Judge Abner Pratt was born 22 May 1801 in Springfield, New York. He initially practiced law in Rochester, New York as a District Attorney before moving to Michigan in 1839. In 1844, he was elected to the State Senate (4th District), and he was appointed to the State Supreme Court in 1850. The Justice position included with it a bench in the 3rd Judicial Circuit, making him Allegan County’s second occupant of the office of Circuit Court judge.
Historical Librarian Ann Lucas describes the Judge thus:
As a speaker, he was said to be argumentative and vehement. “Sarcasm was a trusty weapon in his armory and . . . was his keenest lance.” But he was also known as a sound lawyer and an able and incorruptible judge. “It was often said that an off-hand decision of Judge Pratt was nearer right than the studied opinions of other judges . . . he had a native aversion to rudeness and crime; culprits, therefore were severely dealt with, sometimes unmercifully so.”
He died 27 March 1863.
- Ann Lucas, Serials Librarian of Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Lansing, Michigan, 1998); online: http://www.micourthistory.org/justices/abner-pratt/.