headquarters there, and immediately started on a trip through the federal lines in Arkansas. He went about 80 miles in the interior, crossed the St. Francis River, and on the fourth day was captured by the Rebels and charged with being a Spy. After wandering for two weeks in the bushes with them, he was at last taken to Little Rock on foot, and thrown into jail. He remained there three weeks without hearing what was to become of himself, and without having a friend in the State. Gen. Hindman was in command of the confederates. Mr. Van Riper wrote several letters to headquarters asking to be heard or released. At last one Sunday afternoon, he was escorted by a guard of Soldiers to the Anthony House in Little Rock, and went through the farce of a trial before a drumhead court martial, composed of three officers. Of course he had no witness, and they would not take his word for anything. It was enough that they charged him with being a Spy and found him guilty, and sentenced him to be hanged on the Tuesday following at 12 M., not a very agreeable prospect to say the least for a young man. He was apprised of it and became reconciled. On Monday night a new commander for that district arrived, General Holmes, an old U. S. Army officer; had traveled night and day from Richmond, to relieve Hindman, on account of his cruelties. There was a reign of terror in Little Rock, and hanging and shooting were the order of the day. Gen. Holmes reprieved everybody under sentence, and after a re-examination of his case he sentenced him to the penitentiary to remain during the war. This was in July, 1862. He was kept in solitary confinement for a period of five months, spending his twenty-first birthday in prison. He was now released through the intercession of President Lincoln, acting through Gen. Sherman. Messrs. Fatman & Co. had labored hard to this end. He came out a sickly young men, having lost 45 lbs by the wretched treatment which he received.

In 1865. Mr. Van Riper took it into his head to marry, and soon found a mate in Alice, daughter of Col. James G. Jones, one of the oldest citizens of Evansville She was the belle of the city. Three children have blessed that union, two of which (twins) are living. They are with their parents in Europe.
Created by: Chris Myers
Record added: Jul 13, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20437116


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