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

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

25 Years Ago — Nov. 11, 1992

Wayland and Holland are regarded as the top destinations for gypsy moths in Allegan County, according to the Cooperative Extension Service Task Force. Four traps are in operation in the City of Wayland.

Republican Rex Pomranka is seeking a recount of the election for Wayland Township Trustee, in which he lost 503 to 502 to Democrat Nick Krulac.

A campaign has begun in Dorr Township for installing a bike path and sidewalk near the parks along 142nd Avenue.

Anita Lenhart of Dorr and Leighton Township Supervisor Dar VanderArk both penned letters to the editor defending maverick Hopkins Board of Education Trustee Christine Schwartz, who has been absorbing criticism from previous letters to the editor.

Wayland High School’s record-setting wide receiver Robert Moore wrote a letter praising the supportive efforts of the Wayland Athletic Boosters and the hard work of coach Ed Lark in a season he said he will never forget.

Paul W. Jackson, assistant editor and sports writer for the Penasee Globe, has been arrested and charged with growing marijuana on his property in Wayland Township. He was on leave of absence and this week’s edition of the Globe had no reports on sports.

An engineer presented information to the Dorr Township Board about a feasibility study done for a sewer project. Allegan County Sanitarian Pete Lumberts recommends three development areas for sewer installation.

Four members of the Wayland Township Board, Supervisor Erwin Doublestein, Treasurer Virginia Holbrook, Clerk Mary Marcott and Trustee James Jackson, were recognized for their service. They all did not seek re-election and are retiring from public service. The only remaining incumbent is Trustee Randy Marklevitz.

Wayland Junior High School students, in their mock election, gave 210 votes to George H.W. Bush, 209 to Ross Perot and 120 to Bill Clinton.

Monterey Township Clerk Lucille Coon observed her 50th year in her position.

Grayce Delp, 94, the first Wayland woman to own a business, the A.D. Hughes flour and feed milling manufacturer, died. She also had been one of the longest serving members of the Ladies Library Club, since 1917.

Frank Herald, 26, of Cutlerville, has been appointed education coordinator for Wayland Area Emergency Medical Services.

50 Years Ago — Nov. 8, 1967

Local historian Ruby Smith, noting Wayland in 1968 is celebrating its centennial as a village, wrote a letter to the editor calling attention to the Grange’s upcoming 100th anniversary and suggested all cigarette smokers use corncob pipes during the festival.

Community caroling will highlight plans for the holiday season kickoff on Friday evening, Nov. 24.

LaVern Ritsema, 18, was arrested in connection with a phony bomb threat Nov. 2 at Wayland High School and was scheduled to appear before Wayland Justice of the Peace Earl M. Lanning.

A rash of minor automobile crashes plagued the city over the past week, but there were no fatalities or serious injuries reported.

Though Halloween was reported to be relatively quiet. Police Chief Forrest Reichenbach was pictured on the front page with a noose used to attempt to hang a pet white rabbit. The animal was spared the ordeal, but the Globe called it “a reprehensible, sadistic act.”

Superintendent James Thomas and high school instructor Vincent DeJong were delegates from Wayland in a special panel discussion about “Negotiations and Children” put together by the Allegan County Teachers Association.

The City Council held lengthy discussions at its recent meeting about ways to seek alternative avenues in getting approval from the public for infrastructure improvements. The discussions were in response to the defeat last month of proposals for sewer and water in a special election.

Former Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher, in his column, waxed eloquent about his recent fishing exploits while vacationing in Florida.

Wayland lost a 13-7 nail-biter to Coopersville and its overall football season record sank to 3-5. The Wildcats had the ball first and goal with 13 seconds to go, but couldn’t get the pigskin over the goal line. The Broncos scored their winning TD on a 45-yard fake punt play. Rich Tolan scored the Wildcats’ lone TD on a 10-yard run and Rick Middleton caught six passes for 145 yards from QB Lee Pankratz.

Kathy Jo Smith, Barb Keeney, Wanda Messer and Kathy Lapekes represented the Wayland Girls’ Athletic Association in a visit to the home for unwed mothers in Grand Rapids. They donated a gift from the local GAA.

