Bath School Disaster
The Bath School Disaster
With all due respect and sympathy to the victims and their families of the
Virginia Tech shootings,
Oklahoma bombing, and
other mass murders,
they were not the worst mass murders of children in the US.
On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured
when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the
new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm
due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school.
Contents of this page:
Page History (check here for updates)
To my Great-uncle Arnold Victor Bauerle, who died in
the explosion at the age of 8. Thanks to Kehoe, the following excerpt from
"The Bath School Disaster" by M.J. Ellsworth is all there is to remember him
by, other than a picture of him with his brother and sister,
his gravestone, a
commemorative brick, and a
memorial ornament at the Bath School Museum:
Arnold Victor Bauerle, born in Dewitt township, February 15, 1919,
was in the third grade. Even at that age he had a great head for figures.
He asked to be given numbers which often ran into the millions.
His father often told him he would never be a farmer because he ate so slow.
He was always busy at something. If not in school, he was playing baseball.
Arnold wanted to go to Lansing with his parents on the day he was killed,
but he had had whooping cough and had been out of school so much that they
thought he ought not stay out of school any more. They were in Lansing at the
time of the blast at the school.
He is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bauerle,
one brother and one sister.
Interment was in the Dewitt cemetery.
According to Arnold's sister (my great-aunt), everyone but Arnold was going
to get new shoes that day and they had driven their new car to Lansing to the
R & H Shoe Store where they learned of the disaster. Because of the car being
new, they couldn't drive it too fast to get back to the site of the disaster.
Good write-ups are at
Useless Info (!?),
though the first part of the latter is pure sensationalistic speculation on
Kehoe's thoughts the day of the disaster. Other links are on the
St. John's, MI Independent BSD page. See also these articles from the
Detroit Free Press,
Education Week, the
the Daily Camera,
the Holland Sentinel,
Robert Lyons' BSD page,
and this page.
The following Detroit News
link existed in August 2000 when this page was first created, but is now dead and
irretrievable via the Internet Wayback Machine
A good summary is "Just Another Summer Day: The Bath School Disaster" by Debra Pawlak,
and a very brief one is at the bathmi.com page.
A video report
includes newsreel footage, but has poor audio
Also, the second video link doesn't work - use
this one instead.
The Lansing State Journal commented in
and after the
VA Tech shootings.
An interview with a former Michigan police officer, now living in Ventura County,
California, was apparently published in the 1/16/00 Ventura County Star, and has
been moved here
(it was lost for a while). An account from a survivor in the Detroit News is
the bit about the generator doesn't really make sense. Another account by
another survivor is
yet another survivor's account is
here. An article
written from a post-
9/11 viewpoint is here,
though I don't know that I agree with calling Kehoe a "suicide bomber"...
I also didn't know there have been bomb scares around the anniversary -
I don't remember any while I was there from 1965-1977...
Ironically if not for Columbine, most of the above links probably wouldn't
exist. Lindbergh's flight occurred a few days later and pushed it out of
the papers and nearly out of history.
A list of the victims is
see also "The Bath School Disaster" under Contemporary Accounts
below for similar lists, their biographies, and their photographs. The text of
the historical marker placed on the site is
and a description of the Bath School Museum is
Graves of the victims are being compiled
The 75th anniversary prompted this column
by Jerry Harte (whose father was born after his brother was killed in the disaster),
articles in the Lansing State Journal
and St. Johns Independent,
and local stations WLNS and
WILX, and some observations by Ken Black.
The 80th anniversary prompted reports by the
News (note that the picture of Kehoe is an inaccurate sketch made afterwards),
Lansing State Journal,
and a Saginaw, MI radio station
(the video includes newsreel footage).
