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Bath School disaster Information (Geography)

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Bath School disaster
Bath Consolidated School (cropped).jpg
Bath Consolidated School before the bombing.
Location Bath Township, Michigan, U.S.
Coordinates 42°49′00″N 84°26′57″W / 42.81667°N 84.44917°W / 42.81667; -84.44917
BATH SCHOOL DISASTER Latitude and Longitude:

42°49′00″N 84°26′57″W / 42.81667°N 84.44917°W / 42.81667; -84.44917
DateMay 18, 1927
Target Bath Consolidated School, house, farm, and wife
Attack type
School bombing, mass murder, murder-suicide, suicide truck bombing, arson, Uxoricide
Weapons Explosives:

Bolt-action rifle:

Deaths45 (43 at the school including the perpetrator, 1 at the perpetrator's house and 1 later died in the hospital)
Injured58
Perpetrator Andrew P. Kehoe
MotiveRevenge for defeat in local election, personal and financial stress

The Bath School disaster, also known as the Bath School massacre, was a series of violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan. The attacks killed 38  elementary schoolchildren and 6 adults, and injured at least 58 other people. Prior to his timed explosives going off at the Bath Consolidated School school building, Kehoe had murdered his wife and firebombed his farm. Arriving at the site of the school explosion, Kehoe died when he detonated explosives concealed in his truck.

Kehoe, the 55-year-old school board treasurer, was angered by increased taxes and his defeat in the spring 1926 election for township clerk. He was thought to have planned his "murderous revenge" after that public defeat. Kehoe had a reputation for difficulty on the school board and in personal dealings. In addition, he was notified that his mortgage was going to be foreclosed upon in June 1926. [1] For much of the next year, a neighbor noticed that he had stopped working on his farm and thought that he might be planning suicide. During that period, Kehoe purchased explosives and discreetly planted them on his property and under the school.

Kehoe murdered his wife Nellie sometime between May 16 and the morning of May 18, 1927; she had just been discharged from the hospital with an undefined illness. He then detonated various incendiary devices on his homestead on the morning of the 18th at about 8:45 a.m., causing the house and other farm buildings to be destroyed by the explosives' blasts and subsequent fires.

Almost simultaneously, an explosion devastated the north wing of the Bath Consolidated School building, killing 36 schoolchildren and two teachers. Kehoe had used a timed detonator to detonate hundreds of pounds of dynamite and incendiary pyrotol, which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers began working at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and used a rifle to detonate dynamite inside his shrapnel-filled truck, killing himself, the school superintendent, and several others nearby, as well as injuring more bystanders. During rescue efforts at the school, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol connected to a timing device set to detonate at the same time as the first explosions; the material was hidden throughout the basement of the south wing. Kehoe had apparently intended to blow up and destroy the entire school.

Background

Bath Township

Bath Township is a community government area located ten miles (16 km) northeast of Lansing, which contains the unincorporated village of Bath. The area was primarily agricultural in the early 1920s. After years of debate, Bath Township voters approved creation of the Bath Consolidated School district in 1922, along with the increase in property taxes to pay for a new school. When the school opened, it had 236 students enrolled in grades 1 through 12. [2] All area landowners had to pay higher property taxes. At the time of the bombing, the village had about 300 residents. [1]

Andrew Kehoe

single grey-haired man dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, is looking directly at the photographer, while sitting in a chair at a table while apparently holding up a cigar
Andrew Kehoe, c. 1920

Andrew Philip Kehoe was born in Tecumseh, Michigan, on February 1, 1872, into a family of 13 children. He attended the local high school in Tecumseh. After graduating Kehoe studied electrical engineering at Michigan State College in East Lansing, Michigan and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked as an electrician. [3] After several years, he returned to Michigan and his father's farm.

After his mother's death, Kehoe's father Philip had married a much younger widow and they had a daughter together. In September 1911, as his stepmother was attempting to light the family's oil stove, it exploded and set her body on fire. Kehoe threw a bucket of water on her, but the fire was oil-based and his action spread the flames more rapidly over her body. She died from her injuries. [4] Some of Kehoe's neighbors believed that he had caused the stove explosion. [3] Monty Ellsworth's version of these events in The Bath School Disaster says that the fire happened when Kehoe was 14, but agrees with other sources on points of fact. He does mention the rumors that the stove was tampered with. [3]

