Judge Stephen A & Mrs Morrison is described as “a significant figure in early Saugatuck history and an Allegan County judge.”[1]  He was born 18 May 1815 in Barre, Vermont [2] and died on 4 May 1905 in Saugatuck.[3]  He was one of Saugatuck’s earliest settlers, arriving in 1837 and initially making his living as a tanner.[4]  He operated a tannery, a general store, and a real estate and insurance business before retiring in 1892.[5]

Judge Morrison is responsible for blazing the first trail which connected Saugatuck to Allegan – a trail he traveled on foot frequently… all 25 miles of it.  This was his mode of travel between home and the county seat (Allegan) while serving as the County Treasurer (1853-54).[6]  President VanBuren appointed Judge Morrison as Saugatuck’s first Postmaster, a position he retained until the administration of President Grant.[7]


  1. The First Years of the Arts Club: 1953-1955,” Saugatuck Douglas Arts Club (n.d.).
  2. Ralph Earle and His Descendants, Pliny Earle (1888).
  3. Man who named Village dies of old age,” Commercial Record (obituary).
  4. May Francis Heath, Early Memories of Saugatuck, Michigan: 1830-1930 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1930).
  5. Obituary, op. cit.; History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan (1880), 334.
  6. N.a., Sep 1972, “Allegan County Officials,” The Kalamazoo Valley Family News Letter 2(1): 49-50; http://www.allegancounty.org/Government/TR/History.asp?pt=
  7. Heath, Early Memories, op. cit.

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