Ridgway, Matthew Bunker, 1895-1993, U.S. general, b. Fort Monroe, Va. A West Point graduate, in World War II he was made (1942) assistant division commander and then commander of the 82d Infantry Division. This became the 82d Airborne Division, and Ridgway jumped with his men in the invasions of Sicily, Italy, and France (1942-44). He later commanded the 18th Airborne Corps. Appointed (1950) commander of the U.S. 8th Army in Korea, he replaced (1951) Douglas MacArthur as commander of the United Nations forces in Korea and of the Allied occupation forces in Japan. In June, 1952, Ridgway succeeded Dwight D. Eisenhower as supreme commander of the Allied Powers in Europe and held that post until he became army chief of staff in Aug., 1953. He protested vigorously but unsuccessfully against the Eisenhower administration's overall military policy, which emphasized air and atomic power at the expense of the army and navy. Retiring from the army in June, 1955, with the permanent rank of general, Ridgway was (1955-60) chairman of the board of trustees of the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research in Pittsburgh.

See his memoirs (1956) and book, The Korean War (1967).

Ridgway is a Home Rule Municipality in Ouray County, Colorado, United States. The population was 713 at the 2000 census. The area is famous as the filming site of the John Wayne western movie True Grit, and still has a True Grit Cafe, full of John Wayne memorabilia. The town served as the setting for Fort Smith and the most notable scene was the hanging in the main town park, Hartwell Park.

The Uncompahgre River runs through the town, and provides ample trout fishing for its residents, as does the Ridgway State Park and Reservoir, just north of Ridgway a mile or two.

Wildlife is ample; deer, elk, bear, coyotes and eagles are a common sight in and around town.


Ridgway began as a railroad town, serving the nearby mining towns of Telluride and Ouray, pronounced yu-ray. The town site sits at the northern terminus of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad where it meets with Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad running between Montrose and Ouray. Ridgway was located about 3 miles (5 km) south of the existing town of Dallas. Articles of incorporation were filed on 22 May 1890 and granted on 4 March 1891. Ridgway was named after Denver and Rio Grande Railroad superintendent Robert M. Ridgway.

The Rio Grande Southern filed for abandonment on 24 April 1952 and the Denver and Rio Grande Western abandoned the line between Ridgway and Ouray on 21 March 1953. The line between Ridgway and Montrose was upgraded from narrow gauge to standard gauge and Ridgway continued to be a shipping point until the line to Montrose was abandoned in 1976 as result of a reservoir being built on the Uncompahgre River.

The dam for that reservoir, the Ridgway Dam, was proposed in 1957 as part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Dallas Creek Project, and its original location would have inundated Ridgway. A 1975 decision to put the dam further downstream kept the town above-water, and residents coined their own nickname, "The Town that Refused to Die. Land around the reservoir became the Ridgway State Park north of town limits.


Ridgway is located at (38.151934, -107.756870), at an altitude of 6900 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), all of it land.

The nearby San Juan Mountain Range has 14 of the 53 fourteeners. (Fourteeners are mountains over 14,000 feet.) Among them, 14,150 foot (4,310 m) Mt. Sneffels is most prominent from Ridgway.

The eponymous Mt. Ridgway, in height, is also nearby, west of Ouray.


As of the census of 2000, there were 713 people, 285 households, and 190 families residing in the town. The population density was 356.1 people per square mile (137.6/km²). There were 318 housing units at an average density of 158.8/sq mi (61.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.25% White, 1.82% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.70% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.77% of the population.

There were 285 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 102.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,903, and the median income for a family was $45,208. Males had a median income of $31,597 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,084. About 3.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


Among Ridgway's population there are an assortment of recognizable and famous people.

1) Charles W. "Charlie" Ergen (born May 1, 1953) is the co-founder and CEO of EchoStar Communications Corporation, the parent company of Dish Network.

2) Ralph Lauren (born Ralph Lifschitz on October 14, 1939) is an American fashion designer and business executive.

3) William Dennis Weaver June 4 1924 — February 24 2006) was an Emmy Award-winning American actor, best known for his work in television, including roles as sidekick Chester Goode from 1955 to 1964 on TV's first "adult Western" Gunsmoke, as Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud, which ran from 1970 to 1977, and as the protagonist in Steven Spielberg's feature-length directorial debut, the cult TV movie Duel in 1971. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied drama and also was a track star, setting records in several events. He served as a pilot in the United States Navy during the Second World War.

4)Thomas Friedkin--Toyota king of Texas, Hollywood stunt flyer, African-game hunter--has fiercely guarded his privacy for 30 years. Until now.

Number 322 of Forbes Magazine- Thomas Friedkin Net Worth $1.2 Billion-Toyota Married, Children

Pilot for father's Pacific Southwest Airlines 1960s. Veered into cars: landed Toyota distributor 1968. Today Gulf States Toyota, which delivers vehicles and parts to dealers in Texas, 4 other Gulf states, the main engine behind supersecret Friedkin Cos. Estimated sales: more than $4 billion. Business about to boom: Toyota erecting a factory to build new big pickup, a Texas favorite. Former Hollywood stunt pilot, big-game hunter on his Tanzanian preserve. Friedkin Conservation Fund backs antipoaching, community development efforts in Tanzania.


The closest airport served by scheduled airlines is Montrose Regional Airport, located 28 miles north.

Major highways

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