On this foundation stood the log house of the Reverend John D. Pierce. Born in New Hampshire, Pierce moved to Marshall in 1831, where he founded the Congregational church. In 1834 he and Isaac Crary designed Michigan's school system
, and from 1836 to 1841, he served as the state's and the nation's first superintendent of public instruction. Pierce died in 1882 and is buried in Marshall's Oakridge Cemetery, honored by a monument erected by Michigan's schoolteachers.