After his stepmother's death, Kehoe married Ellen "Nellie" Price in 1912 at the age of 40. Seven years later, they moved to a farm outside Bath. [5] Kehoe was said to be dependable, doing favors and volunteer work for his neighbors, [6] but they also described him as being impatient with all who disagreed with him. They recounted that he had shot and killed a neighbor's dog that had come on his property and annoyed him by barking. He was known to have beaten one of his horses to death when it did not perform as well as he wanted. [2]

Kehoe had a reputation for frugality, and was elected in 1924 as a trustee on the school board for three years and treasurer for one year. He argued endlessly for lower taxes, [7] and later superintendent of the board M. W. Keys said that he "fought the expenditure of money for the most necessary equipment". [1] Kehoe was considered extremely difficult to work with, often voting against the rest of the board and wanting his own way. He repeatedly accused Superintendent Emory Huyck of financial mismanagement. He argued with township financial authorities, trying to get the valuation of his property reduced, and claimed that he had paid too much for the farm. He also unsuccessfully tried to get the mortgage taken off. [3] In June 1926 Kehoe was notified that the widow of his wife's uncle, who held the mortgage on his property, had begun foreclosure proceedings. [1] [8] Following the disaster Sheriff Fox, who had served the foreclosure notice, reported that Kehoe had muttered "If it hadn't been for that $300 school tax. I might have paid off this mortgage." [8]

Kehoe was appointed in 1925 to temporarily fill the position of town clerk, but he was defeated in the spring 1926 election several months later. This public rejection by the community angered him. Monty J. Ellsworth said in his eyewitness account The Bath School Disaster that he thought that this rejection was the reason that Kehoe had planned his "murderous revenge" of the bombings, to destroy the Bath Consolidated School and kill the community's children and many of its members. [2] [9]

Kehoe's neighbor A. McMullen noted that Kehoe had stopped working on his farm altogether for most of the preceding year, and he thought that Kehoe might be planning suicide. Kehoe had given him one of his horses about April 1927, but McMullen returned it for this reason. [9] It was discovered later that Kehoe had cut all his wire fences as part of his preparations to destroy his farm, girdling young shade trees to kill them and cutting off his grapevine plants before putting them back on their stumps to hide the damage. He gathered lumber and other materials and put them in the tool shed, which he later destroyed with an incendiary bomb. [9]

By the time of the bombing, Nellie Kehoe had become chronically ill with what resembled tuberculosis, for which there was no effective treatment or cure. Her frequent hospital stays may have contributed to the family's debt. Kehoe had ceased making mortgage and homeowner's insurance payments months earlier. [3]

Purchase and planting of explosives

boxes of Pyrotol, sticks of dynamite, sacks of explosives and wiring in a pile
Explosives recovered from under the school

There is no clear indication when Kehoe conceived and planned the steps leading to his massacre of schoolchildren and townspeople, but his neighbor M. J. Ellsworth thought that Kehoe conceived his plan after being defeated in early 1926 for the election as town clerk. The general consensus of the townspeople was that he had worked on his plan at least since the previous August. [9] Bath School Board member M. W. Keyes was quoted by The New York Times:

I have no doubt that he made his plans last Fall [1926] to blow up the school… He was an experienced electrician and the board employed him in November to make some repairs on the school lighting system. He had ample opportunity then to plant the explosives and lay the wires for touching it off. [1]

Kehoe had free access to the building during the summer vacation of 1926. [10] From mid-1926, he began buying more than a ton of pyrotol, an incendiary explosive used by farmers during the era for excavation and burning debris. In November 1926, he drove to Lansing and bought two boxes of dynamite at a sporting goods store. [11] Dynamite was also commonly used on farms, so his purchase of small amounts of explosives at different stores and on different dates did not raise any suspicions. Neighbors reported hearing explosions set off on the farm, with one even calling him "the dynamite farmer". [12] In the days following the disaster it was reported that Michigan State Police investigators had discovered that a considerable amount of dynamite had been stolen from a bridge construction site and that Andrew Kehoe was suspected in the theft. [8] [13] Investigators also recovered a gas filled container in the school's basement. The container was rigged with a tube and investigators speculated that Kehoe had planned that the gasoline fumes would ignite from a spark scattering burning gasoline throughout the basement. [1] In the undamaged section of the school it was found that Kehoe had concealed the explosives in six lengths of eavestrough pipe, three bamboo fishing rods and what were described as "windmill rods" that were placed in the basement ceiling. [14]

Kehoe purchased a .30-caliber Winchester bolt-action rifle in December 1926, according to the testimony of Lieutenant Lyle Morse, a Michigan State Police investigator with the Department of Public Safety. [3] [11] [Note 1]

