Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - Applewood Estate June 6th, 1924 #freakyflinthistory #Flintdeaths

Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

Applewood Estate June 6th, 1924

The thirty four acre Applewood estate was built by Charles Stewart Mott in 1916. It was created to be a self-sustaining farm for his wife and children. The grounds contained several gardens and an orchard.

Charles Stewart Mott married Ethel Harding in New York in 1900. The Mott family moved to Flint in 1907 after his father died. He was the owner of his uncle’s motor company and moved it to Flint after receiving an invitation from Billy Durant. The company did well, and eventually merged with Buick Motors. The merger created the foundation for General Motors.

Mott’s wife Ethel became an active social worker in Flint. She was a member of the board of directors of the Young Women’s Christian association and the Child Welfare association. She was also active in a movement to get Hurley hospital to provide a maternity ward and children’s hospital. Ethel Mott played a key role in providing better health and living conditions for the women and children of Flint.

On the morning of June 6th, while the family was downstairs having breakfast, Ethel fell from her second story bedroom window. The gardener heard the awful sound of the body hitting the ground and quickly went to see what happened.

He found Mrs. Mott lying on the pavement in pain. He rushed into the house to get help. The family physician was called and Ethel was brought into the house. The physician noted that she broke her elbow, wrist and hip and gave her something for the pain until they could schedule surgery. Shortly after the physician left, Ethel Mott died from internal injuries.

The fall was considered to be an accident but there were rumors that she jumped. Some whispered that she was pushed.  

Charles Stewart Mott’s love life seemed to be plagued for nearly a decade. A few years later in 1927, he met and married his second wife, Mitties Butterfield. In early 1928 Mitties died from complications of tonsillitis.

Then in the spring of 1929 Mott met and married Dee Furey. The relationship did not last long and by the end of the same year Dee filed for divorce. Giving up on love and diving into the challenges that arrived in the auto industry during the depression, he devoted his time to his work.

In 1932 on one of his frequent trips out west Mott met his distant cousin Ruth. The two fell in love, and were married in 1934. He finally found his happily ever after.  

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at 

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