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Last victim of 1927 Bath school disaster gets headstone

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The last of the victims of the Bath, Michigan, school bombings finally has a headstone on his grave, nearly 90 years after the deadly attack.

A small crowd of people sang as they gathered at the grave of Richard Fritz.

Fritz’s death in 1928 was attributed to the injuries he suffered in the Bath school bombing the year before.

Andrew Kehoe bombed the school on May 18, 1927.   The school board treasurer, Kehoe was apparently upset about rising school taxes.

More than 40 people died, mostly children, including Richard Fritz’s sister, Marjorie; he's buried next to her in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing.

“It’s not clear why Richard didn’t have a marker until this point in time,” says Loretta Stanaway, the president of the Friends of Lansing’s Historical Cemeteries. “But 86 years is a long time, and now that injustice, that final injustice of not having a marked grave, has been remedied at last.”

The new headstone was paid for by a man writing a book about the 1927 bombing, which remains the deadliest attack on a school in American history. 

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
"It puts a closure to the whole thing,” says Dan Osborne, Richard Fritz' nephew

Dan Osborne is Fritz’s nephew. He was among the small group at today’s ceremony.

He says his family didn’t talk much about the bombing.

“I guess what I get out of it today … it puts a closure to the whole thing,” says Osborne.

Bomber Andrew Kehoe killed himself on the day of the bombing.

He’s buried in a pauper’s grave in St. Johns.

The grave is unmarked.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.