At the Kehoe Farm

late 19th Century 2-story farmhouse with porches and a barn in the background
Andrew and Nellie Kehoe's house before the disaster

Prior to May 18, Kehoe had loaded the back seat of his truck with metal debris capable of producing shrapnel during an explosion. [9] He also bought a new set of tires for his truck to avoid breaking down when transporting the explosives. He made many trips to Lansing for more explosives, as well as to the school, town, and his house. A neighbor allegedly saw Kehoe carrying objects into the school building at night numerous times but never thought to mention it to anyone. [15]

Nellie was discharged from Lansing's St. Lawrence Hospital on May 16, [16] and was murdered by her husband some time between her release and the bombings two days later. Kehoe put her body in a wheelbarrow at the rear of the farm's chicken coop, where it was found in a heavily charred condition after the farm explosions and fire. Piled around the cart were silverware and a metal cash box. Ashes of several bank notes could be seen through a slit in the cash box. [1] Kehoe had placed and wired homemade pyrotol firebombs in the house and all the buildings of the farm. The burned remains of his two horses were found tied in their enclosures with their legs wired together to prevent their rescue during the fire. [9]

Day of the disaster

Farm bombs

a single chimney is all that is left standing after Kehoe's bombs destroyed his farm
The ruins of the Kehoes' farm after the explosion

At approximately 8:45 a.m., Kehoe detonated the firebombs in his house and farm buildings, causing some debris to fly into a neighbor's poultry brooding house. [17] Neighbors noticed the fire, and volunteers rushed to the scene. [1] [18]

A fireman named O. H. Bush [Note 2] and several other men crawled through a broken window of the farmhouse in search of survivors. When they determined that no one was in the house, they salvaged what furniture they could before the fire spread into the living room. Bush discovered dynamite in the corner; he picked up an armful of explosives and handed it to one of the men. [1] As Kehoe left the burning property in his Ford truck, he stopped to tell those fighting the fire, "Boys, you're my friends. You better get out of here. You better head down to the school", and drove off. [17]

North wing explosion

onlookers mill around, looking at the half-destroyed Bath School building
Rear view of the school building after the bombing

Classes at Bath Consolidated School began at 8:30 a.m. Kehoe had set an alarm clock in the basement of the north wing of the school, and remotely detonated the dynamite and pyrotol which he had hidden there at about 8:45 a.m. [19] Rescuers heading to the scene of the Kehoe farm fire heard the explosion at the school building and turned back in that direction. Parents within the rural community also began rushing to the school. [20] The school building had turned into a war zone [21] with 38 people killed in the initial explosion, mostly children. [22] [23]

Various eyewitnesses and survivors were interviewed by newspaper reporters. First-grade teacher Bernice Sterling told an Associated Press reporter that the explosion was like an earthquake – "... the air seemed to be full of children and flying desks and books. Children were tossed high in the air; some were catapulted out of the building." [24] Eye-witness Robert Gates said the scene was pure chaos at the school:

Mother after mother came running into the school yard, and demanded information about her child and, on seeing the lifeless form lying on the lawn, sobbed and swooned...In no time more than 100 men were at work tearing away the debris of the school, and nearly as many women were frantically pawing over the timber and broken bricks for traces of their children. I saw more than one woman lift clusters of bricks held together by mortar heavier than the average man could have handled without a crowbar. [25] [26]

The north wing of the school collapsed, with large parts of walls crumbling, and the edge of the roof on the ground. Monty Ellsworth recalled that "There was a pile of children of about five or six under the roof ..." [20] Ellsworth volunteered to drive back to his farm and get a rope heavy enough to pull the school roof off the children's bodies. Returning to his farm, he saw Kehoe driving in the opposite direction, heading toward the school. "He grinned and waved his hand," Ellsworth said. "When he grinned, I could see both rows of his teeth." [20]

Truck explosion

the almost destroyed chassis of Kehoe's Ford pickup truck, surrounded by onlookers
Remains of Kehoe's Ford truck after the explosion

Kehoe drove up to the school about half an hour after the first explosion. He saw Superintendent Huyck and summoned him over to his truck. Charles Hawson testified at the inquest that he saw the two men grapple over some type of long gun before Kehoe detonated the dynamite stored in his truck, [27] killing himself, Huyck, Nelson McFarren (a retired farmer), [28] and Cleo Clayton, an 8-year-old second grader. Clayton had survived the first blast and had wandered out of the school building debris; he was killed by the fragmentation from the exploding vehicle. The explosion injured several others and mortally wounded postmaster Glenn O. Smith, who lost a leg and died later that day. [21] O. H. Bush, foreman of the road crew, recalled that one of his crew bound up "the wounds of Glenn Smith, the postmaster. His leg had been blown off." [1]

