1813 – Utopian Community Leader Warren Chase Born

On this date the founder of a in what is now Ripon was born. Their inspiration came from the writings of Charles Fourier, a French Socialist who urged the rebuilding of society from its foundation as the only cure for economic ills such as the depression of 1837. The idea was supported by Horace Greely in New York and caught the eye of . Chase and others built a successful, non-religous communal society in which everyone recieved wages according to their skill, need, and work ethic. The community reached their greatest population (180) in 1845 but soon dissipated when members began moving toward agriculture as an economic tool. Families gradually left the community to live in their own houses and work their own land in the same area. In 1850, the community disbanded and $40,000 in assets was divided among the remaining members. Warren Chase moved around the country and finally settled in California, where he held many public offices. [Source: by Fred L. Holmes, p. 94-104]