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OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

During forty years' practice he has been counsel in most of the important trials in western Michigan. Mr. Balch is an able impromptu speaker on almost any subject,, holding the closest attention of his audience at all times. The same may be said of him as a conversationalist. He can draw from his rich stores of knowledge something to entertain and instruct any company. He has been president of the Kalamazoo bar association from its earliest organization. He has now retired from practice.
ELISHA BELCHER
Elisha Belcher was born in Rhode Island, in 1800; came when a child to. Massachusetts, and when a young man removed to Ohio. He was a student in Kenyon college Where he got enough of the classics to aid him in his profession in after years. In 1826 he located at Ann Arbor, Mich., and later removed to Ionia. He must have picked up his profession along the way between Massachusetts and Ionia, for he appears as attorney in some of the early cases in the latter place. He came to Kalamazoo in 1834, and soon became one of the leading lawyers of the west. He removed to Otsego in 1850 and died there in 1852.
Mr. Belcher was a man of close observation and an apt student in the common school of life. Having worked up from the ranks of hard toil he had retained the plain manners of, and the close sympathy with, the class from which he sprung. And when he became an able lawyer his plain habits made him hosts of friends. His unadorned speech, sincerity and candor, won their way to the hearts of the jury, and were potent in establishing his own convictions upon their minds. Belcher had a large, muscular frame, and great vigor of body and mind. A clear, logical reasoner, his argument was marked more by strength than beauty of diction.

Michigan


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