After Kehoe's truck exploded, Ellsworth recounted:

I saw one mother, Mrs. Eugene Hart, sitting on the bank a short distance from the school with a little dead girl on each side of her and holding a little boy, Percy, who died a short time after they got him to the hospital. This was about the time Kehoe blew his car up in the street, severely wounding Perry, the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Hart. [20]

Recovery and rescue

Sign that Kehoe made and left on a fence at his farm, black lettering on a white painted board – "Criminals are made, not born."
Sign that Kehoe made and left on a fence at his farm

Telephone operators stayed at their stations for hours to summon doctors, undertakers, area hospital workers, and anyone else who might help. The Lansing Fire Department sent several firefighters and its chief. [29] Local physician J. A. Crum and his wife, a nurse, who had both served in World War I, turned their Bath drugstore into a triage center. The dead bodies were taken to the town hall, which was used as a morgue. [20]

Hundreds of people worked in the wreckage all day and into the night in an effort to find and rescue any children pinned underneath. Area contractors had sent all their men to assist, and many other people came to the scene in response to the pleas for help. Eventually, 34 firefighters and the chief of the Lansing Fire Department arrived on the scene, as did several Michigan State Police officers who managed traffic to and from the scene. The injured and dying were transported to Sparrow Hospital and St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing. The construction of the St. Lawrence facility had been financed in large part by Lawrence Price, Nellie Kehoe's uncle and formerly an executive in charge of Oldsmobile's Lansing Car Assembly. [30]

Michigan Governor Fred W. Green arrived during the afternoon of the disaster and assisted in the relief work, carting bricks away from the scene. The Lawrence Baking Company of Lansing sent a truck filled with pies and sandwiches which were served to rescuers in the township's community hall. [20]

The bombing had destroyed the north wing of the school. During the search, rescuers found an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of dynamite which had failed to detonate in the south wing. The search was halted to allow the Michigan State Police to disarm the devices, and they found an alarm clock timed to go off at 8:45 a.m. Investigators speculated that the initial explosion may have caused a short circuit in the second set of bombs, preventing them from detonating. They searched the building and then returned to the recovery work. [31]

Police and fire officials gathered at the Kehoe farm to investigate the fires. State troopers had searched for Nellie Kehoe throughout Michigan, thinking that she was at a tuberculosis sanitorium, but her charred body was found the following day (May 19) among the ruins of the farm. [1] All the Kehoe farm buildings were destroyed and the two horses had died, trapped inside the barn. Investigators found a wooden sign wired to the farm's fence with Kehoe's last message stenciled on it: "Criminals are made, not born". [1]

Aftermath

Killed in the disaster
Before the school bombing
  • Nellie Kehoe, age 52, wife of Andrew Kehoe
Killed in the school bombing
  • Arnold V. Bauerle, age 8, 3rd grade
  • Henry Bergan, age 14, 6th grade
  • Herman Bergan, age 11, 4th grade
  • Emilie M. Bromundt, age 11, 5th grade
  • Robert F. Bromundt, age 12, 5th grade
  • Floyd E. Burnett, age 12, 6th grade
  • Russell J. Chapman, age 8, 4th grade
  • F. Robert Cochran, age 8, 3rd grade
  • Ralph A. Cushman, age 7, 3rd grade
  • Earl E. Ewing, age 11, 6th grade
  • Katherine O. Foote, age 10, 6th grade
  • Marjorie Fritz, age 9, 4th grade
  • Carlyle W. Geisenhaver, age 9, 4th grade
  • George P. Hall, Jr., age 8, 3rd grade
  • Willa M. Hall, age 11, 5th grade
  • Iola I. Hart, age 12, 6th grade
  • Percy E. Hart, age 11, 3rd grade
  • Vivian O. Hart, age 8, 3rd grade
  • Blanche E. Harte, age 30, teacher
  • Gailand L. Harte, age 12, 6th grade
  • LaVere R. Harte, age 9, 4th grade
  • Stanley H. Harte, age 12, 6th grade
  • Francis O. Hoeppner, age 13, 6th grade
  • Cecial L. Hunter, age 13, 6th grade
  • Doris E. Johns, age 8, 3rd grade
  • Thelma I. MacDonald, age 8, 3rd grade
  • Clarence W. McFarren, age 13, 6th grade
  • J. Emerson Medcoff, age 8, 4th grade
  • Emma A. Nickols, age 13, 6th grade
  • Richard D. Richardson, age 12, 6th grade
  • Elsie M. Robb, age 12, 6th grade
  • Pauline M. Shirts, age 10, 5th grade
  • Hazel I. Weatherby, age 21, teacher
  • Elizabeth J. Witchell, age 10, 5th grade
  • Lucile J. Witchell, age 9, 5th grade
  • Harold L. Woodman, age 8, 3rd grade
  • George O. Zimmerman, age 10, 3rd grade
  • Lloyd Zimmerman, age 12, 5th grade
Killed by the truck bombing
  • G. Cleo Clayton, age 8, 2nd grade
  • Emory E. Huyck, age 33, superintendent
  • Andrew P. Kehoe, age 55, perpetrator
  • Nelson McFarren, age 74, retired farmer
  • Glenn O. Smith, age 33, postmaster
Died later of injuries
  • Beatrice P. Gibbs, age 10, 4th grade

