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Cass County – Anderson Grave Yard
Decatur, Mi 49045

County: Van Buren
WebSite: None

formerly listed under Van Buren County this is where the Morris Family is buried at, who were murdered in there own home on Sept 29th 1879.it is said that if u go to the grave yard on this date the 29th of Sept, you can see Ester and Charles Morris, by there tombstone which is the only pillar stone under the only ever green trees in the center of the grave yard.

March 2004 Update/Correction: Henry and Esther Morris did have a child, but he/she died in infancy several years before the murders. At the time she died Esther Morris was pregnant. And the maid was not killed: she was in the house asleep at the time.

The Morrises lived in a house considered by the people of the time to be a mansion, and were considerably wealthy. Additionally the murderer didn`t arrive on horseback as far as can be discerned, but he did steal the Morris` buggy pulling horse. The murders took place September 28, 1879.

And Anderson cemetery is considered a part of Decatur since it is in Van Buren, not a part of Marcellus, which is in Cass County.


This story written from info contained in "A Scrap Book History of Decatur, MI and Vicinity 1829-1976 Volume I"

The story goes that the night of September 28th, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Morris went to bed at about 8:30. The only other person in the house was a woman who worked for them by the name of Jennie Bull. In addition the house itself was situated back from the rooad with no other houses close by. According to Bull`s testimony, she went to bed at around 8:00, the Morris` soon after. This is where the story gets strange. The time of the murder was determined to be around 9:30 P.M. Mr. Morris usually kept a revolver by his bedside, but when a knock on the door aroused them, and for reasons unknown he left it behind. Upon opening the door and stepping out on the porch he was shot in the chest. The unknown assasin fired a second shot as he fell which struck him in the neck. Mrs. Morris, it is assumed heard the shots. She grabbed her husband`s revolver and ran out into the kitchen where she encountered the killer. However, she was apparently so frightened she dropped the revolver without firing a shot or even cocking the hammer. She retreated to her bedroom, but the killer followed and fired two more shots missing her before he cornered her in the closet where the murderer shot her twice in the chest. She passed away quickly. This is where things get interesting, in spite of all the shots being fired, Jennie Bull, who said herself that she was not a sound sleeper was not awakened by the killing! She would be the one to discover the Morris` the next morning. It is unclear if the killer even knew Jennie Bull was in the house. (Jennie`s bedroom was directly above the part of the house where the killing took place, and her window was open that night!) Seeing his deed was done, the killer went out to the barn on the Morris property and selected the best horse in the stable. Then, he placed a saddle and bridle on the horse that he had evidently brought with him. (None of the saddles or bridles in the Morris barn were disturbed) It was clear from this that this crime had been well-thought out and the killer had a knowledge of his surroundings. The killer saddled the horse and rode off, never to be caught. There was one witness to the horse thief however. Charles Rosewarne later testified that he was on his way home between 9 and 10 P.M. and encountered a man on horseback. Rosewarne could make tell little about the suspect except that he wore a "funny hat and a had a mask covering his face" He recognized the horse he was riding as the one belonging to the deceased.

Examinations of the crime scene the next day made it clear that this was not a robbery, as $130 and two gold watches lay in plain sight in the bedroom. The only thing taken was the horse. Thus the only conclusion that one can come to is that the killer was there to murder Mr. and Mrs. Morris and nothing else. The horse, which was found a few days later in South Bend, was just a getaway. The Morris` had been married about 10 years at the time of their death and they were well-liked and respected in their community. So the question that was on all the locals mind was of course, Why? Despite an investigation by detectives from as far away as Chicago, and an insistance by law enforcement officals at the time that the killer would be captured, he was not. It is a mystery that is unsolved to this day. It is unlikely that it will ever be solved either. Today, Mr. and Mrs. Morris are buried in Anderson cemetery, more commonly reffered to as Morris cemetery. A double headstone was erected that stands under a tree in the middle of the cemetery. The house were the murders took place burned down years ago. So the headstone is the only landmark left that tells anything of the event.

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Last updated on : 3/6/2007

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kristen09 prondextro SwMIhunter SyDavidson

User Comments: 
               Like      Dislike        Comment# 384     7/29/2006 12:00:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 5/27/2008 11:25:54 AM  
This place is much more peaceful than Munchkinland in Eau Claire, but I still get the feeling of being watched when here. It`s a very pretty cemetery none the less and the murders are still unsolved.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 935     9/20/2006 12:00:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 1/16/2008 8:04:09 PM  

here is a listing of a death record of esthera saying she was murderd on the 28th but I couldnt find one for charles there is one for henry morris who was murdered on the 23rd due to murder but they could be connected or not hmm thought I might put this in

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 966     9/21/2006 12:00:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 5/1/2017 1:34:40 PM  
Good investigation! My guess is the story is a  bit overboard, but there is always a chance that both were `hurt` at the same time.... and one passed away sooner than the other.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 977     9/21/2006 12:00:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 6/9/2008 2:53:33 PM  
I must confess... I killed them on separate days, then I stole the horse...for food. Sorry for the confusion.


