Sidney Ketchum, a land surveyor, was born in Clinton County, New York. Seeking a new home and hoping to found a town, Ketchum explored central lower Michigan in 1830. Later that year he obtained government grants for the land on which most of Marshall
now stands. He named the town in honor of U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall. Ketchum founded the county's first bank in 1836 and built the city's first Methodist church in 1838.