The American Red Cross set up operations at the Crum drugstore and took the lead in providing aid and comfort to the victims. The Lansing Red Cross headquarters stayed open until 11:30 that night to answer telephone calls, update the list of dead and injured, and provide information and planning services for the following day. [32] The local community responded generously, as reported at the time by the Associated Press: "a sympathetic public assured the rehabilitation of the stricken community. Aid was tendered freely in the hope that the grief of those who lost loved ones might be even slightly mitigated." [33] The Red Cross managed donations sent to pay for both the medical expenses of the survivors and the burial costs of the dead. In a few weeks, $5,284.15 (equivalent to $77,774 in 2019) was raised through donations, including $2,500 from the Clinton County, Michigan board of supervisors and $2,000 from the Michigan Legislature. [34] In addition to monetary donations, the Red Cross Headquarters received extensive donations of flowers from strangers. [35]

The disaster received nationwide coverage in the days following, sharing headlines with Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic crossing [36] [37] (though Lindbergh's crossing received much more attention). [38] and eliciting a national outpouring of grief. Newspaper headlines from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles characterized Kehoe as a maniac, a madman, and a fiend. [22] [39] [40] [41]

People from across the world provided sympathy to the families and the community of Bath, including letters from some Italian schoolchildren. One 5th grader wrote: "Even though we are small, we understand all the sorrow and misfortune that has struck our dear brothers." And another wrote: "We are praying to God to give to the unfortunate mothers and fathers, the strength to bear the great sorrow that has descent on them, we are near to you in spirit." [42]

Kehoe's body was eventually claimed by one of his sisters. Without ceremony, she had him buried in an unmarked grave in an initially unnamed cemetery. [35] It was later revealed that Kehoe was buried in the paupers' section of Mount Rest Cemetery in St. Johns, Michigan. [43] The Price family buried Nellie Price Kehoe in Lansing's Mount Hope Cemetery under her maiden name. [44]

Vehicles from outlying areas and surrounding states descended upon Bath by the thousands. Over 100,000 vehicles passed through on Saturday alone, an enormous amount of traffic for the area. Some Bath citizens regarded this armada as an unwarranted intrusion into their time of grief, but most accepted it as a show of sympathy and support from surrounding communities. [45] Many of the victims were buried starting Friday, May 20. [35] For a time following the tragedy the town and Kehoe's burned-out farm continued to attract curiosity seekers. [46]

Coroner's inquest

The coroner arrived at the scene on the day of the disaster and swore in six community leaders to serve as a jury investigating the death of Superintendent Huyck. [47] A coroner's inquest into the matter was held the following week, starting on May 23. The Clinton County Prosecutor conducted the examination, and more than 50 people testified before the jury. [48] During his testimony, David Hart stated that Kehoe had told him that he had "killed a horse" [49] and The New York Times reported people as saying that Kehoe had "an ungovernable temper" and "seemed to have a mania for killing things". [1] Neighbors had seen him wiring his house in early April 1927. [1]

Kehoe's neighbor Sidney J. Howell testified that after the fire began, Kehoe warned him and three boys to leave the farm, saying, "Boys, you are my friends, you better get out of here, you better go down to the school." [50] Three telephone linemen working near Bath testified that Kehoe passed them in his truck on the road toward the school, and they saw him arrive there. His truck swerved and stopped in front of the building. In the next instant, according to the linemen, the truck blew up, and one of them was struck by shrapnel. [51] [52] Other witnesses testified that Kehoe paused after stopping, calling Huyck over to the truck and that the two men struggled before Kehoe's truck was blown up. [27]

