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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shocking Tragedy in Gratiot County

Little Murders
Shocking Tragedy in Gratiot County
Democratic Expounder, Marshall, MI, March 28, 1861

One of the most frightful and inhuman transactions which it has ever been our lot to record was enacted last week in the village of Ithaca, Gratiot county about twenty miles north of this place. The result of the horrible transaction—which was the murder of three persons, a man, aged about forty-five and two girls of about seventeen years—was discovered on Friday of last week, and in consequence of which that village was thrown into the highest state of excitement.

The circumstances attending this heart-rending transaction, as we have learned from persons who reside in that vicinity, are as follows: The murdered man, whose name was Thaddeus Green, moved into that vicinity about five years ago, where he resided sometime, and then removed to Ohio. Subsequently, however, he returned, and has since that time been keeping house at that place with his daughter, his wife, during this time, for reasons which we failed to learn, having left him. On Sunday, the 9th, the daughter of a Mr. Taylor, who resided about five miles distant, went to Green’s house to spend a day or two with the daughter, but, not returning as she had intended, the family very naturally became somewhat uneasy about her, when Mr. Taylor started off to learn the cause of her delay. Upon arriving at the Green’s house, he knocked at the door but no response was made. He then attempted to open it, but found it fastened, and upon looking into the window discovered a pair of boots standing at the side of the bed, as well as other things which excited his suspicion that all was not right. Upon inquiring of neighbors he learned that nothing had been seen of the family since the previous Sunday, and as everything had remained quiet about the house, it was supposed they were absent from the home. This aroused his suspicions still more, and he, in company with three or four others, immediately proceeded to the house, and broke in the door.

Upon entering the room such as sight there presented itself to their view as would make one’s blood run cold to look upon. There upon the bed lay lifeless forms of the two girls, murdered by blows upon the head from a hatchet which was found near by. And upon further search being made, another equally horrid sight arrested their attention. There upon another bed lay the lifeless body of the man with his throat cut from ear to ear, evidently by his own hand, as the knife with which the act had been committed was sticking in the floor at the opposite side of the room as though it had been thrown from the bedside.

It is supposed that the man, Green, first murdered the two girls, then preferring death to the penalty of the law, put the knife to his own throat , thus ending a miserable existence. This belief is strengthened by the fact that house was securely fastened from the inside and nothing could be found indicating that any person or persons had left the house after the act was committed. Our informant states that Green was a man of limited circumstances and possessed of rather a shiftless disposition, but otherwise he was of ordinary good character.



Democratic Expounder, Marshall, MI, March 28, 1861

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