Contemporary accounts:May 19, 1927: "Maniac Blows Up School, Kills 42,
Mostly Children; Had Protested High Taxes"
May 20, 1927: "School Dynamiter First Slew Wife"
May 21, 1927: "Couzens Puts Wealth at Disposal of Bath"
June 25, 1927: "Couzens Rebuilds School"
New York Times
Clinton County Republican-News
May 19, 1927: "Fiend Dynamites Bath School; 44 Die"
May 19, 1927: ""Driver's License Describes
Kehoe"/"Proclamation by Governor"/"St. Johns Responds"
May 19, 1927: "Bath School Cost $50,000"/"Bath People
Stunned By Shock; Will Not Realize Great Loss for Days;
Gas Station Man Sees Kehoe Drive Past Towards Bath"
May 19, 1927: "Find Remains Of Mrs. Kehoe"/"Girdles
Trees"/"Find 3 Barrels, 2 Bushels, and 7 Sacks of Dynamite"
May 19, 1927: "The Bath Horror" (editorial)
May 26, 1927:
"Inquest Proves Bath Disaster Was Result Of Premeditated Plan;
Declare Kehoe Was Sane"
May 26, 1927:
"Tramp's 'Dynamite' Turns Out To Be Sack of Rubbish"/"County
Veterinary Gave First Aid to Glen Smith"
May 26, 1927:
"Former Farm Bureau Mgr., Bath People Describe Andrew Kehoe;
Say He Couldn't Pay Taxes Because He Refused to Work"
May 26, 1927:
"St. Johns People Head Bath Relief/Hold Rites For Bath Teacher
May 26, 1927:
"Board Votes Aid For Bath/Crowds Throng Bath Sunday"
May 26, 1927:
"What Bath Township Faces" (editorial)
May 26, 1927: "Bath Victims Buried Friday".
Note the "his last moments of suffering" comment that implies Arnold
didn't die in the explosion itself, but lived for a while afterward,
yet died before his family could reach him
May 26, 1927: "Inquiry Proves That Kehoe Had No
Accomplices"/"Kehoe's Remains Put in Unknown Grave No Marker"/
"Canadian School Board Chairman Extends Sympathy"/"Hear Strange
Sound Like An Explosion on Saturday Night"
June 2, 1927: "Report Bath Relief Work"
This gets a bit long and dry at times; the bit about the Red Cross
not being an insurance company must've changed between then and 9/11/01,
given the money problems the latter event generated
June 9, 1927: "Bath Children Suffer Shock"
June 16, 1927: "Couzens to Visit Bath Today With Governor Green"
June 23, 1927: "Ewing Reports On Bath Fund"
June 23, 1927: "Defends Kehoe Before Crowd"
June 30, 1927: "Will Rebuild On Same Site"
May 19, 1927:
"Maniac's Revenge Sends Forty-two to Death in Schoolhouse Blast"
May 19, 1927:
"Villagers Turn to Prayer After School Tragedy"
May 19, 1927:
"Crazed Man Bore Grudge [towards? life?] in General" (incomplete copy)
May 19, 1927:
"Airplane and Automobile Used by Blade to Cover School Blast"
May 20, 1927: "Funerals For 44 Killed In School Blast Arranged"
May 21, 1927: "Funeral Dirges Sound As Echo Of Maniac's Revenge"
May 23, 1927: "Killer's Skull To Be Studied"
May 24, 1927: "Dynamiter Of School Had Good Reputation"
Youngstown Telegraph, Youngstown Vindicator
May 18, 1927: "Thirty Children Die In School Bombing"
May 19, 1927: "Maniac Bomber's Wife Among His 43 Victims"
May 19, 1927: "[???] Killed 43 Slew Wife First, [Accident?] Saved 150 From Death"
May 20, 1927: "Five More Dying In School Blast"
Erie Daily Times
May 18, 1927: "Scores of Children Killed as Madman
Wrecks School with Blast of Dynamite"
May 19, 1927: "Fix Blast on 'Demon'"
May 20, 1927: "Bath Today Prepares to Bury Its Dead"
May 20, 1927: "'Andy Kehoe Was Smart' --
People Excuse His Acts While Maniacal"
May 21, 1927: "Fix Blame for Blast on Kehoe,
Maniac's Wife Laid to Rest"
"The Bath School Disaster" by M.J. Ellsworth, 1927
See further info under References below, but an
on-line version is here.
Note that the
text version that this page downloads is 187k. If you have a high-speed
connection and want to download the 2.5M version with pictures, it is
A frames-based version that presumably loads only one chapter at a time is
here, but only
one third of the screen is allocated to the chapters Here are the chapters
in the book, but again note that loading any one of them will load the entire 187k file:
1 - The Bath Consolidated School
2 - Writer's Experience
3 - Life of Andrew Kehoe
4 - Kehoe on the School Board
5 - Made Own Troubles
6 - The Farm Conditions
Poem - "Friends"
7 - Biographies; with pictures is
but again, note the entire 2.5M book will be downloaded.
