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EARLY MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN TERRITORY IN 1820

This building, notable as the birthplace of the olden town, was at the same time a private residence, a hotel, a town house and the seat of justice. By law the courts could not be held in a bar room. In this house it was the only room large enough for that purpose. But the sturdy pioneer, Bronson, was equal to emergency. He had the liquors removed to a rear room just before the court convened. Then the justice, who was Mr. Bronson, with due solemnity, correctly proclaimed, "Gentlemen, this is not a bar room, but a court room, " and thereupon he would proceed with the trial, no one questioning the correctness of his statement. When the town of Green was organized there were justices of the peace to be provided, and Governor Cass appointed Mr. Bronson, who was the first judicial officer in Branch county. He removed from Connecticut in 1828 to Bronson's Prairie, which was named for him. He was about 50 years of age, a ship builder by occupation. In his travels to the west he married a Canada widow and they came on to Branch county. In trying cases he depended more upon his judgment than on the territorial statutes. He was not educated. He was also the early postmaster. Bronson held courts for about one year before they were held in any other place in the county. Por many years Bronson's Prairie was the favorite resort of lawyers, the litigation being extensive. The itinerant peddler was often a victim in this court. Passing through, lie was arrested and required to show his license. If he had none he was fined to the extreme penalty of the law. It he was authorized, in some way he still had to pay the costs of court.

MICHIGAN


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