Bygone Days: A look at the history of NE Allegan County

(From the archives of the Then & Now Historical Library in downtown Dorr)

25 years Ago — May 13, 1992

The Southwest Michigan Solid Waste Interim Consortium has been formed, thanks to a $95,000 state grant, and Allegan County has agreed to chip in a $3,041 match to get the eight-county program up and running. A consultant will be hired to come up with a coordinated plan for provide residents with a landfill site and set up tipping fees for dumping refuse.

Paul Jackson wrote a feature story about touring his former school, Moline Christian, after so many years. He joined fourth-graders in the tour.

Steven Allen Lawrence, 35, of Rockford, was killed at the Wayland Airport when his ultralight plane crashed on takeoff.

Paula Sebright wrote a letter to the editor encouraging the Wayland Township Board to get tough on the Players Club, formerly known as the Apple Core Lounge, for violations. She insisted the lounge was contributing to the delinquency of minors.

A letter from Mary Hills challenged assertions the week before made by a Mrs. Betterly against outcomes-based education.

Longtime Wayland Board of Education members Dorothy DeWeerd and Diane Smith received awards from the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) for their many years of community service.

The Wayland adult education program will graduate 32 students, including a mother and her twin daughters and a father of a WHS graduate in the Class of 1992.

The Wayland High School girls’ track team performed well in the O-K Gold Conference preliminaries and is making a serious threat to win its third consecutive league title. The 3200-meter relay team of Bianca Pratt, Ann Iciek, Angie Permoda and Marcie Brown broke the school record with a time of 10:06.

Trevor Sniezek set Martin’s school record in the pole vault by clearing an even 11 feet and Melissa Young achieved the same with a 31-11 1/2 toss in the shot put.

Coach Mark Austin‘s amazing Hopkins High School baseball team remains unbeaten in 13 games and Lance Markoski is hitting a lusty .529.

However, The Lady Vikings softball team has suddenly become mired in a slump and its record has slipped to 12-4. Coach Mick Francis declared, “If we keep playing like this, I don’t know if we’ll find a win on the rest of our schedule.”

Kris Koopman and Mike Wilson homered to carry Wayland past Caledonia in baseball and the Wildcats, 11-9 for the season, have 106 stolen bases.

Martin’s softball team used five homers, two by Diana Cosby and one each from Virginia Wheatley, Jennifer Merrill and Heather DeSmit to push their season record to 8-5.

50 Years Ago — May 10, 1967

The Wayland Board of Education approved the expenditure of $15,833 for repairs at Baker Elementary by VanDyken Heating.

The school board received a request by Athletic Director Robert Marutz to include wrestling on its offerings for boys athletes in interscholastic competition.

The Michigan State Police, Wayland post, performed a safety check program and reported only 33 vehicles passed inspection while 38 failed. Yet another motorist was issued a citation.

Former Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher said he supported the checks, saying, “I have driven a car since my first Model T in 1913 and have had two accidents of consequence. Both were caused by mechanical failure.”
The Wayland Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon will be held May 16 at the Masonic Hall, with the question, “What is the answer to making Wayland the headquarters for vacationers at surrounding summer lakes this summer?”

Hopkins school district voters approved the four-mill, six-year request, noting the levy actually would not increase taxes because the school board has decided to lower the debt retirement levy by 1.25 mills. The vote tally was 186 to 68.

Twelve students will join the summer academic program as assistants, including Cathy Gilbert, Marilyn Blok, Maryann Glusic, Linda Clark Sue Worfel, Candy Hayes, Robin Schaeffer, Kay Graham, Else Heyboer,, Linda and Marjean Lynema and Barb Keeney.

Mrs. Chalmers Montieth of Martin has died. She was a longtime associate of the village library, a member of the Mchigan and Allegan County Historical Societies and a state regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Mrs. Charles Middleton had the highest actual series, Mrs. William Carpenter the high handicap series and Mrs. Loyd Henning was named most improved at the annual Wayland women’s bowling league banquet, which attracted 63 members.

