Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
JACOB J. VAN RIPER, of Buchanan, Mich., attorney at the Berrien County bar, was born at Haverstraw, Rockland
Co., N. Y., March 8, 1838. His parents were John and Leah Van Riper; his father an inventor of some repute, and
a manufacturer of woolen goods. Jacob J. went to New York at an early day, and continued to reside there and at
Brooklyn until he was nineteen, then removed to Cass Co., Mich.
He received a good academic education in New York, attending the New York Conference Seminary and Collegate Institute.
After his removal to Michigan he taught school, and in 1860 commenced the study of law, attending law lectures
in the University of Michigan in 1860-61, and was admitted to practice in January, 1863, opening an office in Dowagiac,
Cass Co., where he practiced until September, 1872, at which time he removed to Buchanan, where he now resides.
Some of the most important cases in this section of the county have been given him. He has also had an extensive
practice as a jury advocate, and has in this been eminently successful. While abhorring political rings and trickery,
he has been more or less interested in politics.
During the war he held the office of deputy collector of internal revenue for Cass County, and subsequently that
of assistant assessor of internal revenue.
In 1867 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Michigan, in which he was next
to the youngest member. While serving on the judiciary committee and the committee on bill of rights he gained
considerable reputation by his arguments against the railroad aid schemes of the State. These arguments were highly
spoken of by the press of Detroit and other places, and he received letters of congratulation from Governor Orapo
and others. Since that time he has refused all offices except in the line of his profession. In the fall of 1876
and 1878 he was elected by the Republican party prosecuting attorney for Berrien County, which position he now
In November, 1858, he married Miss Emma E. Bronner, an estimable lady of New York Mills. They have one son and
two daughters. Mr. Van Riper is a hard student and worker in his profession. He has a large confidential business,
and has made his life a success.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.