               Like      Dislike        Comment# 2699     3/6/2007 12:00:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 5/27/2008 11:25:54 AM  
See the story under the update, the info written there is based on facts taken straight from a Scrapbook History of Decatur MI. It`s probably the most accurate account of the events in the Morris murder mystery.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 4387     7/24/2007 3:46:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 1/16/2008 8:06:27 PM  
I live maybe 9-10 miles away from there and as a kid my parents use to tell me stories of the graveyard being haunted. So one night on summer break My friend, her parents and i got in the car and drove out there. We took pictures and you can see orbs in the pictures.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 4388     7/24/2007 4:15:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 1/16/2008 8:06:27 PM  
i live in decatur and my friends and i go there regularly.

the more we go, the more we see, hear, and capture on camera.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 7858     12/16/2007 1:59:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

The thing I don`t like about it is that people destroy the headstones. Why would you want to ruin something like that? But yeah, I`ve been here with Alaina and her parents one night, and as we walked by the headstone, we could feel it getting cooler. It was like the only spot in the cemetery where it was cold. That was kind of a creepy feeling.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 8965     1/30/2008 12:58:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 3/27/2010 12:46:49 PM  
Me, my girlfriend and my best friend have been out there many times.  I took some pics but the problem is, it was either snowing or raining.  In one pic (it was raining) one of the orbs has a face in it.  I'll post it only if a request is made for it.  BTW, my best friend got possessed out there.  If you're gonna go, take someone who is not a liability

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 8983     1/30/2008 12:33:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 5/1/2017 1:34:40 PM  

pronDextro: Yeah definately post the pic, the more the better.  Wether they are good or bad, they still help give people an idea of what to expect when they arrive at a location.


               Like      Dislike        Comment# 9027     1/31/2008 2:11:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 3/27/2010 12:46:49 PM  
The pic is posted but it's still kinda hard to see the orb with a face in it.  I think I lost my camera out there so no new pics for a little bit. 

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 20026     10/4/2008 1:54:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

I was there on the 28th of Sept. Me and some friends were there from 8:00pm to well past midnight. The pictures we took, the audio we captured yeilded nothing. Kind of dissappointing.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 24227     12/3/2008 1:53:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

I was there on the 28th as well. The dowsing rods were used but, nothing else showed up.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 34039     6/14/2009 3:52:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

when my brother and i were little we use to ride our bikes down there, we live on the corner of lawrence and countyline. my uncle said the maid went to what is now my house for help the next morning. he jus told me about it and i was looking for more information on it.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 40377     9/29/2009 9:44:00 AM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 9/29/2009 5:57:10 PM  

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 40401 ReplyTo# 40377     9/29/2009 4:36:00 PM     Edit          

36th street off van buren road

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 40409     9/29/2009 5:59:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

Last Seen: 9/29/2009 5:57:10 PM  
ok thanks

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 40430 ReplyTo# 40409     9/30/2009 6:21:00 AM     Edit          

its a cool cemetary to visit..you can go to Decatur Republican and purch A History of Decatur books, they are HUGE and have all history of early Decatur and sourrounding areas and only cost about 12 or 15 bucks

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 40679     10/3/2009 7:40:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

we went and didn't see anything. but deers steering at us with glowing eyes

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 43857     11/4/2009 12:54:00 PM     Edit       Reply    


I had heard about the morris murders from a friend of mine that went to the cemetary at night with some friends of hers. They took recorders but i never did hear if they got any noises or anything. But after that i kind of got interested in the murders. I found one of the Scrapbook History of Decatur books that belonged to my Great Grandma.... There are several stories in that book about the morris Murders, some of them are a little different. As of lastnight me and 3 of my friends went to Anderson cemetery(located on 36th Ave). We Had taken pictures of the other cemeterys in Decatur the night before and seen "orbs" all over the place. Well we went to the cemetery, it took us a while to find the grave, because we didnt know were it was.. but we found it and My friends little Brother stood by the Gravestone and we took pictures and there were a few little "orbs" around him in the picture. Also on the way home we found as we were taking pictures in the car, little "orbs" in the car. My friend that had gone to Anderson Cemtery at night had told me that the "orbs" will follow you home.....im not sure if that is true.


