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Bath School Massacre, MI 1927 

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Old 05-19-2016, 03:44 PM
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Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The passing of nearly nine decades hasn’t diminished a 104-year-old man’s view of Andrew Kehoe, the evil mastermind of the May 18, 1927, Bath School Disaster, a bombing that took the lives of 38 children as they attended class.

George Baird, 104, now lives in an assisted living facility in Bath Township. He is one of the last remaining students who attended the Bath Consolidated School at the time of the bombing.

The Bath bombing remains the deadliest school murder spree in U.S. history, still eclipsing mass shootings at Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.

In all, 45 people died, including Kehoe, his wife and five other adults, in the May 18 blast at the school, fire at Kehoe's farm and a second blast when Kehoe drove his truck to the school after the first explosion. Kehoe’s final act was to blow up his truck, killing himself along with the school superintendent, Emory Huyck, who was hailed as a hero for his calm in rescuing victims in the aftermath of the first bombing.

Kehoe, 55, was a disgruntled school treasurer with personal money woes. Upset about taxes levied to pay for the Bath Consolidated School, which opened in 1922, he carefully planned a catastrophe designed to wipe out all of the children in the community.

About 250 attended school there. In that regard, he failed, as many children survived the mayhem and the community rallied to rebuild the school.

Though a disaster of unimaginable proportions in the farming community north of East Lansing, it could have been worse. A clock triggered the explosion at 8:45 a.m. but it ignited only part of the dynamite that leveled the north wing.

The horrific details included Kehoe tying the hooves of his horses together to die in a fire he set in his barn. He murdered his wife, Nellie. Her charred remains were found later lashed to a cart inside a burned shed on the Kehoe farm.

He then drove to the school to explode his truck for more destruction, shortly after 9 a.m. that day.

George Baird, then a 15-year-old sophomore, was not in class when the bomb went off. He was excused from final exams because his grades were good.

“I was out in the field,” George Baird recalled. “I heard the explosion.”

Baird’s mother was alerted by phone about the blast, five miles away. “My mother called out and said, ‘The Bath school blew up.’”

George and his father, William, thinking a boiler may have exploded, drove five miles to the scene of the disaster in the family’s Durant.

“We went out there, Dad and I. Dad helped get some of the children out of the school,” Baird recalls. “I took some of the girls to the hospital.”

He had a farmer’s driving permit at the time and drove to Sparrow Hospital with two blast victims. He only recalls that they had facial injuries. Baird remembers other images of the aftermath, with children’s bodies laid out on the school lawn as a temporary morgue and parents lifting the blankets to identify the victims.

One of his neighbors was a family named Bauerle who lost their 8-year-old son, Arnold. They visited each grieving family to comfort each other. The heartbreak in the aftermath was enormous.

“My dad would break down and cry like a baby, it got him so,” George Baird recalled.

He also remembers seeing a police car with its back seat piled high with unexploded dynamite recovered from the school.

George Baird also knew Kehoe. A few days before the blast, he went to Kehoe’s house to give him tuition money to attend the school.

Kehoe answered the door in slippers, a strange sight for a farmer in the morning. At that time of day, he should have been out in the fields working.

“He wouldn’t look you straight in the face,” George Baird recalled.

Kehoe was an electrician who volunteered as a handyman at the school. His access allowed him to set up an intricate bomb system under the classrooms.

Authorities’ main clue to the motive of the disaster was a sign at the Kehoe farm: “Criminals are made, not born.”

After the disaster, U.S. Sen. James Couzens donated $75,000 for the rebuilding of the school, renamed James Couzens Agriculture School. Classes reconvened in Bath businesses while the school was rebuilt.

The cupola from the school, used until 1975, is in a memorial park across the street from the Bath Middle School. A Bath School Museum is housed in the auditorium of the middle school.

Bruce Baird, 79, said his father always expressed his wish that Kehoe suffered in the afterlife.

In the 2011 documentary, George Baird talks about Kehoe’s spitefulness in blowing up the school while children were in classes instead of a time when the children were gone. Many of the victims were ages 10 or 11.

“I hope he’s roasting in hell, yet,” George Baird said

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Old 05-20-2016, 06:57 AM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

that was one evil fucker, luckily only parts of the dynamite exploded

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Old 05-20-2016, 08:15 PM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

So sad.

Funny, people always tend to think that evil is evolving which is why we so much shit today. There was evil back in the day too. Plenty of it, we just didn't have the media or Facebook to spread it.
I think most people have a little evil within them but the strong don't act on it while the weak do.

Never ever heard of this. Great post

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Old 05-21-2016, 04:01 PM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

Very informative, great post!

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Old 05-23-2016, 07:07 AM
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:45 PM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

Sick taking it out on innocent children

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Old 06-25-2016, 04:23 PM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

Never heard of this.. Thanks

A child picked up that chair in terror and ran home

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Old 06-26-2016, 05:45 AM
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:32 PM
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Re: Bath School Massacre, MI 1927

horrible stuff

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Old 07-26-2016, 09:01 PM
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