Allegan County’s first established court was the Probate bench, Judge Oka Town being the first to serve therein by gubernatorial appointment in 1835. The Circuit Court in 1836 (being renumbered as circuits have been re-gerrymandered), with the first judge on that bench being Judge Epaphroditus Ransom of Kalamazoo, and the County Court (essentially “District” courts) was established in 1847, dissolving soon after before finally being reestablished in their present form by the 1963 State Constitution and subsequent legislation.
The Allegan County Bar Association was established 8 November 1836 at the first session of the newly formed Circuit Court with George Y Warner the first attorney admitted thereto upon that date. The original criteria for admission was:
“…that he is of good character and has sustained the character of an able and fair practitioner, and that he actually resides in this state, was admitted to an examination, and on such examination had, the judges being of the opinion that he is qualified and is of good moral character.”
A History of the Michigan Courts can be read here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/publications/michiganmanual/2009-2010/09-10_MM_V_pp_25-26_MITrialCts.pdf
Judges who have Served the County’s Courts 
∴ symbol indicates members of the Masonic fraternity
- Oka Town (1835-1837)
- Ebenezer Parkhurst (1837-1841)
- George Y Warner (1841-1845)
- Elisha Ely (1845-1849)
- DeWitt Clinton Chapin (1849-1953)
- Elisha Ely (1853-1854)
- Elisha Bourne Bassett (1854-1857) ∴
- William Brewster Williams (1857-1864)
- Dan J Arnold (1865-1873)
- James B Humphrey (1873-1881)
- John Henry Padgham (1881-1885) ∴
- David Stockdale (1885-1896)
- Frank Hawley Williams (1896-1908) ∴
- John Ford Stratton (1909-1925)
- Charles Nelson Thew (1925-1927)
- Augustus Seymour Butler (1927-1933) ∴
- Irving J Turner (1933-1948)
- Harold Franklin Weston ( -1965)
- Philip H Mitchell (June-September 1965)
- Dwight Martin Cheever (1965-1977)
- George A Greig (1977-2000)
- Michael L Buck (2000-2019)
Circuit Court (served originally by the 3rd Circuit, then the 5th, 9th, 20th, & finally the 48th in 1975)
- Epaphroditus Ransom, 3rd Circuit Court (1837-1848), concurrently on Michigan Supreme Court  ∴
- Charles Wiley Whipple, 3rd Circuit (1849-1851), concurrently on Michigan Supreme Court
- Abner Pratt, 5th Circuit Court (1851-1857), concurrently on Michigan Supreme Court
- Benjamin Franklin Graves, 5th Circuit Court (1857-1866), concurrently on Michigan Supreme Court 
- Flavius J Littlejohn, 9th Circuit Court (1858-1869) – newly organized circuit 
- Charles Richards Brown, 9th Circuit Court (1869-1873)
- John Wesley Stone, 20th Circuit Court (1873-1874) – newly organized circuit 
- Dan J Arnold, 20th Circuit Court Judge (1874-1892)
- Hannibal Hart, 20th Circuit Court (1892)
- Philip Padgham, 20th Circuit Court (1893-1912)
- Orien S Cross, 20th Circuit Court (1912-1929) ∴
- Fred Thomas Miles, 20th Circuit Court (1930-1947)
- Raymond L Smith, 20th Circuit Court (1947-1967)
- Chester A Ray, 20th Circuit Court (1967-1970)
- Wendell Alverson Miles, 20th Circuit Court (1970-1974) ∴
- James E Townsend, 20th Circuit Court (1972-1974)
- George R Corsiglia, 48th Circuit Chief Judge (1975-2011) – newly organized circuit 
- Harry A Beach, 48th Circuit Court (1991-2006; retired mid-term) – 2nd seat created in 1990
- William A Baillargeon, 48th Circuit Court (2007-2009 by gubernatorial appointment)
- Kevin W Cronin, 48th Circuit Court (2009-2015) ∴
- Margaret Zuzich Bakker, 48th Circuit Chief Judge (2011-2017)
- Henry H Booth, First Judge (1847-1851)
- Eber Sherwood, Second Judge (1847-1851)
- Abram I Dedrick, First Judge (elected 1850, died on the bench in 1851)
- Abram Hoag, Second Judge (1851-1855)
57th District Court
- George R Corsiglia (1972-1974 by gubernatorial appointment)
- Gary A Stewart (1975-2006)
- Harry A Beach (1977-1991)
- Stephen E Sheridan, Chief Judge (1991-2008)
- Joseph S Skocelas, Chief Judge (2006-2015)
- William A Baillargeon (2009-2019)
|From 1854 to 1888, an old Baptist Foundation building served as the courthouse, but the last 20 years of that, the building was so dilapidated it should have been (and eventually was) condemned. No known photo of this building.|
- Henry Franklin Thomas, A Twentieth Century History of Allegan County, Michigan (Allegan: Lewis Publishing Co, 1907), 549-550.
- Ibid., 550.
- Judges from 1835 to 1880 listed in History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan (Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co, 1880), 62-63.
- At the time of Allegan County’s chartering, she was added to the 3rd judicial Circuit, which then consisted of Branch, St Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Kent, Ionia, and Allegan Counties from 1835 to 1851.
- Allegan County was part of the 5th Circuit from 1851-58, at which time the 9th Circuit was reorganized and Allegan was joined unto it. Judge Graves continued to sit in the 5th Circuit bench after Allegan had been removed from that jurisdiction.
- The 9th Circuit was then comprised of Allegan, Kalamazoo, & Van Buren Counties.
- The 20th Circuit was then comprised of Allegan and Ottawa Counties.
- Allegan County became a Circuit unto herself in 1975, separating from Ottawa County, which retained the “20th Circuit” designation.