               Like      Dislike        Comment# 44931 ReplyTo# 43857     11/24/2009 10:19:00 AM     Edit          

I trulely believe in spirts and after life, do to a few incounters. I was raised in Decatur. As a teenager a bunch of us girls went to Anderson cemetery.We found the headstone which took a few minutes to find. At first we seen nothing. As we decided to leave it got cold around the headstone and there was a yellowish glow all around the the headstone. Its a shame that people are dispectful to the dead.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 48433     2/17/2010 12:43:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

We went on Valentine's Day, 2010, the snow was too deep to go looking in the Cemetary, but right next to the Cemetary, laying next to the road and partially in the road, was a dead, cut up calf.  Someone had rustled it, killed it, and used a saw to cut steaks out of it.  That whole land over there must be possessed or something.  I have never seen anything like that in all my life.  Does anyone know, exactly where the Mansion used to stand?  And did the road used to be routed a different way than it is now?

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 50429 ReplyTo# 48433     4/8/2010 3:25:00 PM     Edit          


well according to the legend, the house used to stand where the Morris's tombstone is, but i highly disbelieve that one, cuz when sumone dies, it only takes a couple days til they are burried, but it would take AWHILE for the house to be fully torn down! unless they moved the bodies n tombstone to that location after the house was torn down... idk but all seems messed up if u ask me.


               Like      Dislike        Comment# 72634     7/28/2011 9:43:00 PM     Edit       Reply    


I think Jennie Bull was involved in these murders because she claimed that she is not a sound sleeper and did not hear gunshots. I personally think that she was lying and did knew that these murders were taking in place at the Morris mansion. It is very possible that she knew who the killer was.



               Like      Dislike        Comment# 74672     11/3/2011 7:27:00 AM     Edit       Reply    


The house sat back in the woods, behind the Anderson Cemetary.  The house was there a long time after the murder took place.  Kids used to go there at night, and spook each other, and drink.  Well a few years ago, someone started a fire there and  it burned down.  I guess it was a beautiful house and barn, sat way off the road, and it was huge.  I have all the articles that were written at that time.  I always thought that the maid was involved, and it was a brother of Charles that did it, jealousy?  Dolphin Morris their father, gave this house to Charles and Esther, I believe for a Wedding Present.  Wouldn't that cause jealousy between the brothers?  They had a large family, all boys, I think I remember, and to give one of the boys, a beautiful mansion and land, etc.   But my friend sees dead people, and she had never heard anything about this murder, I told her a tidbit about it, and she filled in all the details, to the tee.  She said the Murderer was one of Esther's suitors ( or dated her before she married), she said that he went into the service (about the time of Civil war), and when he got back, she was married.  I one day he just blew. I really wish they would solve this cold case .


               Like      Dislike        Comment# 75667 ReplyTo# 74672     12/29/2011 10:37:00 PM     Edit          

The house did not burn down a few years ago it was arsoned in the 1960s and was not behind the cemetery. The Morris' went to court with a neighbor over land the year before their murders and legally won the dispute leaving a very bitter and perhaps vengeful neighbor?! Most everything one sees or hears there is either dust, water vapor, tricks of the mind or in most cases absolutely nothing at all, just a peaceful cemetery where amateurs should not be. Many professional ghost hunters have conducted thorough investigations there and found nothing. Too many have been there and made the spirits weary. Everything must be just right, including who you are and how " they" view " you", and maybe for a very select few will they make themselves known....... I'm not asking you to trust me, I'm asking you to believe me..... I know. P.s. Always do your " homework"!!

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 75668     12/29/2011 10:46:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=effac348-1c6f-4b5e-a2fb-e6768e3fb944 Picture of farmhouse and the Morris'.

               Like      Dislike        Comment# 80747     12/7/2012 3:36:00 PM     Edit       Reply    

The year was 1969. My parents has a vacation lakehouse a few miles from the Anderson cemetary. I knew nothing of the cemetary or the murders. One nite, ended up driving around with some of the "locals". Drank way too much and passed out. As a joke, the locals dragged me out of the car and laid me on the Morris gravesite and left. Awoke maybe an hour later, stood up to get my bearings. On top of (what I later found out was the Morris gravestone) was a black cat. Dawn was just starting to break, the cat rose up, mometarily looked at me, then ran off to the northeast, towards a chimney far back in a field near the cemetary. Later found out that was all that remained of the Morris home. The locals came back to get me and laugh at me. They asked me if anything strange happened, and when I told them of the cat, still knowing nothing of the murders ,their laughter went away. That's when they told me the Morris story. Been back several times over the years, haven't seen the cat again, but it is a very peaceful place.




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