The city of Marshall was platted in 1830 by Sidney Ketchum
, a land speculator from Clinton County, New York. In 1832 townsfolk erected their first public building, a modest frame schoolhouse, on land donated by Isaac E. Crary
, who became one of the fathers of the Michigan public school system. During its early years, the schoolhouse also served as a church for three denominations, the circuit court of Calhoun County and, during the cholera epidemic, a hospital.