8 - Schoolhouse Plan Donated
9 - The Morning of the Blast
Ku Klux Klan
Even the KKK got into the act with this rant against
"Catholic Kehoe". I hope it should be obvious that I don't support the
KKK's intolerant views, and that anybody reading this would "consider the
source". Also, as shown in
"The Bath School Disaster", Kehoe abandoned Catholicism after being
assessed a $400 "tithe" and wouldn't let his wife go either.
Pictures (most taken from
"The Bath School Disaster", link names starting with "tb" are from the Toledo Blade):
Before the explosion
and after (same picture as at top of page).
Another view is here
along with a
view from the rear, and
after all the bodies were taken out.
"Two views of wrecked school before and after blast"
"A before and after picture of the scene of Michigan's greatest tragedy is
shown here. The top view was taken shortly after the fine two-story brick
structure was completed. The lower shows the ruins brought about by the
maniacal twist of a farmer's mind. Rescue workers are shown searching for
bodies in the remains of the building, twisted and shattered by an
explosion of dynamite."
"The pictures across the top of the page show the
ruins just as thousands of Ohio and Michigan residents saw them soon after
the bodies of the little children had been removed. One of the freaks
of the disaster was that some of the school windows were not broken while
windows in houses for a considerable distance were smashed."
"In the above picture is a closeup of a corner
of the wrecked building. A cloakroom is exposed on the second floor.
The little coats hang just where they were placed by children, many of whom
lost their lives in the explosion. An apple on the top shelf was untouched."
(How were apples preserved until May in the 1920s?)
Looking Down Into The Crater Of Death
(Clinton County Republican News, 5/26/1927)
School from the southwest - note the roof hanging out
over empty space. From another angle, "Hanging from the school remains,
over the main entry way, are 2 x 6 boards that seem to form a
cross", like 74 years later on
In both disasters, after questioning God why He allowed such things to happen,
one should thank Him
that they weren't much worse :^|
School from the west
School northwest corner, from the west
School from the northwest corner
School from the east
School from the east, close-up
The dynamite, wiring, etc.
The 400 pounds of unexploded
removed from the school, the
blasting caps, the
alarm clock and wiring, and the
chicken coop bomb timer.
"More than two bushels of dynamite [were] borrowed,
bought or stolen by Andrew Kehoe, on whom authorities place responsibility
for the terrific blast."
"These boys defied death in their search for dynamite
and other explosives in the building. Undoubtedly, there are more caches
of explosives planted in the huge basement of the structure but officials
were afraid to dig around too much until experts arrived at the scene
to take charge of the search.
Kehoe, an expert electrician, had gone to great pains in his plans and
it is considered nothing short of a miracle that hundreds of pounds
of dynamite did not explode. Had this happened, the entire building would
have been razed and probably the whole town would have been wiped out."
Kehoe's car and house
Kehoe's car after he blew it up,
a car parked near it,
and the "Superintendent's Wrecked Auto".
The Kehoe home
along with the
remnants of the tools after the tool shed burned down.
Kehoe and his wife, the
house where he grew up near Tecumseh, MI, the
school he attended, and
the pushcart where her body was found.
its foundation/basement, and
People: workers and onlookers
first aid, and
Red Cross workers in charge of relief. It's both nice to know they're
still around 75 years later, and sad to realize they're
still needed, especially
recent events .
"A crowd of tremendous proportion rushed to Bath from
Lansing, Detroit, Jackson and other cities when news of the disaster spread.
Michigan state constabulary worked heroically to keep the traffic moving
but still there were many minor automobile accidents on the road."
"For hours after the explosion, rescuers searched the debris
in the hope that they might save the life of another child. Two Lansing automobile
firms released large groups of men to assist the rescuers."
Women pulling nails from the salvaged lumber, and
another clean-up crew
"Picture Shows Four Tragedy Victims Recovering"
"Four of the child victims of the tragedy at Bath, Mich., where a crazed farmer
dynamited the consolidated school, are shown recovering in hospitals in Lansing
in the accompanying pictures, taken by Norman Hauger of the Blade camera staff.
From left to right, in the top row, are Dorothy Fulton, 11; Ruth Barnes, 17,
and Marian Eschtruch, 11, with her nurse, Eva Green. At the lower left is
shown Florence Komm, 9. At the right workmen are shown digging graves for
some of the 44 children and adults who were killed in the explosion."
