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

25 Years Ago — Jan. 6, 1993

Jim’s Radio & TV, owned by local historian Jim Levandosky, did business on West Superior Street in 1973 and 1974.

A few customers inadvertently were locked inside the post office one day just before Christmas. They were freed from captivity shortly afterward, but at least one complained vocally.

David Babbitt was elected chairman of the Allegan County Board of Commissioners and John Campbell was chosen vice chairman.

A public hearing on the Downtown Development Authority’s plans for road widening and a sewer project along 142nd Avenue has been delayed until later this month. The Allegan County Road Commission is considering installing a turning lane on 142nd from 16th Street to west of the downtown at the railroad tracks.

Letters to the editor supporting and criticizing controversial Hopkins Board of Education member Christine Schwartz continued to pour into the Globe. Donna Jean Stankey said she offended by Editor Nyla Aamoth’s comments about Hopkins School Media Center Director M.A. Cook in the wake of Scott Sullivan’s feature story about Schwartz. She said she was tired of reading about Schwartz, whom she said “tolerates one opinion — her own.” Elizabeth Maher insisted Schwartz “is nowhere close to being a heroine.” Schwartz’s husband, Michael, defended her opposition to the schools’ “subtle indoctrination of humanistic philosophies.”

Leone Smith has complained to the Wayland Township the neighboring West Michigan Christian Encampment that was ordered to excavate its property for a septic system, causing the flooding of her basement and property near East Lake.

The Wayland Township Board has decided to postpone improvements on Second Street between Hayes Road and 131st Avenue. Ebersole Environmental Center Director Paul Babledelis announced his opposition to any project if it involves clearing trees.

Steven Scott Kimble, 21, of Wayland, was killed in a traffic crash when his car struck a tree near the Kent-Allegan County line in Byron Center.

Rich Dame scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but Hopkins lost 62-52 to West Michigan Christian to go 0-3 on the season.

Donal Mellon, a member since 1966, was selected as Lion of the year by the local club.

Martin defeated Hopkins in straight sets in volleyball, 15-11 and 15-9. Sealing the victory was six straight service points scored by Teresa Hazen.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 3, 1967

Donald Booth, manager of the Public Affairs Department for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, will be guest speak at the Wayland Chamber’s annual dinner at the Masonic Lodge.

Wayland Board of Education President Wallace Wakeman explained to voters in a front page letter the school district’s seeking 14 mills for one year in order to avoid a budget deficit. Former Editor-Publisher Rollo Mosher, in his “Observations Here and There” column expressed his dismay over the proposal by opining, “Something is wrong with the schools of today.”

The deadline for filing petitions to run for three seats on the Wayland City Council is Jan. 13. The terms of Councilmen Arnold Wilde, Walt Gurney and Hugh DeWeerd are expiring. The election will be April 1.

The Globe had many accounts of New Year’s parties around town, including the annual dance at the Knight of Columbus Hall in Hilliards. Residential parties were hosted by the R.J. Nicolais, the Rusell Hunsbergers, the Ken Hoyts, the Donald Schwartzes, the Phil Renos, the Lee Millers, the Walter Gambles and Bill Kesslers. Also included was a party for Mrs. A.H. Snook, who is leaving soon for Spain.

Postmaster Richard L. Finkbeiner tried to explain to postal patrons why postal rates were increasing. The price for first-class mail went up to six cents for one ouce and 10 cents for air mail.

Jame Panyrek, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Panyrek of Gun Lake, was on furlough from Vietnam from serving a year in the military. He’ll spent another year stateside in Massachusetts.

Also home for the holidays were Gerald A. Kunard after a two-month stint in the Demilitarized Zone and and Kenneth Engel.

Mrs. Harold Scheerhurn was elected president of the Shrinking Violets Dorr TOPS Club chapter.

Mrs. Irvin Helmey was scheduled to show picture of her recent trip to Europe to members of the Ladies Library Club.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: “Clambake” starring Elvis Presley.

The two Lillians and Elton Calkins planned to show pictures to Wayland Grangers of their trip to the National Grange at their next meeting.

The Beatles took over the No. 1 slot among the nation’s top 40 tunes with “Hello Good-bye.”

75 Years Ago — Jan. 8, 1943

Gene Pawloski, in a letter to the Globe about Army life in Florida, used the word “jactitation,” prompting Editor-Publisher Rollo Mosher to look it up in the dictionary, where he learned it means “boasting.”

Mosher, in his weekly column, wrote, “We might mention to be sure and keep the dial on your (automobile) speedometer under 35.”

Mosher also noted that the Office of Censorship said, “We ask editors not to publish troop identifications and parents and relatives not to reveal them. Don’t give the enemy anything that may lengthen the war.”

The topic for the next meeting of the local Grange will be “How can we produce more in 1943 with less help and equipment?”
Mrs. C. Willis was very happy to report she was able to speak briefly over the telephone with her son, Ted, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where he was on leave after serving in the South Pacific. Young Ted said he had met up with fellow Wayland soldiers Bob Cozzens and Floyd House.

Former local merchant Eddie Ray Pryor, 72, died at his home in Wayland, where he had lived for the past 28 years.

Lt. Chester Brevitz married Helen Ritchie in El Paso, Texas, where he was on furlough from military service.

Raymond Smith was commissioned as a second lieutenant and has been assigned to serve with the Signal Corps.

Roll call for the next meeting of the Wayland Garden Club was to be answered by “A winter bird you know.”

Cpl. Carl Ryno, former manager of the local Kroger store, was home on furlough over the holidays.

Mrs. William Herb was taken by Archer Ambulance to the Pinerest Sanitarium in Cutlerville for treatment of a nervous condition.

Richard L. “Ty” Finkbeiner has graduated with honors from Gunner School in Harlingten, Texas, and was promoted to staff sergeant.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan and Joan Leslie in “Sergeant York.”
  • Victor Mature and Lucille Ball in “Seven Days Leave.”
  • Leslie Howard in “Mister V.”

100 Years Ago — Jan. 4, 1918

The Globe published a front page story honoring women professionals, focusing on Drs. Caroline Finley, Alice Gregory and Anna vanSholly for the service overseas in the war. Yet the women of the United States still did not have the right to vote.

There were many reports of holiday season parties, such as those hosted by the Frank Bastians with a pig roast, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ayers with a turkey dinner, Mrs. and Mrs. Elmer Lohrberg, and Frank Morris on furlough from military service.

Mrs. John Wisniewski were thrown from their buggy by runaway horses while returning from a church service in Hilliards. Only the daughter sustained injuries.

The Junior League Service was to be held at the Methodist Church, with the sermon topic of “Consider the Lillies.”

John J. Damoth, a pioneer of the village, died of old age at his home , where the funeral take place days later.

Mrs. Fay C. Wing underwent surgery for her gall bladder at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, with her physician, Dr. E. O. Hanlon, observing.

The Christian Church has accepted an offer to use the Methodist Church while its heating plant undergoes repairs.

D.G. Clack was back home on Maple Street after suffering injuries in a fall from a scaffold. He had been taken by interurban train to Butterworth Hospital for treatment.

Lee Somers, a 1915 graduate of Wayland High School, was visiting during the holidays from Reedsville, Mo.

New Year’s was a genuinely stormy day, and business for the Helvetia Milk Condensary nearly was suspended. regardless, the hauling of milk was not interrupted because “it never fails, rain of shine.”


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