Colonel Solomon Ripinsky: Jewish Educator and Civic Service Pioneer of Alaska

Colonel Solomon Ripinsky

Sol Ripinski becomes a U.S. Citizin 1911, Alaska

Sol Ripinski, 1910, Alaska

Values Codes I – H – E – L


Sol Ripinsky was born in 1859 in Ripin, Poland.


Along the way

In 1870, Sol Ripinsky journeyed to America, at the age of 11.

He worked for a brother’s clothing store in Shreveport, Louisiana.

1876 found Sol Ripinsky living in Sacramento, California.

By 1879, Ripinsky had moved on to Salem, Oregon where he owned a grocery store called Webfoot.

In 1881, he was an aide de camp and earned the rank of Colonel in the Oregon State Militia.



Around 1884, Sol Ripinsky headed for Sitka, Alaska.

There, he worked for U.S. Attorney Edward W. Haskett for a year.

In 1885, he was assigned to run a school for the Indian Education Department.

He opened a school for 45 students, teaching both English and Russian.

Ripinsky was also served as the principle at a government school in Chilkat.

In 1887, Ripinsky worked for a salmon cannery and had a general merchandise store in Chilkat.


Rapinski Post Office

Rapinski Post Office in Chilkat, Alaska (red arrow points to Rapinski.)


In 1904, Sol Ripinsky wrote a book on the Indians of Alaska.

In 1908, Sol Ripinsky was elected school director in Haines, Alaska.



In Salem, Oregon, Sol Ripinsky became a Colonel.

In Alaska, Sol Ripinsky became a United States Commissioner in 1899, in which position he was a Judge.

Sol Ripinsky served as postmaster of Chilkat.

He was also a notary public.

In 1899, Sol Ripinsky was elected as the delegate to Haines, Alaska.

In 1916 he was elected Mayor of Haines.

He supported territorial legislature and self-government.

Sol Ripinsky died in 1927.



Mount Ripinski, which is located north of Haines, Alaska, was named for Colonel Sol Ripinsky, around 1890.

Mt. Ripinsky, Alaska

Mt. Ripinsky, Alaska


1895 Postcard mentioning Ripinsky

“Chilkat Nov 7/95
Dear Son
I am far north among storms fogs and glaciers — but still it is not cold. Health good — My work going all right meeting friends everywhere. Just now am warmly entertained by Colonel Ripinsky who lives here. Love to father and yourself. Home in December.  L.O.”



  • “Notes on Sol Ripinsky of Alaska in 1905,”  Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 8/4.

Thank you to Don Glickstein, member of the Alaska Collectors Club, for the postcard images.

Samantha Silver is curator of this Colonel Sol Ripinsky exhibit.