Although there was never any doubt that Kehoe was the perpetrator, the jury was asked to determine if the school board or its employees were guilty of criminal negligence. [53] After more than a week of testimony, the jury exonerated the school board and its employees. In its verdict, the jury concluded that Kehoe "conducted himself sanely and so concealed his operations that there was no cause to suspect any of his actions; and we further find that the school board, and Frank Smith, janitor of the school building, were not negligent in and about their duties, and were not guilty of any negligence in not discovering Kehoe's plan." [53]

The inquest determined that Kehoe murdered Superintendent Emory Huyck on the morning of May 18. It was also the jury's verdict that the school was blown up as part of a plan and that Kehoe alone, without the aid of conspirators, murdered 43 people in total, including his wife Nellie. Suicide was determined to be the cause of Kehoe's death, which brought the total number of dead to 44 at the time of the inquest. [54]

On August 22, three months after the bombing, fourth-grader Beatrice Gibbs died following hip surgery. Hers was the 45th and final death directly attributable to the Bath School disaster, [55] which made it the deadliest attack ever to occur in an American school. [36] Richard Fritz, the younger brother of Marjorie Fritz, was injured in the explosion and died almost one year later of myocarditis at the age of eight. Although Richard is not included on many lists of the victims, his death from myocarditis is thought to have been directly caused by an infection resulting from his injuries. [56]

Rebuilding

Governor Green quickly called for donations to aid the townspeople and created the Bath Relief Fund with the money supplied by donors, the state, and local governments. [1] People from around the country donated to the fund.

School resumed on September 5, 1927, and, for the 1927–1928 school year, was held in the community hall, township hall, and two retail buildings. Most of the students returned. The board appointed O. M. Brant of Luther, Michigan to succeed Huyck as superintendent. The Lansing architect Warren Holmes donated construction plans, and the school board approved the contracts for the new building on September 14. On September 15, Michigan's U.S. Senator James J. Couzens presented his personal check for $75,000 (equivalent to $1,103,879 in 2019) to the Bath construction fund to build the new school. [57] [58] [59]

The board demolished the damaged portion of the school and constructed a new wing with the donated funds. During the reconstruction hidden amounts of dynamite were found in the building on three separate occasions. [60] The James Couzens Agricultural School was dedicated on August 18, 1928. [61] The Kehoe farm was completely plowed to ensure that no explosives were hidden in the ground and was sold at auction to pay the mortgage. [62]

Legacy

Artist Carleton W. Angell presented the board with a memorial statue in 1928 entitled Girl With a Cat (also known colloquially as Girl With a Kitten). [17] [63] [64] The statue is displayed in the Bath School Museum located within the school district's middle school. [65]

In 1975, the Couzens building was demolished [66] and the site was redeveloped as the James Couzens Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims. At the center of the park is the Bath Consolidated School's original cupola, which survived the disaster and remained on the school until the building was torn down. [21] In 1991, a Michigan Historical Marker was installed at the park, a bronze plaque bearing the names of those killed and a brief description of events. [67]

The town announced on November 3, 2008 that tombstones had been donated for Emilie and Robert Bromundt, the last two bombing victims whose graves were still unmarked. A grant from a foundation paid for the grave markers. [68] In September 2014, a gravestone was installed at the grave of Richard A. Fritz, whose death in 1928 was attributed to injuries sustained in the explosion. The gravestone was paid for by an author writing about the disaster for a book. [56] [69]

On May 18, 2017, the disaster's 90th anniversary was marked with a panel discussion at the Bath Middle School. [70]