With The Capital News Staff Photographers At Scene of Bath Dynamite Disaster
State Senator James Couzens, who donated
personal funds to help rebuild the school, thus it was named after him.
My great-uncle, Arnold Victor Bauerle, also
from "The Bath School Disaster"
"Raggedy Ann Survives, Little Mother Dies"
"This Raggedy Ann doll, found in the school wreckage, brought sad memories
to one Bath home. Raggedy Ann was paying her first visit to school,
chaperoned by a kindergarten child who had begged her parents' permission
to take Raggedy Ann to school. Searchers found Raggedy Ann near the body
of the little kindergartner." Pictures like this always get to me; I almost
lost it in the library when I saw it, and it was this picture that
convinced me to copy off the Toledo Blade info
left by Kehoe: "Criminals are made not born"
Commemorations (photos of items at the museum courtesy of Ken Black):
The flag that flew over the school at the time.
The cornerstone of the rebuilt school.
The statue, "Girl With A Kitten";
another view - the plaque reads "This bronze statue
was sculpted by University of Michigan Professor Carlton W. Angell in memory
of the victims of the Bath School Disaster of May 18, 1927. School children
through out Michigan contributed pennies to fund this lasting memorial."
The historical marker and memorial boulder, and cupola now at the site used
to be pictured
but those links are now dead too A nice site with a new set of them is
here. Ken Black provided
these pictures of the dedication of the park and
A wooden plaque made by Scott Cunningham.
Bath School Museum exhibits #1, and
#2 (courtesy Ron Bauerle). One has an
excerpt from a newspaper article mentioning a witness who saw Supt. Huyck's
"face freeze in horror" while he was talking to Kehoe just before the latter
blew them up
The memorial tree mentioned in a couple of the
articles above. The flag and memorial tree may both be seen in
this picture. At first I thought
Arnold's memorial ornament wasn't appropriate,
but his biography above says he did love playing baseball...
From the 50th Anniversary Commemoration booklet:
The front cover with the "Girl With A Kitten" statue.
The inside front cover with misc. credits.
Page 1 showing the school before the explosion, and afterwards.
Page 2 showing a picture of School #4, completed 1873
(would be interesting to know where it was).
Page 3, the Program itself.
Page 4 showing the school shortly after its reconstruction in 1928.
From the 75th Anniversary Commemoration (courtesy of Connie Bauerle):
The program text (it had no pictures);
note the victims list left off Nellie Kehoe.
Former superintendent James Hixson laying a memorial wreath.
A memorial bench plaque.
My father pointing to his uncle
Arnold Bauerle's commemorative brick.
One of my grandmother's cousins who lives several miles away on the other side
of US 27, told me they heard the explosion all the way over there, and that
afterwards children would pray or make statements along the lines of
"I love everybody in the world, except Kehoe".
It is unclear why all the dynamite didn't go off; theories range from the
wiring being incomplete, wrong, disconnected by a janitor or the force of the
first explosion, to the battery used to set it off didn't have enough capacity.
At the risk of being morbid, I'm curious as to what happened to the
used to set off the explosion, and the "criminals are made, not born"
sign Kehoe left
at his farm. I hope they weren't destroyed out of grief/anger, or scavenged by
some souvenir hunter, or buried in some police evidence file and later destroyed...
Update 3/4/02: the following is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from
Bath Township historian
I think that the sign was part of a collection of items that was given
to the State Historical Society/Museum at the time of the explosion.
I know that they had Kehoe's watch, drivers license and part of his car.
They also had Nellie's silverware, that was found with her body.
The front of his car (truck) was given to the scrap metal drives
during WWII and no one can find any of the other items. Too bad.
The girl with a cat statue - I remember seeing it in the rebuilt Junior High
School and later in the new high school while I attended both. There was a
rumor that it was made from the pennies contributed by the children of
Michigan for it (and the article
"Cast in Stone"
repeats it), but I find this hard to believe. Likewise, the same article's
interpretation of the child's hair/dress being "blown as if by the force of
the explosion" and the "grief in her face" don't agree with other interpretations
of it as conveying no reminder of the disaster, but simply portraying a
carefree child as a memorial to what their lives should have been.
You can check out this picture and judge for yourself.
