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

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

25 Years Ago — Dec. 16, 1992

The drawing for the open trustee’s seat on the Wayland Township Board was won by Democrat Mark Krulac after a recount showed he and Republican Rex Pomranka had tied with 503 votes apiece in the November general election.

Merland Pepper and Bob Wagner were selected as the latest members of the Dorr Hall of Fame, which now number 16 in all. Pepper is a retired letter carrier and firefighter. Wagner, longtime chairman of the Dorr Townshipm Planning Commission, is co-owner with Harold Schumaker of Village Auto Body.

Martin Fire Chief Earl Wykstra told the Martin Township Board that eight members of the local fire department would be taking first responder classes, with the tab of $100 being picked up by the Township Board.

The Wayland Union schools’ campus now is completely smoke free, even the bleachers at the football stadium, after a vote of the Board of Education.

The Richard Kerber Memorial flagpole is being installed at the village park, at a cost of $1,000, honoring the former village president who died in the fall of 1991.

The newly-installed wing of the Allegan County Building is dedicated to longtime commissioner and Chairman Ralph Sytsma of Moline, who died the year before.

Mary Madden, 39, of Bradley, suffered serious injuries in a traffic crash with a farm combine in Wayland Township.

Scott Sullivan put together a lengthy feature story on Christine Schwartz, the controversial Hopkins Board of Education member from Dorr. Schwartz declared that public education has become a war for the hearts and minds of students and she advocates bringing Christianity back into the classrooms.

Wayland Family Physicians officially opened its doors at the Professional Building on South Main Street with Drs. Kenneth Berneis and Thomas Saad and physician assistants Shirley Saunders and Gretchen Jachim.

Wayland finally halted a 22-game losing streak with a 66-57 overtime victory over Kelloggsville. Ken Stewart dropped in six points in the overtime and The Wildcats were led by Lee Olger’s 18 points and 17 from Robert Moore. Wayland won the game at the free throw line, amking 25 of 31 attempts.

Martin defeated Hopkins 61-53 in double overtime. Sean Talsma had 17 points and freshman Rich Guerrant came up with 16 points and a dozen rebounds. Rich Dame had 17 points for Hopkins.

Ann Iciek was named to the first unit of the O-K Gold all-conference team after leading the league in scoring. Teammate Anna Rybicki was honorable mention.

Kelli Morris, a student at Western Michigan University, has been elevated from assistant to head coach of the Martin varsity volleyball team.

Jim McGuire, a 1989 graduate, son of Martin Township Clerk Joyce McGuire, is spending this holiday season as a foreign exchange student guest in Japan.

50 Years Ago — Dec. 13, 1967

Sgt. Robert Foote, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Foote of Wayland, earned his Purple Heart while serving as a track vehicle commander in Vietnam.

Allen, 6, and Mary Dangremond, 4, were shown in a photo with their unusual pet boxer turtle that sported two shells.

Wayland Lions Club President Richard Overmire presided over the group’s annual Christmas party with 65 in attendance. It was noted the club had received the Safari Award for being the top group in the district and one of the best in the state.

The Wayland Board of Education has decided to ask voters to approve a 14-mill increase in an effort to balance the budget and handle the increasing payroll of the teachers. A first-year instructor was making $6,500 annually and the top end of the scale, a teacher with a master’s degree could make as much as $10,400.

Local school and police personnel believe the same 18-year-old man caught turning in a phony bomb scare three weeks did it again this past week after he was released from incarceration.

Carolyn Birchard Learned, daughter of Marie Birchard of Bradley, has been identified as one of about 6,000 outstanding women in America. Mother and daughter have teaching careers on their resumes.

Former longtime teacher Ella Russ, also a 50-year member of the United Methodist Church in Wayland, died at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s office has announced a Deputy Koterwski has completed training in administering a breath test designed to detect drunken driving and they warn motorists the device and officer will be getting a workout.

Caledonia subdued Wayland 53-43 in a battle between Expressway League rivals. Lee Pankratz led the ‘Cats with 16 points and Randy Rairigh added 10.