Media representation

In 2011 Matt Martyn released a 45-minute documentary, Bath School Disaster, with interviews from survivors starting in 2004. [70]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ellsworth said in his account:
    I went down there to use their telephone last winter, about February 1927, and he had just been shooting at the target. When I got through using the telephone, he showed me his new thirty Winchester bolt action rifle that he had bought two or three months before.
    This sets the Winchester's date of purchase at two to three months before February 1927, with the bombings (May 18, 1927) five or six months after purchase. Ellsworth's recollection was corroborated by Lt. Morse's testimony before the Coroner's Inquest.
  2. ^ This man's name is given in The New York Times as "O. H. Buck" but in the Coroner's Inquest as "O. H. Bush". The Inquest is an official government document, so his name is rendered O. H. Bush in this article.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "School Dynamiter First Slew Wife". The New York Times(via Bauerle FreePages @ RootsWeb.com). May 20, 1927. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter One—The Bath Consolidated School". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). OCLC  6743232. Archived from the original (online version) on October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter Three—Life of Andrew Kehoe". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). Archived from the original (online version) on October 10, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Arnie (March 2009). Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. p. 216. ISBN  978-0-472-03346-1.
  5. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. p. 27. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  6. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. p. 49. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  7. ^ Parker, Grant. Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. p. 29-38. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  8. ^ a b c Foster, Eaton (May 20, 1927). "Children Hated By Dynamitard Neighbors Say" (PDF). The Buffalo News. United News. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter Five — Made Own Troubles". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). OCLC  6743232. Archived from the original (online version) on October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter Four — Kehoe Made Own Troubles". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). OCLC  6743232. Archived from the original (online version) on October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 343. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  12. ^ Buhk, Tobin (2011). True Crime : Michigan: The State's Most Notorious Criminal Cases. Stackpole Books. p. 57. ISBN  9780811745109. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  13. ^ Pickard, Edward W. (May 26, 1927). "Demented Michigan Farmer Dynamites a School, Killing Forty-Four". Saline Observer. p. 8. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "Maniac's Deed Stuns Parents of Child Dead" (PDF). Buffalo Evening News. Associated Press. May 19, 1927. p. 1. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  15. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  16. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  17. ^ a b c Hixson, James W. (May–June 1999). "A May Day to Remember". Michigan History Magazine. Historical Society of Michigan. 83 (3).
  18. ^ "Andrew Kehoe". Biography.Com. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  19. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. pp. 1, 2, 13, 27, 167, 289, 337, 349. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter Two—Writer's Experience". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). Archived from the original (online version) on October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c Burcar, Colleen (2011). It Happened in Michigan: Remarkable Events That Shaped History. Globe Pequot. pp. 86–87. ISBN  9780762767540. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "38 Die by Blast as Insane Farmer Dynamites School," The Washington Post, 1927, page 1.
  23. ^ Schechter, Harold (2012). Psycho USA. Random House Digital. p. 278. ISBN  9780345524485. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  24. ^ "Killed 43 Slew Wife First, Accident? Saved 150 From Death Fate's Whim Foils Plot To Sacrifice All Pupils" (via FreePages at RootsWeb.com). Associated Press. May 19, 1927.
  25. ^ The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania) (May 20, 1927). "Heart-rending Scenes Occur at Dynamited School". Newspapers.com. p. 12. Retrieved February 24, 2018.(subscription required)
  26. ^ "Maniac Bomber's Wife Among HIs 43 Victims, Body of Slain Woman Found, Village of Bath, Mich., Reels Under New Horror Of Dynamite Fiend". United Press/Youngstown Telegraph-Youngstown Vindicator (text on 'The Bath School Disaster' Freepages website). May 19, 1927. Retrieved October 18, 2019. "Mother after mother came running into the school yard, and demanded information about her child and, on seeing the lifeless form lying on the lawn, broke into sobs and swooned ... In no time more than 100 men were at work tearing away the debris of the school, and nearly as many women were frantically pawing over the timber and broken bricks for trace of their children. I saw more than one woman lift clusters of brick held together by mortar heavier than the average man would think of handling without a crowbar
  27. ^ a b "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 326. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  28. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 352. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  29. ^ Finley, Laura (September 13, 2011). Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence. ABC-CLIO. p. 43. ISBN  978-0-313-36239-2. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  30. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. p. 76. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  31. ^ "School Dynamiter First Slew Wife". The New York Times(via Bauerle FreePages @ RootsWeb.com). May 20, 1927. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2013. I went back to the building and helped with the rescue work until we were ordered to stop while a search was made for dynamite.
