Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Cold Third Wife

Allkison Sibert posted this newspaper story to the Black Sheep mailing list today, and I thought it was a fine example of what you can find in newspaper archives about your potential ancestors or shirt-tail relatives. Allison's post is here.

Apparently, the husband is Allison's great-great-grandfather, and he froze his third wife in a rain barrel during winter time. The article:


Ironwood Daily Globe,
Ironwood, Michigan
March 12, 1954
Page Six

Bridegroom, 78, Held in Death of Third Wife
Deckerville (AP) --

A gaunt, 78-year-old bridegroom was held for investigation of murder today in the bludgeon-slaying of his third wife.

Police planned to question him in the mysterious rain barrel drowning of hisfirst wife. Sgt. Murell Clark, of the Sandusky State Police Post, said John F. Brabant, a retired Deckerville marine engineer, admitted killing Mrs. Flora Brabant, his 76-year-old bride of six months, Thursday, but didn't "know why I killed her."

Brabant's first wife, Hattie Belle, 73, was found dead in a partly filled rain barrel Nov. 5, 1951 at the couple's home in this small "thumb" area community.

A search of the back yard Thursday disclosed the weapon, a crude steel tool, buried beneath a water pump. It had been partly burned. Clark said Brabant admitted burying the tool after trying to burn it.

Further investigation showed that the third Mrs. Brabant had made out a will last Feb 27 in which she left all her possessions to a son by a previous marriage, Vernon le Gear of Warren, Mich. The extent of her possessions was not disclosed.

Clark said that he was dissatisfied with Brabant's denial of a motive and had planned a further questioning today. He said he also planned to inquire into the death of the first wife.

Brabant, who had six sons and a daughter by his first marriage, was being held in the Sanilac County Jail at Sandusky. Brabant's second marriage in 1952 lasted only two weeks before it wound up in divorce courts.


Needless to say, Allison qualified for membership in the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG).

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