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Michigan Legal Milestones
5. Michigan's First Chief Justice

The first chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Dedicated and placed outside on the University of Michigan campus. Placed in Felch Park (intersection of Fletcher and Washington streets) in front of the Power Center for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor on September 9, 1987.


Complete Text on Milestone Marker

Justice William Fletcher

In 1833, William Asa Fletcher, a Detroit lawyer and a former attorney general of the Michigan Territory, was named circuit judge of 13 counties outside of Wayne. For riding this circuit, dispensing justice, he was paid $1,000 per year.

After Michigan achieved statehood in 1835, Governor Mason appointed Fletcher first chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and he took office in 1836. George Morrell and Epaphroditus Ransom, judges of the First and Third Circuits, served with him.

Fletcher wrote the first compilation of the state statutes and served with honor and fidelity as chief justice until 1842. He died in Ann Arbor on September 19, 1852. His casket was placed on this site in Felch Park, although its exact location is unknown.

Placed by the State Bar of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Bar Association, 1987.