Hopkins lost 6-0 to Al-Val League opponent Martin. The Vikings will play Wayland in the season finale next Friday.

Lori, Lisa, Lorraine and Larry Lapekes were pictured with a giant 20-pound cabbage raised by their father, Roman.

Staff Sgt. Larry VanderWerf of Hopkins was home on furlough after a year’s tour of duty in Vietnam.

Spec-4 Gene Scholten of Dorr, husband of the former Mary Fifelski, has received an Army Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam.

Lulu made it three weeks in a row atop the nation’s music charts with “To Sir with Love.”

75 Years Ago — Nov. 13, 1942

Wayland High School agriculture teacher Jack Prescott has reported for duty in the Army Air Corps.

First Lt. Chet Brevitz was in town for a 10-day furlough after graduating from Officers’ Candidate School at Camp Wallace, Texas.

Second Lt. Rollin Smith was in town on 10-day furlough preparing to attend OCS in Texas.

Mrs. Armeda Chapple has been elected worthy matron and Harold Chapple worthy patron of the local chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.

The next meeting of the Junior Garden Club will be with Marion Larson and Kathleen Reider next month. This month 17 members met with Mrs. Harry Elenbaas.

Gas rationing for 31 states, including Michigan, has been delayed from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1. Registration will be at Wayland School Nov. 18, 19 and 20.

Margaret Dado, the Globe correspondent who writes the “Hi Neighbor!” weekly column, penned this week’s installment from Detroit, describing a home with 42 “sisters.”

The Hopkins High School senior class is working on the play Henry the Eighth” this week.

F.D. Cutler of Wayland attended the state convention of the Michigan Farmers Union in Newaygo. Elected president of the organization was David Leep of Shelbyville.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Pat O’Brien, Glenn Ford and Evelyn Keyes in “Flight Lieutenant.”
  • Lloyd Nolan and Marjorie Weaver in “Just Off Broadway.”
  • Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent and Geraldine Fitzgerald in “The Gay Sisters.”
  • Robert Stack, Broderick Craford and Jackie Cooper in “Men of Texas.”

100 Years Ago — Nov. 9, 1917

Walter Liniger, 27, of Allegan, took his own life with a muzzleloader before reporting for duty with the U.S. military, “preferring death to a period of duty in the trenches of France.”

The Dorr Township Sunday School Convention was planned for Nov. 11 and was to include A.E. Weaver’s presentation on “Let Us Go Where We Are Going.”

An Allegan County delegation will be among those in attendance at the Older Boys Conference of the YMCA in Bay City. Speakers will include a returning serviceman from France and the head football coach at Cornell University.

In “Camp Custer Notes,” it was reported, “There are about 800 Negro soldiers” at the camp in Battle Creek.

Miss Winifred Kean, 25, died at the tuberculosis sanitarium in Grand Rapids, the third in her family to succumb to the malady in the last 18 months. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kean of Bradley, she was salutatorian of the Allegan High School Class of 1909 and a graduate of Western Normal. She had taught at rural schools for five years.

E. Smith, regarded as a star player for the Wayland High School football team, suffered a knee injury in the local boys’ 29-0 loss to Allegan. The team members have decided to cancel all remaining games this season because of the press of farm work.

“The Wayland school students gave the Kaiser more cause for worry when they subscribed $2,250 for Liberty Bonds.”

“About 50 boys have found jobs and girls are planning to work as well. This is one way to boys and girls can help Uncle Sam.

Now showing this week at Frank’s Opera House — “Pidgin Island,” “Eternal Love” and episode number five of “The Mystery of the Double Cross.”

Leon Schuh was in Grand Rapids seeking a patent for his attachment of electric auto lights for automobiles.

Mrs. Harry Milheim died in Ann Arbor, where she had been seeking treatment for a heart ailment. The news “cast a gloom over the entire village where she had been known for a long time.”

The Rev. W. A. Bellamy of Grand Rapids has accepted the call to be pastor at the Christian Church in Wayland.

There will be a Thanksgiving dance party Nov. 29 at the Yeoman Hall in Bradley with the Halloran Orchestra providing the music.

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