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

25 Years Ago — June 17, 1992

Leighton Township Supervisor Dar VanderArk has outlined a proposal to fund road paving and improvement projects, very similar to the one used by Salem Township. He suggests a four-mill levy annually because the current rate of one mill nis insufficient. Township Treasurer Arlene Oetman said she was opposed, saying, “Farmers will be paying for the roads.”

Lillian Flock is demanding a rebate on her tax payments over the past 10 years to Martin Township because she claims half of her eight-acre parcel just south of Martin Village is owned by the township.

Because Recycling in Barry County (RiBC0 now is out of business, the dumpster for collection has been removed at Gun lake Community Church and residents are urged to take their materials to the township hall on Briggs Road, where VanDyken Refuse Services will handle it.

John L. Hooker wrote a letter to the editor critical of the physical condition of Hooker Cemetery. He charged township officials with hiring a caretaker who offered the lowest price but came up short on quality of service.

Dorr Township Clerk Dick Dutkiewicz, a letter signed by several other township officials, took Globe Editor Nila Aamoth to task for her characterization of township hierarchy as “antiquated, divisive and expensive.” Nila answered, “Arze you sure you are demanding an apology from the right person?” She had written an editorial the week before that was critical of the Wayland Township Board’s hasty handling of construction bids for an addition to the township hall.

The Wayland Board of Education approved on a 6-1 vote the establishment of a club soccer program under the leadership of Loren VanPortfleet. Lynn Mandaville cast the dissenting vote, insisting it doesn’t make sense to start such a program at the same the school district is making cuts in the athletic program.

Burrell Stein, president of the Henika District Library Board, wrote a letter to the editor asking that local residents support a half-mill request for the library.

The Globe did Person on the Street style interviews of six local people on the question of the downtown Streetscape project. The consensus was that the positive was the appearance of the city and the negative was the reduction of business traffic during the construction.

Former Wayland Area Emergency Services Director Don DeWitt was recovering in a Saginaw hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Wayland High School girls’ varsity track coach Jerry Haggerty was named coach of the year for Region 15 by the Michigan Track Coaches Association (MITCA).

Jill Martin was valedictorian and Jeremy Tuinstra and Melissa Hunderman co-salutatorians for the Martin High School Class of 1992.

50 Years Ago — July 14, 1967

Mrs. Barbara Milburn of Kalamazoo was selected as school librarian for Hopkins High School for the 1967-68 academic year, succeeding Naurine McKinnon, who will take on more duties as counselor and teaching English.

Wayland High School students will spend part of their summer vacations abroad as part of the Youth For Understanding program. Bobbie LaValley will go to France, Robert Ayers to Sweden, Steve Alflen to the Netherlands and Russell Middleton to Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. George Snider have taken over ownership of Spencers Restaurant on South Main Street in Wayland, succeeding Mr. and Mrs. Sigmund Spencer, who have run the eatery for the past five years.

Retired farmer and World War I veteran C.G. Cooper died at his home in Hopkinsburg.

The annual Wayland High School reunion attracted 170 people, including five members of the Class of 1917, Athal Hazen, Jeanette Bowman Ponitz, Russell Hanlon, Jeanette Gosling and Clara Higgins Williamson. David Low was elected president of the Alumni Association, succeeding Robert Hendrixson.

Charles L. Harral of Flint recently graduated from trooper recruit school and has been assigned to the Wayland post of the Michigan State Police.

The Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking entries for the annual Fourth of July parade. Co-chairs are Earl Miller and Tom Jackson.

A petition campaign to establish an all-volunteer ambulance service for Wayland is being spearheaded by Mrs. Alan B. (Peg) Dangremond.

Wayland Board of Education members unanimously agreed not to seek any extra millage for fiscal year 1967-68.

Wayland High School graduate Robert Andringa, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Andringa, has earned a PhD in university administration from Michigan State University.

Keith McBride and Donald Lapham in Wayland, Walter Krug and Edward Marcinek in Hopkins, and Willard Evers in Martin all were re-elected without opposition in very quiet school board elections.

The Hopkins varsity baseball team was honored for winning its first league title in 40 years by going 7-0 in the Al-Van Conference over the spring. The squad is coached by David Dagley.

A groundbreaking ceremony was planned for June 18 for the new Trinity Lutheran Church on 135th Avenue just west of the U.S.-131 expressway.

75 Years Ago — June 19, 1942

The Wayland Village Council has voted to lease the village dump 20-acre parcel owned by Harry Haywood for oil drilling in the southeast corner of town.

Village officials also have been discussing a possible dog ordinance in the wake of many complaints about packs of dogs roaming the village and damaging the many gardens. Allegan and Hopkins have adopted ordinances on the issue already.

The Ladies of the new Catholic Parish on South Main Street plan to have a fund-raising ham dinner at the Legion Hall June 24.

The body of Mrs. Elma Donaldson, 63, was pulled from McIntyre Lake three miles south of Wayland after authorities said she had been missing for three days and was in failing health over the past year. The wife of Toledo Plate Glass & Window owner Charles A. Donaldson, she was found clutching her car keys and still wearing her glasses. No foul play is suspected at this point.

Pet Milk receipts have set a record and it was reported that 400,000 pounds of milk left the plant. Editor Rollo G. Mosher commented, “No wonder they call Wayland the Cow Town of Michigan.”

The 1941 International Grand Champion Steer will come to visit the garage of Jacob Eding in Wayland during a free exhibition for farmers and 4-Hers.

The Wayland Rod and Gun Club will have a Sunday morning breakfast and trap shoot at 9 a.m. June 24.

Allegan druggist H.D. Tripp has announced he will be a candidate for state senate on the Republican party ticket.

A shortage of young men to tend the farm fields is being reported, as a result of many now serving overseas in the military.

Lt. Col. Harold Furlong will be guest speaker Wednesday at the next meeting of the Wayland Rotary Club. Rotarians will offer gifts to two of their colleagues, Chester Brevitz and Carl Ryno, who are serving in the military.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • John Kimbrough and Virginia Gilmore in “Sundown Jim.”
  • Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake in “Blondie’s Blessed Event.”
  • John Payne, Maureen O’Hara and Randolph Scott in “To the Shores of Tripoli.”
  • Roy Rogers in “Sunset on the Desert.”
  • Jane Frazee and Robert Page in “Almost Married.”

100 Years Ago — June 15, 1917

Wayland native Mortimer A. Sooy, 46, committed suicide at his law office in Holland after being charged with embezzlement and losing his cottage to a fire at Macatawa. He had just celebrated a wedding anniversary with his wife and dropped her off at home before going to his office. He left a note.

A.D. Hughes of the A.D. Hughes Co. of Wayland was one of the victims in an interurban wreck near St. Clair. Authorities determined the crash was the result of an operator error. Hughes suffered a broken leg, broken arm and fractured jaw.

A total of 2,919 young men from Allegan County have reported for military draft in the Selective Service.

The second annual Christian Endeavor Union convention was to be held June 21-22 at the Moline Congregational Church.

“The Shielding Shadow” is the new film series being shown at Frank’s Opera House every Wednesday evening. The series, billed as the best offering yet here, stars Grace Darmon. The pictures now are being projected on a new screen installed only recently.

Naman Frank attended the annual convention of the Motion Picture Exhibitors League of America at the Pantlind Hotel in Grand Rapids.

Mrs. Maggie Smith of Montana was the fourth Woman Legislator featured in the weekly series. She played a major role in that state’s effort to ban cigarettes and in the national Prohibition movement.

Arno Rumery of Bradley was advertising in the want ads a spotted pony suitable for children.


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