Alfred Day Rathbone I,

Page 663 - of Grand Rapids, was born January 18, 1806, in Aurora, New York. In that state he received his education, studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1836, when he was thirty years old, he came to Grand Rapids and engaged in the practice of law. He was an earnest Democrat and was keenly interested in all political campaigns. Before the present school system in Grand Rapids was established he served as a township school inspector, and was later a member of the city board of education. He was postmaster of Kent, the village which later became the city of Grand Rapids, having received his appointment under President Van Buren. In 1839, he was elected the first regular prosecuting attorney of Kent county and held this office four years. In 1850 he was a member of the committee which drafted the city charter of Grand Rapids; and in 1854 he accepted, against his wish, the nomination for the office of state senator. Mr. Rathbone also took a leading part in developing factories in Grand Rapids, and was one of the founders of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. He was a member of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church, which he supported liberally. He died on April 5, 1856, leaving one son, Alfred Day Rathbone II.

Transcriber: Gloria Paas
Created: 22 March 2003