Born in Vermont in 1802, David S. Walbridge became one of Kalamazoo's most distinguished citizens. He moved here in the early 1840s and was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church. Active in the business community, Walbridge set up a general store, bought a large flour mill, and invested in flat boats and plank road construction to transport his goods. His deep interest in Whig politics led to his participation in the first state Republican convention
in Jackson, where he was named permanent chairman of the meeting. Elected to Congress in 1855, he served until 1858. His other offices included terms as postmaster and state legislator. After years of service to his party and to Michigan, David S. Walbridge died in Kalamazoo in 1868.