MICHIGAN HISTORY: The 1927 Bath School Disaster, 93 Years Ago
With all the school tragedies in the past decades, none match the 1927 Bath School Massacre, which is still considered to be the worst & largest mass murder in Michigan AND our entire country's history. This month - May 18, 2020 to be exact - marks the 93rd anniversary of this tragedy.
A total of 44 people perished - 38 of them students - and many more injured at the whim of Andrew Kehoe, who was a local farmer and, not coincidentally, the school board treasurer. His method? Setting explosives and blowing up the school.
It was the last school day of the year. At the time, Bath had approximately 300 residents, but the school had 314 students, a good many being bused in.
For awhile, neighbors noticed something dark was happening to Kehoe - he was letting his property decline and seemed suicidal. Kehoe woke up extremely angry on the morning of May 18th, 1927 due to his increasing money problems, his wife's medical condition and losing the local election for township clerk.
There is a link below that you can click to read the remaining grisly details.
Donald Huffman and Willis Cressman were two of the last survivors. Donald Huffman was 9 years old when the explosives went off, losing an eye and a section of cheekbone, acquired compound fractures and spent the rest of his life with numerous scars. Willis Cressman was 15 back then and remembered the killer, Andrew Kehoe, as a church-going man and found it unfathomable a church member would be capable of such hideous acts of murder. The article you are about to read was written in 2009, 82 years after the events on May 18, 1927 and features quotes from Huffman and Cressman as well as pictures of them in their 90’s. Huffman passed away in 2011 at the age of 93. Cressman passed away in 2009, a few months after this article was published, at the age of 97.
CLICK HERE to read the article and what these two gentlemen had to say as they recall the events of May 18, 1927.
CLICK HERE to read all the grisly details in an extraordinary article about the devastation as well as profiles of all who perished and were wounded. Nowadays there is an historical marker with the names of all the ones who lost their lives in the massacre at The Bath Consolidated School Memorial Park / James Couzens Agricultural School Memorial Park. Also at the park is a cupola, the one sole piece of the original schoolhouse that was preserved.
I post this not for sensationalism but for the hope we never have anything like this happen in our area, let alone our state, ever again…..and to take my hat off for all who survived and were able to live prosperous lives.