The only resident of Kalamazoo to be elected governor of Michigan during its first 150 years, Epaphroditus Ransom lived and farmed on this site. Born in Massachusetts in 1796, Ransom came to Michigan in 1834. An attorney, he soon became the area's first circuit court judge, riding horseback through the wilderness to hear cases. In 1836 he was appointed associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and in 1843 he became the court's chief justice. A declaration he issued in 1840 prevented the removal of the Catholic Potawatomi from their southwestern Michigan lands. In 1848 Ransom was the first governor to be inaugurated in Lansing, which had just become the state Capital.
During Epaphroditus Ransom's gubernatorial term (1848-1850), the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital
was established. Following his term as governor, Ransom became the first president of the Michigan Agricultural Society, which was instrumental in the creation of both the Michigan State Fair
and Michigan State University
. He was also a regent of the University of Michigan
(1850-1852), a founder of the village of Augusta and a state representative (1853-1854). In 1857 President James Buchanen appointed Ransom receiver of the Kansas Osage Land Office in Fort Scott, Kansas. He died in Kansas in 1859. His body was returned to Kalamazoo, where it was interred in Mountain Home Cemetery.