While I was attending the rebuilt Junior High School in the early 1970s, one
day there was a rumor that there was still some unexploded dynamite in the school
and we had to evacuate it (after nearly 50 years? And I thought the entire
old school was razed to make way for the new one?). No dynamite was found, but
a structural inspection supposedly revealed that the school was unsafe, and was
thus closed. We junior high school students had to share the high school
building until a new school could be built (which became the high school, and
the old high school became the junior high school); I remember getting up around
5 AM to catch the bus at 6 AM for my shift at the school. I graduated from the
new high school in 1977, the same year the class of 1927 had their graduation
since they didn't get to have one in 1927. I was disappointed when several
years later it was decided to tear down the old school entirely.
While the people of Bath do not dwell on this tragedy, neither should it be
forgotten. A friend and fellow classmate (whose family still lives in Bath)
has an even stronger opinion:
I was having a conversation with someone recently [...] about the BSD and
made the comment that Kehoe has achieved his objectives. By that I mean he,
for all intents and purposes, wiped the town of Bath off the map. Unlike other
tragedy survivors who want the world to remember their loss, BSD survivors
tried hard to not only forget, but to do their level best to make the world
forget. I have no doubt that the town was approached to do a documentary;
but the town as a whole has tried since that time to get the world to forget
as well. They would argue otherwise - but the proof is that the world does not
remember, and Kehoe devastated that town better than if all the dynamite would
have exploded. If we really care about what was done and want the world to
truly remember their loss, we should do the best we can to counteract this.
Poems written afterwards:
The Last Bell
(written and published in memory of those who lost their lives in the Bath school disaster)
By Mrs. W.H. Blount, Hillman, Mich. Published 5/25/1939, paper unknown.
"Mother, there's the school bell ringing
I believe our clock is slow."
And the mother sighed and answered,
"Yes, it's time for you to go."
Down the path across the foot-bridge,
Where the yellow cowslips grew,
"Ah! The purple Johnny Jump-Ups,
For my teacher, just a few."
Mother watched her treasured darling,
Till he passed the signboard "Slow",
And the big bell in the belfry
Still was swinging, to and fro.
Heavy is her heart this morning,
Like a pall, fear o'er her hung,
And her tasks are still unfinished,
And her song is yet unsung.
Up the steps, soon all are seated.
One, to teacher "posies" bring,
When a little hand is lifted,
"Teacher, won't you let us sing?"
And the teacher smiled and nodded,
"What will your selection be?"
"Oh! it's 'Jewels in the Knapsack'
And it's on page fifty-three."
"When He Cometh", sang the children,
And the teacher looking down
On their happy upturned faces,
Wreathed in locks of gold or brown,
Or the one whose flaxen ringlets
'Gainst the "midnight" tresses shone,
Thought, what jewels for a Saviour,
They His loved ones and His own.
"Like the stars", the chorus swelling,
Laughing faces, not one frown;
They shall shine in saint-like beauty,
Dazzling bright gems for His crown.
"He will gather" white robed angels,
Bore them on their wings of love,
To the Father, who was waiting
In that Blessed Home Above.
Forty children and their teachers,
Knelt before the Saviour King.
In His loving arms He clasped them,
As the Last Bell ceased to ring.
The title song from the album
by Landis MacKellar of Vienna
in nineteen hundred and twenty eight
disturbed by an increase in the property tax rate
andrew kehoe, a deranged man,
blew up the school in bath, michigan
(in bath, michigan)
fifty children, give or take a few
and their teachers died when it blew
fifty pounds of dynamite
he hid in the basement, kehoe had a right
to buy that dynamite (for on farm use)
just before this deadly deed
he strangled his wife and girdled his trees
slaughtered his stock, burned the house down,
put a second bomb in his car and headed into town
he headed into town (ten miles away)
drove up to the school just after the first bomb went off
people running round like chickens with their heads cut off
beckoned the school board president over to his model-A ford
flipped a switch and killed four or five more
he killed four or five more (and wounded many with the shrapnel)
george marks, the postman, who lost a leg but survived
was the last to see andrew kehoe alive
just before he died, george marks would say
kehoe smiled, and i won't forget that smile 'til my dying day
it didn't begin with people out of work
vietnam veterans and post office clerks
it began for no reason worth trying to understand
in nineteen twenty eight in bath, michigan
it began in bath, michigan.
Comment by Landis MacKellar: In 1993, I was involved in writing a book on the
Ruth Snyder-Judd Gray murder case in New York City. As part of my research,
I read all the newspapers for 1927-28 and learned of the events described here.
Prior to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Bath, Michigan incident, now
universally forgotten, was the worst act of mass murder in American history.
