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

25 Years Ago — Dec. 23, 1992

More than 170 barrels of toxic waste have been removed thus far from the former Sunrise Landfill site in Wayland Township and workers clad in chemical-resistant suits have shipped them to Petro-Chem in Detroit for incineration.

Gprdon Lyons of Martin is awaiting trial in Allegan County Circuit Court on 14 counts of violations of storage tire regulations. Lyons was picked up on a fugitive warrant in New Buffalo after failing to appear in court.

The controversy swirling around Hopkins Board of Education member Christine Schwartz has continued to grow. In the wake of Scott Sullivan’s feature story about her refusal to support a millage request and attacking school officials for implementing the Michigan Model for sex education, high school library director M.A. Cook wrote a letter asking the Globe not be sent to the school because, she said, it was rabble rousing on the issue and hurting the community. Anita Kerber also wrote a letter saying, “Personally, I don’t need Chris Schwartz to point out who or what is morally correct, nor do I feel that is the duty of a school board member.”

Editor Nila Aamoth penned an editorial accusing both Schwartz and Clark of not having proper respect for the First Amendment.

The Globe published several feature stories about area families who celebrate Christmas traditions much like their foreign homelands, including the families of Walter Miller, Jose and Christine Blanco, Keith and Debra Smit, the Belkas, Suzanne and Pete Boyd and the Bill Fifelskis, who spend the holiday working.

The Wayland Township Board and Allegan County Road Commission came up with a compromise by sharing the expense of brush clearing, both paying a little more than $500.

The Wayland varsity basketball team, which did not win one game the previous season, scored its second victory, 53-50 over Caledonia. Lee Olger and Robert Moore both netted 14 points for the Wildcats.

The Wayland wrestling team won the Allegan County Invitational and had four individual champions, Tim Kopp, Scott Kelch, Todd Meconis and Jason Stanton.

50 Years Ago — Dec. 20, 1967

The Globe published a front-page feature story about two Wayland High School graduates, Bob Brevitz and Hal Brocker, who earned highly coveted awards for their valor and service in Vietnam. Brevitz told the Globe he is very supportive of the war and believes it will establish a stable democratic government in South Vietnam.

Charles Gardner appeared before the Wayland City Council to outline proposals for local ambulance service after it has become painfully apparent all area funeral homes have gotten out of the emergency services business.

State Senator Harold Volkema of Holland died of a heart attack at his home. He was only 37. Volkema defeated Fred Hilbert of Wayland in 1964 in the Republican primary.

Wayland Union Schools Superintendent James Thomas wrote a front page column attempting to explain why the local school board decided to seek a 14-mill increase in a special election in January. He placed much of the blame on state policies and increasing payroll costs for teachers.

Delos Schad was the $25 first prize winner of the first-ever community Christmas lighting contest, sponsored by the Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce. The Globe also published photos of holiday displays at the Pine Street entrance of the high school and at St. Therese Parish and School.

Senior Kay Graham and juniors Lois Sykes and Joanne Grzeczyk were the only three high school students at Wayland to achieve perfect 4.0 grade point averages for the second semester.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in “Barefoot in the Park.”

The Wayland basketball team chalked up its first victory of the season against Maple Valley, but there were no details.

Tom Kamyszek swished a short jumper at the buzzer to propel the St. Therese eighth grade team to a 27-26 victory over St. Margaret’s of Otsego.

Martin absorbed its fourth loss of the season without a victory by bowing 56-44 to Saugatuck. John Anderson scored 14 points and Ron Kraai 13.

The Wayland chapter of the Girls’ Athletic Association (GAA) defeated Caledonia in three of four sets in volleyball. Leading the attack were Angie Bush, Rebecca Langley and Lesley Wakeman. Girls on both teams joined in a post-game potluck.

75 years Ago — Dec. 25, 1942

Tanis DeVries, 27, of Dorr, was killed in a traffic crash near Moline when a car driven by his brother, Wilmer, skidded into a ditch.

The Anti-Can’t Club held its annual Christmas celebration with 20 members present at the home of Mrs. C.G. Ellinger. They all received 1943 calendars, compliments of the Rec. C.G. Ellinger.

Alva Lewis, who had lived in the Shelbyville area for 67 years, died at his home. A longtime member of the Shelbyville United Methodist Church, he was 88.

Ida Anway Chadwick, an Otsego native who lived in Hilliards for many years, died at the age of 80. She once had worked in the Chicago stock yards.

Allegan County Sheriff Louis Johnson and deputies nabbed two youths who broke into the Pelfrey Store downtown and stole cigarettes and candy and made off with the cash register. To add to a very hectic day, deputies arrested a man who was “promenading up and down the business district with a gun strapped to him.” The youths wound up in the juvenile home and the gun-toting visitor in the county jail.

Students of Miss Elizabeth Bush have been providing musical entertainment lately for meetings of the Wayland Rotary Club.

The new ice skating rink developed by Elmer Kugelard in the village park has earned praise from some citizens, but others have countered that the $11 cost could be better used on other public services.

A New Year’s Eve dance is being planned at the Homrich House in Dorr, with proceeds to go to the St. Stanislaus and St. Therese parishes.

The school milk program has been approved, which means Wayland students now will pay one cent for a half pint of milk.

A special midnight showing of “Laugh Your Blues Away” will be shown on New Year’s Eve at the Wayand Theatre. The musical comedy stars Jinx Falkenberg and Bert Gordon.

Also showing this week at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Don Ameche and Joan Bennett in “Girl Trouble.”
  • Betty Grable, John Payne and Carmen Miranda in “Springtime in Rockies.”
  • Lloyd Nolan and Carol Landis in “Manila Calling.”

100 years Ago — Dec. 21, 1917

Allegan County Clerk William H. Stickel has announced he is sending out draft questionnaires to about 2,000 men who have registered for military service in hopes of answering questions and quelling fears.

The D.W. Shattuck Store is featuring a full line of unbreakable dolls for girls as Christmas gifts.

A surprise 80th birthday party was thrown for George Jeffers of Moline, who had lived here since 1884 since moving from Ohio. The reporter of the event waxed, “The changes that some in life as long must fill our minds with deep concern. The ox is replaced by the automobile, telephones and airships have come in turn. We fly through the air, we hide in the sea and lurk where Leviathon makes his bed. The trolley car spins across the land where no foot of man dared to tread.”

There will be a union Christmas service at the Episcopal Methodist Church Sunday evening, Dec. 23, with the final windup of the Red Cross campaign.

Otsego citizens will have a special election Dec. 31 on the question of whether or not to incorporate as a city.

Mrs. John B. Stockdale lost her purse containing $15, a package and a gold watch. After seeking leads through the newspaper and many telephone calls, she has indicated that all she wants returned is the watch.

Miss Margaret Beall from Wayland High School presented two readings to the Ladies Library Club and classmate Dorothea Baker gave a piano recital by performing Mozart’s Symphony in E Flat.

Among the want ads: “Girl wants to work. Inquire at Bradley Store.”

Third- and fourth-graders at Wayland school are preparing a Christmas program and exhibition of penmanship, art, language and arithmetic. Friday, Dec. 21.

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