William Sprague (Michigan)

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William Sprague
Born(1809-02-23)February 23, 1809
DiedSeptember 19, 1868(1868-09-19) (aged 59)

William Sprague (February 23, 1809 – September 19, 1868) was a minister and politician in the U.S. state of Michigan.

Sprague was born in Providence, Rhode Island, a distant cousin of William Sprague, Governor of Rhode Island. He attended the public schools there, moved to Michigan, and settled in Kalamazoo, where he studied theology and was ordained as a minister. He was presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo district, 1844–1848. Sprague served as United States Indian Agent in Michigan 1852–1853.

In the early 1830s, Sprague was a circuit minister for many communities in central and southwest Michigan. He delivered the first gospel sermon ever given in Van Buren County, Michigan, in the first log cabin which was built in spring 1829.[1] He organized the first Methodist class in Niles in 1832 and was pastor there in 1862 when construction began on a historical Italianate style church building.[2] In the fall of 1832, Sprague became circuit pastor for Coldwater.[3]

Sprague defeated incumbent Democrat Charles E. Stuart to be elected as a Whig, though he is sometimes also identified with the Free Soil Party, from Michigan's 2nd District to the Thirty-first Congress, serving March 4, 1849–March 3, 1851. He did not run for re-election. He retired to his farm in Oshtemo Township, Kalamazoo County. He died in Kalamazoo, and was interred in Mountain Home Cemetery.


  1. ^ "The History of Van Buren County, Michigan :: The Southwest Michigan Directory". Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  2. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  3. ^ "History of Branch County Churches". Archived from the original on 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles E. Stuart
United States Representative for the 2nd Congressional District of Michigan
Succeeded by
Charles E. Stuart