Patterson Smith, who supplies me with antiquarian books, sold me a copy of an
extremely rare item, a slim volume entitled The Bath School Disaster, which
was written and privately printed by a local merchant named M.J. Ellsworth.
By bad luck, the volume went into storage with the rest of my personal effects
when I moved to Europe in 1994, as a result of which, the song was written from
memory. Lacking my primary source, I exercised a bit of poetic license
regarding the details, as a result of which, there are a number of factual
inaccuracies in the piece. For example, the incident occurred in 1927,
not 1928. The broad outlines of the story are, however, correct.
An excerpt from an "X-Files" fan-fiction partially set in Bath and mentioning
the Disaster is here; due to the NC-17/X-rated nature
of the rest of the "work", I will not provide the URL where it came from
The excerpt itself is PG-rated, but I have four major problems with it:
- Pleasant Hill Cemetery is half a mile north of the I69 overhead pass (and there
isn't enough traffic on Webster Road to create a thought-disturbing "roar"),
- there hasn't been a dirt road paved over in years,
- there's no 7-11 in Bath that I know of, and
- the author repeats the false legend about the "Girl With A Cat" statue
being made of the pennies that were collected to pay for it.
An initial search back in 2000 turned up no links dedicated to the Bath School
Disaster (thus the reason for this page), but some more searching revealed it
as being mentioned in the following links. They came from
To reduce the size of this main page, excerpts from the links are on a
separate page. They fall into the following categories:Historical/Travel pages
VA Tech pages (later, but see
Google News and
in the meantime - note that many of them are (anti)gun control blogs.)
A genealogical query page that mentions Andrew in a couple of them used
to be here,
but is now defunct; an archived version may be found
Note that once I've captured the info from these sites, I don't track them any
more, and I have been informed that some of the links no longer work. If you'd
like to try to see the entire original page that the excerpts came from, please
copy the URL then paste it into the search engine at the
Internet Wayback Machine,
but not all of them will show up there either
I also received this e-mail directing me to the
Southeast Michigan Ghost Hunters Society
and specifically the pictures page.
I include this here in the interest of completeness. As for my personal opinion,
as an engineer I'm skeptical (couldn't the "orbs" just be fireflies?), but
as a Christian I'm also learning that the spiritual world is not subject to
the laws of science, and there are many things about it, and God, that can
be neither proven nor disproven (I wouldn't really want a God who could be
proven scientifically, or completely explained). However, I also feel that
"superstition is the worm that crawls from the grave of dead faith" (as
somebody else put it), and as the Bible says, "it is appointed for men to die
and after this [comes] judgement", and therefore departed souls probably do
not wander the earth as ghosts. But I also believe that "a man with an
experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument". Another ghost hunter's
experiences are posted here.
The April 2003 "Touched By An Angel" series finale
involved a boiler explosion at a school killing nearly all of the children in
a small town - needless to say, this hit awfully close to home for me
An alternate link without pictures (but still a large text file) is
and a Usenet thread where I posted my objections to the show is
the traffic in the group is so light, I doubt there will be many replies to it,
if any. One of my biggest objections is that the
looked a little too intact to have killed everybody in it
While more children (186) died in the 2004
Beslan school hostage crisis,
note that it was (1) non-US and (2) involved more than one perpetrator.
However, the victims of the BSD probably went through similar emotions as the
"Children Bear Emotional Scars from
For more information, please consult the following:
- The Lansing State Journal
and Lansing Capital News (both available on microfilm at the
Michigan State Library)
- The Clinton County Republican/News
"The Bath School Disaster", by MJ Ellsworth, 1927, reprinted 199x?
Back in August 2000, original copies were going for up to $135 at
Barnes and Noble, but that link no longer returns anything A copy
is available for
room use only at the Michigan State University Library in East Lansing, MI, or
see the on-line version.
- "Mayday", by Grant Parker, 1980, Liberty Press. Currently out of stock at
amazon.com. But two copies are available
for check-out to Michigan residents over 16 at the Michigan State University
Library in East Lansing, MI. My personal opinion of this book is that the
author did a little more pyschological second-guessing than was necessary,
but it's still worth reading.
- Bath Township historian
Gene Wilkins (BATHTWPHISTORY@aol.com), who has copies of the above two
books available for sale (they are also available at the Bath Pharmacy).
Gene may also be reached at 517-487-5331.