Conrad Mauchmar and Bob Grafford both scored 10 points, but the St. Therese seventh-graders lost 32-31 to St. Augustine.

Martin cagers lost to Bloomingdale and Gobles, with John Anderson and Ron Kraai scoring in double figures in both contests.

“Marco the Magificent” was showing at the Wayland Theatre and patrons were invited to enjoy free popcorn.

Tom Leonardson and Dale Terry were shown in a photo wrapping up the Hopkins FFA’s swine project.

The Monkees topped the music charts for the third week in a row with “Daydream Believer,” their last No. 1 song ever.

75 Years Ago — Dec. 18, 1942

Mrs. Louis Japinga has taken on the difficult task of being in charge of the local war rationing program, making sure distributions are equitable.

Elmer Kugelard has been busy evenings preparing the village park for an ice skating rink.

The Wayland Rotary Club held its “Ladies Night” celebration, marked by spicy roasts, toasts, stunts and singing for the Rotary Anns.

Six Wayland men have been commissioned recently has lieutenants serving in the military overseas. They include Dr. Wilburn Dolfin, Rollin E. Smith, Blesch Malmstone, Chester Brevitz, George F. Cozzens and Jack Henderson.

The Wayland Fire department quickly took care a fire reported at the home of Reuben Smith, where it was reported some loose materials in the basement somehow ignited.

The house of Ethel Smock on South Main Street has been purchased by the St. Therese parish and construction and remodeling work has begun.

Two new members have been conferred as Rebekahs by the local group, which welcomed 32 women to their meeting.

The Wayland High School varsity basketball team will play at Martin Friday evening.

Eldon Milheim has proven himself to be prolific letter writer to the Globe with his latest installment from the Pacific Theatre of war.

Former Wayland undertaker Amos T. Henika died in Petoskey. He and his brother, Frank, took over the business after their father died. he was born in Wayland in 1869.

“The Christmas Crib” holiday display is the talk of the town. It is being shown at the Wayland State Bank.

Wayland school is starting adult education sessions weeknights in January. Courses include typing, farm machinery, woodworking, Spanish, men’s gym and clothing care and construction.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Paul Kelly and Faye Wray in “Not a Ladies’ Man.”
  • Richard Travis and Elizabeth Fraser in “Buses Roar.”
  • Rosalind Russell, Janet Blair and Brian Ahearne in “My Sister Eileen.”
  • Warren Williams as Lone Wolf in “Counter Espionage.”
  • Bros Karloff and Peter Lorre in “The Boogie Man Will Get You.”

100 Years Ago — Dec. 14, 1917

S. M. Sequist, chairman of the Allegan County Fuel Administration, is warning there is a shortage of oil and coal and he urges residents to “double up” to conserve the substances.

Louise F. Pinckney of Los Angeles and Lt. Glenn Sooy of Wayland were united in marriage, with the Rev. Fay C. Wing officiating.

The Globe inadvertently overlooked Genevieve Shoger in its report last week about scholarly young people in the Wayland school system.

Wayland High School girls are knitting bags for Uncle Sam’s boy serving overseas.

The senior class members are receiving their class rings from local jeweler L.B. Mason.

Miss Ella Russ has taken over duties of teaching in the seventh and eighth grades while regular teacher Miss Hainge recuperates in Kalamazoo from surgery for appendicitis.

Wayland native Leon Schuh has a patent pending on his invention of an automoble lamp he calls “Never in the Dark.”

The Rev. Clinton J. Frank of Moline has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the military while serving overseas.

Lucy Irene Eldred Congdon died Nov. 27 at the age of 83. She had lived in Wayland for 71 years and was a longtime teacher in Wayland, Martin and Leighton Township schools.

A three-day blizzard visited the Wayland area over the weekend. Editor-Publisher George Mosher called it a storm that would have done credit to February or March.”

There have been more auction sales this past fall in the area because of the shortage of grain feeds. This forces many producers to sell animals rather than struggle to get them through the winter.

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