Two bombings in three days? In Bay Village?

Apparently, someone was VERY upset with Walter E. Bidlingmyer of 444 Bradley Road, Bay Village, back in 1923.

We know because someone bombed his house, twice, within three days.

As part of the Bay Village Historical Society, I was doing some research for a century-home plaque for the home, so I contacted the Cuyahoga County archives for clarification on when, exactly, the home was built. What they found out was surprising.

Sure, having been built in 1920, the home qualifies for a plaque, but what was more surprising was the included two newspaper clippings from the Plain Dealer, dated May 25, 1923. It turns out someone really did not like the owner at the time, Walter E. and Isabelle Bidlingmyer (although I don’t think Isabelle had anything to do with it.)

Walter owned a cigar store in downtown Cleveland and later was a manufacturer’s representative for a toy and novelties company. At one time he operated slot machines in Lorain County.

According to the Plain Dealer article of May 25, 1923, “The second mysterious explosion in three days rocked the spacious home of W.E. Bidlingmyer, 444 Bradley Road, Bay Village, early yesterday. Both blasts shattered windows in Bidlingmyer’s and a neighbor’s home and wakened many nearby residents. The detonations were reportedly heard several miles.

“Mr. and Mrs. Bidlingmyer and their children, Robert, 12, and Janice, nine, were asleep in the first floor rooms both times. Bidlingmyer believed that had the bombs been placed more skillfully he and his family would have been killed.

“The first blast occurred at 1:30 Saturday morning. Bidlingmyer ran to his front porch to find a post blown from its base and a hole in the porch floor against the house wall. A front window was shattered, as well as the glass in lanterns above the entrance.

“Bidlingmyer sat up through the following night with two guns at hand. About 1:30 in the morning, he lay across his bed and must have fallen asleep, as he was knocked to the floor an hour later by a second blast.

“I went to the back of the house and found the porch steps blown to slivers and several windows broken. I fell over part of the steps and cut a finger.

Bidlingmyer and Marshal John Eaton traced fresh footprints from back of the home, across a creek, through a neighbor’s garden and to the place beside the road, where they found the print of an automobile tire in the soft earth. They also found an eight-inch piece of fuse.

No one was ever arrested.

“I haven’t an enemy that I know of,” Bidlingmyer told the newspaper. “However, something has occurred to me in the last few hours which I am going to investigate, but I can’t tell what it is now.”

We trust Walter E. Bidlingmyer found a peaceful resolution to his problems.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:32 AM, 07.05.2023