The Farmland Murder-Suicide That Shocked Gratiot County, 1911
The community of Brice sits in North Shade Township, Gratiot County. It's not listed as a city, a town, a village, a hamlet, or even an unincorporated community. It just is.
Brice started out as a trading post and was named after the township supervisor, William Brice. Seemingly, Brice became a postal station when Justus Gardner became the first area postmaster in 1882. Richard Brice took over those duties in 1895 until the post office closed in 1904.
There's not much else to say historically about this little seldom-known Michigan community; but in certain circles, it is known for one particular thing: a murder-suicide that took place on March 24, 1911.
Although there were no witnesses, it was concluded by 'authorities' that 55-year-old John Tabor killed his 31-year-old wife Edith by stabbing her multiple times with a pocket knife, and afterward committed suicide by swallowing a huge amount of carbolic acid.
So what led up to this?
John had recently been in Florida throughout the winter on real estate business. Being away from home for months, it's probably safe to assume his jealous & suspicious nature gave him thoughts of Edith's possible unfaithfulness. But according to neighbors and family members, Edith had been faithful the whole time.
Another possibility was that John, Edith, and their adopted 13-year-old daughter were down the road at a neighbor's home, Albert Thompson, taking care of a sick friend, Andrew Goodell. (Atlases show that Goodell originally owned that plot of land, seemingly bought by Thompson a few years later.) Did John think Edith was fooling around with one of those two men? Very possible, as the murder-suicide took place the very next day.
That next morning, John and Edith returned home to continue settling back into their home. Their daughter arrived an hour later, only to find the dead bodies of her parents covered in blood on the floor.
It was well-known that the couple had frequent arguments, and the difference in their ages could very well have been a factor. As to the conclusion of the murder-suicide, it was pure speculation by authorities and investigators. There was no proof of what prompted or caused the crime, other than the way they both died.
Final analysis: John Tabor killed his wife due to his jealousy and suspicious nature; he then offed himself to avoid detection and/or prosecution.
A few photos are below.
Murder/Suicide Location in Brice, Michigan
MORE DARK MICHIGAN: