Bloomington (IN) Weekly Courier
November 24, 1911
page 1


Michael Torphy Burned to Death While Taking Bath

On the eve of his wedding—he was to have been married this morning to Miss Kathleen McKeever—Michael Torphy, a former Bedford boy, son of John Torphy, now of Bloomington, was so badly burned in his room in Birmingham, Alabama, Tuesday night that he died this morning says the BEDFORD DEMOCRAT. The sad news was received here this morning in messages from his brother, Leo Torphy, to his aunt, Miss Rose Johnson, and his uncle, David Torphy. The news came as a great shock to Mr. Torphy's many relatives and friends here, and the Misses Ellen, Mary and Rose Johnson and Miss Ella Torphy were almost prostrated with grief.

The first message told only that he had met with an accident that was probably fatal. This was followed by a second telling that he was dead and that his death was like that of his aunt, Katie Johnson, who was burned to death several years ago.

It was not until this afternoon that a message was received by David Torphy from his brother-in-law, P. F. Fitzbigbons [sic] giving details of his nephew's horrible death. The message from Mr. Fitzgibbons [sic] stated that Mr. Torphy had taken a bath and rubbed down with alcohol and, clothed only in a light bathrobe, was standing before an open fire in his room. The bathrobe caught fire and burned so quickly that it could not be put out without assistance, which did not arrive until it was too late to save his life. He lived twelve hours.

He was 27 years old and a member of the Bedford lodge of Elks.

Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.