The Crouch Farm Murders – Spring Arbor Township (Jackson Co., MI)




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Reynolds / Crouch Cemetery – Spring Arbor Twp., Jackson Co., MI

One of the most famous legends of the Jackson, Michigan area involves a small cemetery in Spring Arbor Township.  The spirits of Jacob Crouch and daughter Eunice White, both murdered during the night, are said to reunite on the anniversary of their deaths (November 21-22) at Reynolds Cemetery (corner of Horton and Reynolds Roads).   Several books and articles claim that people have witnessed glowing mists moving about the old headstones on that dark and most foul of anniversaries.

Eunice’s luminous spirit is said to have been witnessed drifting along the roads south to Spring Arbor.  Eunice and her husband Wm. Henry White (also murdered on the same night) are buried side-by-side in Jackson’s St John’s Catholic Cemetery.

On the night of November 21-22, 1883, a violent thunderstorm raged over the Spring Arbor area of Jackson County, Michigan.  During the storm, four people were shot to death in their beds inside the Jacob Crouch farmhouse.   Jacob Crouch, aged 74; Eunice White, Jacob’s daughter and eight months pregnant; Henry White (Eunices’s husband) and Moses Polley, a former employee of Jacob’s who was visiting on business.

The Crouch Farm Murders (video)

George Bolles, a 16-year old African-American farm hand, was sleeping upstairs.  Bolles was awakened by the shots and a voice saying “OH!  OH!” which sent him into a trunk where he hid until dawn.  Upon the breaking of day, Bolles descended the stairs to find Jacob shot in the head.  He immediately ran two miles to the farmhouse where Jacob’s daughter Susan and son-in-law Daniel Holcomb lived.

As Bolles ran to the Holcombs, the Crouch’s housekeeper, Julia Reese, woke to no fire in the kitchen stove, a task which Bolles usually took care of.  Reese, still unaware of the murdered bodies in the house, was startled by a neighbor’s arrival.  The neighbor had passed an alarmed Bolles running toward the Holcombs.

Within a very short time, Daniel Holcomb filed charges against Bolles and Reese, who were held in jail in Jackson for about a month before being released. Eventually, the evidence began to point toward Daniel and to Jacob’s youngest child who lived on the Holcomb farm, Jud Crouch.

*  *  *

Jud, in 1859, was the last child born to Jacob and Ann Crouch.  Jud was born with a deformed right foot.  A few days after giving birth to Jud, Ann died.  Jacob gave Jud to his daughter Susan and son-in-law Daniel Holcomb to raise as their own.  A financial agreement was discussed.   For the first nine years of his life, Jud was raised believing that his sister, Susan, was his birth mother and Daniel (his brother-in-law) was his father.

Jud and Jacob’s relationship was icy bordering on non-existent until the time of the murders.

*  *  *

The day after the murders, Jud and Holcomb farm hand, James Foy, moved into the old Crouch farmhouse, blood still wet in the floorboards.  Amazingly, without objection from the local Sheriff.

*  *  *

Eleven days after Jacob Crouch was laid to rest in Reynolds Cemetery, he was unburied and his stomach was removed by the Coroner, who was looking for evidence of drugs.

Funerals of Eunice and Henry White; Jacob Crouch (video)


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Eunice Crouch & Wm.Henry White burial site – St. John Catholic Cemetery (Jackson, MI)

I recorded the following  EVP on St. Patrick’s Day, 2010, while giving the authors of the Haunted Travels of Michigan book series a tour of the Crouch Murder sites (Jacob’s house, Reynolds Cem. and St. John’s Cem.)….as soon as investigator/author Kat Tedsen asked Eunice, “who killed your husband?” you clearly hear a woman say “HENRY!”. His loved ones and family called him Henry. Still get chills when I listen to this


The following EVP was recorded during June, 2009 at Reynolds Cemetery *before* I knew the history of the Crouch murders.   Had no idea who “Danny” was at the time this was captured.   However, I soon found out and was quite shocked.  The audio was shared with the authors of the Haunted Travels of Michigan book series, Kathleen Tedsen and Bev Rydel, which inspired them to pursue this fascinating case for their book.


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Daniel and Jud, along with a farm hand named James Foy, were believed to have been behind the murders.   The motive: control of Jacob’s wealth.   The crime, however, may have been orchestrated by another son of Jacob’s who lived in Texas at the time; Capt. Byron L. Crouch.

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The crime was never successfully solved and the only suspect brought to trial, Daniel Holcomb, was acquitted of all charges.

 




 

contact the author via the Ghost Highway Photography group on Facebook or at frequentflier66@yahoo.com


© Jeff Westover and Ghost Highway Photography, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeff Westover and Ghost Highway Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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