The “In the Service” column included several local soldiers serving in Vietnam. Adam Cuper of Dorr, a 1965 graduate of Wayland High School, won a Combat Infantryman’s Badge; First Sgt. William Morgenstern received the Air Medal to go with his Army Commendation Medal, and Ronald Roobol of Martin is a switchboard operator at Pleika.

Rob Miller and Bob and Larry Thomas of the Hopkins FFA are representing Michigan in the nation-wide contest for poultry judging.

The Wayland High School tennis team has just about wrapped up the Expressway Conference championship after a dual match victory over Middleville.

The Supremes hit No. 1 on the charts with “The Happening.”

75 Years Ago — May 15, 1942

Rollo Mosher told his readers that his weekly “Observations” column will be suspended or reduced severely for an indefinite period because he cannot to the job as printer and columnist at the same time. He is seeking a new printer.

Wayland Rural Grange members were to be asked to answer roll call at the May 16 meeting with “My Favorite Radio Program.” Clayton Smith is scheduled to show three short moving pictures.

And extensive story on the front page of the Globe reported on the activities and whereabouts of local soldiers who have joined the military to fight the wars against Germany and Japan. They included Kenneth Bazzett, J.L. Bazzett, John Hendricksma, Harold DeHaan, Carroll Radke, Guy B. Smith, Billy Hooker, Max Schwartz, Leon Schuh and Everett Mutschler.

On a more somber note, Mr. and Mrs. William Carpenter have received word that their son, James, has been listed as missing in action at Manila Bay, He is believed to have been captured by Japanese forces.

Margery Sebright took second place in the regional speech contest at Comstock. She had been fist in the district tournament at Paw Paw.

Mrs. Harold Weaver, who had serious and extensive surgery at Blodgett Hospital three weeks ago, came home in an ambulance and is recuperating at home.

The annual Wayland High School Junior-Senior Banquet will be held May 20 and a theater party will follow at the Regent Theatre in Grand Rapids.

The absence of fourth-grader John Buskirk because of the chicken pox has delayed the production of a play in which he has a significant role.

Mrs. Bessie Baker and Mrs. Arthur Larsen chaperoned sixth-graders on a trip to the Rod and Gun Club. Nobody caught any fish, but the kids were treated to a wiener and marshmallow roast.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes in “South of Santa Fe.”
  • Joe E. Brown and Victor Jory in “Shut My Mouth.”
  • Judy Canova, Billy Gilbert and Skinny Ennis in “Sleepy Time Gal.”
  • Dennis O’Keefe and Gloria Dickson in “Affairs of Jimmy Valentine.”
  • Bud Duncan, Edgar Kennedy and Sarah Padden in “Private Snuffy Smith.”

100 Years Ago — May 11, 1917

The Wayland High School baseball team, despite not having a coach, defeated Hopkins and Martin and are looking forward to playing Otsego. “The boys are playing together in fine style.”

Wayland High School’s Lellwyn Anway finished second in the half-mile race at the Kalamazoo College athletic meet.

Baily Frank took first place in the high school spelling bee.

Mrs. A.E. Chapman was elected chair of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and it was agreed the group would meet on four weekdays per week during the conflict overseas. Headquarters are located at Harry Allegeo’s drug store.

Scoutmaster L.B Mason and local Boy Scouts are making plans to establish a “city farm” on a 12-acre plot just south of the village.

Mr. Bennett, a salesman for Henry Holt & Co., told high school students he doubted that Russia could sustain a democratic government because only 25% of the populace was literate.

The Toledo Scale Co. has installed a new gravity weighing machine at the Helvetia Milk Condensary.

Len A. Williams, 54, died at the John Robinson Hospital in Allegan after being stricken at his farm. He had been a superintendent for a major manufacturing concern in St. Louis, Mo. before he moved to Wayland to take up farming. He also had a successful real estate business.

William Stanka’s farm southeast of Dorr was burned to the ground by a fire believed to be started by sparks from an engine used in sawing timber.

The Anti-Cant Society is planning to re-roof the Congregational Church and will have a fund-raising play presentation of “Rose Mary” at Frank’s Opera House downtown.

PHOTO: This is believed to be a picture taken of downtown Martin sometime in the early 1920s.

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