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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

Abner Pratt held a prominent rank in the Calhoun county bar. He was a man of peculiar traits of character. His views, impulses, likes and dislikes were of the most decided kind and assumed the control of his conduct. He gave his whole energy to whatever principle or policy he espoused. This made him a bitter opponent or an unflinching friend. He could not do things by halves. He would have been a hypocrite to himself had he held in check opinions or views when their avowal was demanded. There was no compromise in him. He always had the courage of his opinions, and gave them without stint on every occasion. He probably never uttered a doubtful sentiment in his life, or took -back one he had uttered. His power over the masses, was great because they saw that his whole soul was in his work. As a speaker he was argumentative, and often vehement; while his severity of expression frequently detracted from the effect of his logic. When assailed he was acute in discovering the faults of his foe, and delighted in exposing them with bitterness. This made him dreaded as an enemy. As a judge on the bench he was prompt, decided, and fond of dispatch. He cleared the calendar of the Kalamazoo court for. the first time since its organization. As he knew what work was he knew how to keep those crafty disciples of Coke and Littleton at their legitimate business. His perceptions of justice and equity in a given case were almost intuitive, and always very clear. It was often said that an off-hand decision of Judge Pratt was nearer right than the , studied opinions of other judges. He was educated in the school where Lincoln, Douglas and Greeley graduated.

Michigan


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