Bath in Clinton County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Bath School Disaster
On May 18, 1927, a dynamite blast rocked the Bath Consolidated School, shattering one wing of the building and resulting in the deaths of thirty-nine children and teachers; dozens more were injured. An inquest concluded that dynamite had been planted in the basement of the school by Andrew Kehoe, an embittered school board member. Resentful of higher taxes imposed for the school’s construction and the impending foreclosure on his farm, he took revenge on Bath’s citizens by targeting their children. Soon after the explosion, as parents and rescue workers searched through the rubble for children, Kehoe took his life and the lives of four bystanders, including the superintendent, one student and two townspeople, by detonating dynamite in his pickup truck as he sat parked in front of the school.
The destruction of the Bath Consolidated School shared the front page of national newspapers with Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight. “Maniac Blows Up School . . . Had Protested High Taxes” screamed the headlines of the May 19, 1927, New York Times. Michigan Governor Fred Green created the Bath Relief Fund, and people from across
Erected 1992 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S631.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Education. A significant historical date for this entry is May 18, 1927.
Location. 42° 49.001′ N, 84° 26.971′ W. Marker is in Bath, Michigan, in Clinton County. Marker is on Main Street near High Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is located in the James Couzens Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13753 Main Street, Bath MI 48808, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In Memoriam James Couzens Agricultural School (a few steps from this marker); Bath Township Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Gunnisonville United Methodist Church (approx. Gunnisonville (approx. 3.7 miles away); Michigan Automobile Dealers Association (approx. 4.9 miles away); Michigan State Medical Society / Michigan State Medical Society Headquarters (approx. 5.1 miles away); Monsignor Jerome V. MacEachin / St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Parish (approx. 5.2 miles away); Haslett (approx. 5½ miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Bath School Disaster. Excerpt:
The attacks killed 38 elementary schoolchildren and 6 adults, and injured at least 58 other people. Prior to his timed explosives detonating at the Bath Consolidated School building, Kehoe had murdered his wife, Nellie Price Kehoe, and firebombed his farm. Arriving at the site of the school explosion, Kehoe died when he detonated explosives concealed in his truck.(Submitted on April 28, 2022, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.)
2. Tecumseh man responsible for 1927 school bombing in Bath Township, north of Lansing. Excerpt:
Kehoe secretly planned his revenge. When he began planning is unknown. He began purchasing pyrotol, an incendiary explosive commonly used by farmers to clear stumps and burn debris. He also bought a considerable amount of dynamite.(Submitted on April 28, 2022, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2022, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 116 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 28, 2022, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.