  32. ^ "Report: Bath Relief Work; 100 Attend Meeting Held in Village Thursday; Lansing Man Sums Up Results" (via FreePages at RootsWeb.com). Clinton County Republican. June 2, 1927.
  33. ^ "Friends Offer Aid to Blast Victims". The Baltimore Sun. May 21, 1927. p. 12. Retrieved January 24, 2020.(subscription required)
  34. ^ "Ewing Reports on Bath Fund" (via FreePages at RootsWeb.com). Clinton County Republican News. June 23, 1927.
  35. ^ a b c "Victims of Blast Carried to Graves in Day of Burials," The Washington Post, 1927, page 3.
  36. ^ a b Peters, Justin (December 18, 2012). ""We Still Look at Ourselves as Survivors": More Than Eighty Years Later, Remembering the Deadliest School Massacre in American History". Slate. The Slate Group. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  37. ^ Brennan, James. "Bath School Disaster". The Michigan Historical Marker Web Site. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  38. ^ Bernstein, Arnie (March 2009). Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing. The University of Michigan Press. p. 150. ISBN  9780472024704. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  39. ^ Eaton, Foster. "Maniac's Victims Total 43 Dead," The Atlanta Constitution, 1927, page 17.
  40. ^ "Maniac's Plot Reaps 41 Dead and 40 Injured," The Atlanta Constitution, 1927, page 1.
  41. ^ "Forty-One Killed When Fiend Blows up School," Los Angeles Times, 1927, page 1.
  42. ^ Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. pp. 170–172. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  43. ^ Daggy, J.L. "Andrew Philip Kehoe, Farmer, School Board Treasurer, Bomber". Daggy Space Website. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  44. ^ Daggy, J.L. "Ellen Agnes Price Kehoe Murder Victim; wife of School Bomber". Daggy Space Website. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  45. ^ "Board Votes Aid for Bath" (via FreePages at RootsWeb.com). Clinton County Republican News. May 26, 1927.
  46. ^ "From Roundabout". Saline Observer. St. Johns Republican News. July 7, 1927. p. 3. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  47. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  48. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. pp. 2–3. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  49. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 181. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  50. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 95. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  51. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 310. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  52. ^ "Transcript of the May 23–25, 1927 Clinton County, Michigan Coroner's Inquest". State of Michigan (reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). May 23–25, 1927. p. 314. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  53. ^ a b Parker, Grant (1992). Mayday, History of a Village Holocaust. Liberty Press. p. 160. ISBN  0-9604958-0-0.
  54. ^ "Board Votes Aid for Bath" (via FreePages at RootsWeb.com). Clinton County Republican News. May 26, 1927.
  55. ^ Daggy, J.L. "Beatrice P. Gibbs, Fourth Grade Student". Daggy Space Website. Archived from the original on February 25, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  56. ^ a b White, Mary Jo (September 16, 2014). "Last victim of Bath School disaster receives marker". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  57. ^ Barnard, Harry (2002). Independent man: the life of Senator James Couzens. Wayne State University Press. p. Introduction. ISBN  0-8143-3085-1.
  58. ^ "Couzens Rebuilds School". The New York Times. June 25, 1927. p. 14.
  59. ^ Ellsworth, Monty J. (1927). "Chapter Eight— Schoolhouse Plan Donated". The Bath School Disaster. Bath School Museum Committee (1991 ed.). OCLC  6743232. Archived from the original (online version) on October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  60. ^ "Dynamite Again Placed in Bath Mich., School" (PDF). Buffalo Evening News. Associated Press. October 4, 1927. p. 10. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  61. ^ Ashlee, Laura R., ed. (2005). Traveling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan's Historical Markers. The University of Michigan Press. p. 96. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  62. ^ "Property of Maniac Written Off Records". Ironwood Daily Globe. March 26, 1930. p. 8. Retrieved October 5, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  63. ^ "The Week on the Campus – In Memoriam". The Michigan Alumnus. XXXIV (1): 442. October 8, 1927. Retrieved January 19, 2020. A life-size bronze statue of a happy little girl holding a kitten in her arms, the work of Carleton W. Angell, artist, and member of the faculty of the Colleges of Engineering and Architecture, will commemorate the Bath School disaster of May 18, 1927. The memorial, which will be completed in four months, is made possible by pennies contributed by pennies contributed by children of 111 public schools of Michigan, ...
  64. ^ Bauerle, Ronald D. "The Bath School Disaster – Table of Contents". Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2020. The statue, 'Girl With A Kitten' ...
  65. ^ Cunningham, Darren (December 22, 2012). "Bath School Massacre Remembered in Wake of Sandy Hook Tragedy". Fox17Online (WXMI). Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  66. ^ "Bath School Disaster Memorial Park:Couzens School Plaque inscription". (Reprinted on J. L. Daggy website). Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  67. ^ Ashlee, Laura R., ed. (2005). Traveling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan's Historical Markers. The University of Michigan Press. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  68. ^ "Bath School Bombing Victims Remembered". Lansing, Michigan: WLAJ. Associated Press. November 3, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  69. ^ Carmody, Steve. "Last victim of 1927 Bath school disaster gets headstone". michiganradio.org. Michigan Radio. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  70. ^ a b "90 years later: Remembering deadly Bath school disaster". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 24, 2018.

Further reading

External links

External video
Presentation by Arnie Bernstein on Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing, May 2, 2009, C-SPAN