Early Law & Order
Michigan was established as a territory by an act of Congress on January 11, 1805, and remained a territory until admitted as a state on January 26, 1837.
Titus Bronson came to the Michigan Territory in 1829 and purchased 160 acres of land along the Kalamazoo River Valley. Titus built a log cabin, plotted out a map of a town, and then named it Bronson. After a lively squabble with the founder of Comstock, Horace Comstock, over the location of the county seat, Titus Bronson won out. Bronson was named the county seat. In 1836 the village of Bronson was renamed the Village of Kalamazoo.
In 1837 Michigan was admitted as a state Not long after, in 1843, the Village of Kalamazoo held its first election for town marshal. David Gilman won and became the first man to wear the marshal’s star. The duties outlined by the village for marshal were to maintain law and order and to protect the lives and property of those persons within the corporate village limits.
In 1874 in the Village Annual Report, it was revealed that the then marshal noted “the paid police has been too small, and too much has been expected of the marshal and one or two assistants. No other place of the size of this has paid so little attention to its police department While our population, for good order and sobriety will compare favorably with any of our sister villages and cities, yet, as a rule, crime keeps pace with the population of any place. Our active police force of today is the same that it was 10 years ago — and the expense attending it merely nominal.”