- Michigan History Magazine, May/June 1981 (Grant Parker) and May/June 1999
(James W. Hixson, former Bath school administrator). Only the latter issue
is available from their
back issue page.
- Bath Sesquicentennial booklet (available at the
DeWitt Public Library).
- "That's the way it was in Bath" (compilation of student papers, my parents' personal
If you have comments on the Disaster, please
sign my guestbook (or just
view it if you want).
If you have comments on this page itself, or would like to be notified when I update it,
please e-mail me:
Ron Bauerle (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks for reading and remembering.
visitors to this page.
Uploaded and stored as
Modified e-mail links and copyright notice.
Added Contemporary Accounts, added to
Dedication, Pictures, and
Updated links for the
historical marker and memorial boulder and
cupola now at the site.
Added note that the 1/16/00 Ventura County Star
article link is now dead Noted that the
Barnes and Noble rare book search no longer returns anything
Added Kehoe genealogical query page.
Added notes that the MSU Library in East Lansing, MI has copies of the
Added KKK rant against "Catholic Kehoe" (see note above).
Added Arnold Bauerle biography,
"The Bath School Disaster" by MJ Ellsworth,
Robert Lyons' BSD page,
picture of Kehoe's car after he blew it up, and link
to the Southeast Michigan Ghost Hunters Society.
Updated Contemporary Accounts and
Pictures with links to
"The Bath School Disaster" by MJ Ellsworth.
St. John's, MI Independent BSD page links, noted dead links.
Updated Contemporary Accounts and
Pictures with Toledo Blade and Youngstown Telegraph/Vindicator info.
Added new link for Ellsworth book,
and links to the victims' burial places
and Bath Memorial Park pictures.
Corrected URLs for James Daggy's BSD page;
added scans of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration booklet.
Restored some dead links via the archives at the
Internet Wayback Machine; added more
Pictures of the
Disaster, Kehoe's home, and the Historical Marker/Memorial Park dedication,
all courtesy of KenBlack.
Added contact info for Bath Township historian
Gene Wilkins (BATHTWPHISTORY@aol.com).
written from a post-
column by Jerry Harte, articles in the Lansing State Journal
and local stations WLNS and
and some observations by Ken Black,
as well as photos (courtesy of Ken)
of a wooden plaque made by Scott Cunningham,
the flag that flew over the school at the time,
and the cornerstone of the rebuilt school (now in the museum).
Added pictures from the 75th Memorial Service, an article
about it from the St. Johns Independent,
and another view of the "Girl With A Cat" statue (courtesy of Ken Black).
WILX 75th commemoration link with previously saved text file;
Jerry Harte column
with latest URL; added
memorial tree pictures #1 and
#2 courtesy of Ken Black.
Added articles from the Clinton County Republican-News to
Contemporary Accounts, updated
Arnold's brick picture, added
Pictures of his
memorial ornament at the Bath School Museum,
State Senator James Couzens,
exhibits #1 and
#2 at the Bath School Museum,
boards forming a cross
(like on 9/11/01),
With The Capital News Staff Photographers At Scene of Bath Dynamite Disaster,
and Looking Down Into The Crater Of Death.
Corrected Ventura County Star URL
(thanks to James Daggy); added links for a bathmi.com page,
"Just Another Summer Day: The Bath School Disaster by Debra Pawlak",
another ghost hunter's experiences,
an excerpt from an "X-Files" fan-fiction partially
set in Bath and mentioning the Disaster,
"Touched By An Angel" series finale episode summary
+ a Usenet thread where I replied with my objections to it;
and updated Crime pages with excerpt from
THE LITERATURE OF THE AMERICAN SERIAL KILLER.
Added missing text to third and
fourth 5/26/27 Clinton County Republican-News articles.
04/23/07 Added links for
Virginia Tech shootings,
those that mention Bath,
video report with newsreel footage,
and Lansing State Journal comments in
and after the
VA Tech shootings;
also updated URLs for James Daggy's BSD page.
04/28/07 Added links for
Beslan school hostage crisis
and emotional aftermath.
05/20/07 Added 80th anniversary reports by the
Lansing State Journal,
and a Saginaw, MI radio station.
Compilation copyright © 2000-2007 by Ronald D. Bauerle; copyrights held by
original authors and sources are still so held. The material published on
this site may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. Historical researchers
are free to use this material for reference and research purposes. All other
God Bless America