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As a co-worker with the Rev. John D. Pierce in the establishment of our common school system upon its present admirable basis, he is entitled to very great honor. As a delegate, and subsequently a member of congress, and in political sympathy with the party in power, he was enabled to secure princely appropriations of the public lands for the benefit of our common schools and of the university. He never attempted the cheap and silly eloquence of the wordy orator, but relied entirely upon the presentation of his own convictions in a plain and simple manner. That a man of his discernment and characteristics should have been a useful and popular citizen need not excite any surprise. He was a member of the convention to form, and subsequently to revise, the constitution of the state. In these bodies he was constant in his attendance, untiring and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, and his course was universally approved by his constituency and the general public. At the time of his death, which occurred May 5th, 1854, he was in the zenith of his honor and usefulness. The first persons of prominence who penetrated the wilderness, domiciled among the Indians, and who braved the dangers and toils of a frontier life to establish for themselves and families a home at the confluence of Rice Creek and the Kalamazoo River, were Sidney and George Ketchum. Sidney Ketchum came in the autumn of 1830, bought up the " floating claims" of some persons equally enterprising, and then returned to Peru, New York, his former residence. He returned with his family the following summer, and entered at once upon those speculations and improvements which gave him great celebrity throughout the state. ' He had a commanding presence, an air of confidence and honesty, and a ready command of most convincing language.

Michigan


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