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

25 Years Ago — Jan. 13, 1993

These young lads were members of the St. Therese School junior high basketball team in the mid-1960s.

A bright new rescue truck costing $105,000 has arrived at the Dorr Township Fire Department, which had not purchased a new vehicle since the mid-1970s.

The Wayland Board of Education approved the purchase of a 26 1/2-acre parcel of land just to the south of the high school to provide another outlet from the high school campus on to 133rd Avenue.

Ray Brenner has asked the Martin Township Board for site plan approval for gravel mining on property between 118th and 120th Avenues. If approved, it will be the first such facility in the township.

Pat Staley, in the weekly Soapbox column, expressed her opposition to smoking in public places, writing, “I admit I may be a little prejudiced when it comes to smoking because my sinus and allergies add to my distress, not to mention my fear of getting cancer.”

The Dorr Township Board has decided to delay making any decisions on the Downtown Development Authority’s proposal for a sanitary sewer project along 142nd Avenue between 16th Street and just west of the downtown.

It has been reported that Dorr Township experienced a 31% growth in number of building permits from 1991.

The Wayland Board of Education decided against banning smoking by alternative education students because the teens would be more likely to drop out of school with the prohibition.

Bert Tuinstra brought four complaints to the Wayland School Board, opposing the drug free zone sign, the Michigan Model program for sex education, Channel One and the Parents as Teachers program.

The James Fenton Masonic Lodge No. 45 is selling the upstairs of the downtown building housing the Pizza Ranch and the Gift and Antique Mall. The Masons had been meeting in the upstairs quarters since 1929.

The vastly-improved fortunes of the Wayland boys’ varsity basketball team was more apparent in a 61-56 victory over Cedar Springs, bringing the ‘Cats record to 4-3. Owen Riegler led the way 19 points and a solid defensive effort. Wayland went winless in 21 games the year before.

Cheri Ritz was selected as Class B regional tennis coach of the year after leading the Lady Wildcats to a 9-3 dual match season overall and runner-up in the O-K Gold Conference.

Julie Ainsworth, a Wayland High School graduate and winner of the 1991 Multer Award, averaged 12.5 points per game in basketball for Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky as a sophomore.

Hopkins fell to 0-5 on the season with a 76-30 loss to state-ranked Covert.

Tim Kopp and Scott Kelch both are 10-0 for the season after Wayland copped third place in the Hamilton wrestling invitational.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 10, 1968

Former State Senator Fred Hilbert of Wayland has thrown his hat in the ring for the senate seat he lost in 1964 to Harold Volkema, who died of a heart attack last fall. He will be joined on the Jan. 19 ballot by Ellis Wykstra of Martin, Peter DeKraker of Dorr, Keith VanKoevering, John Walmout, Bernie Grysen and Gary Byker.

Longtime local policeman Clyde Welch died at the age of 70 at Blodgett Hospital. He had been a resident of Bradley.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Phil Regan, a Wayland High School grad, will bring his all-star basketball team for a benefit game Saturday night against the WHS faculty. Regan also was scheduled to speak at a noon luncheon of the Wayland Rotary Club.

Mrs. Donald (Clara) Durfee of Wayland has been elected secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Kalamazoo Child Guidance Clinic.

WHS student Robert Ayers was visited recently by his Swedish “brother” while he had been a foreign exchange student in the summer of 1967.

Two public meetings have been planned for discussion about the Wayland Union school district’s one-year proposal for 14 additional mills. The special election will be Jan. 29.

Stan Burchardt of Wayland was one of 42 recruits to graduate at the Michigan State Police School in Lansing. He will be assigned to the Jackson post. The Wayland post’s newest trooper will be Carl Sholander of Saginaw.

John F. Johnson of Wayland was elected to his second term as deputy instructor for the 10 Masonic Lodges in Allegan County.

Randy Rairigh scored 12 points and Lee Pankratz and Bob Ayers added nine apiece and George Towne and Jerry LaValley combined for 11 rebound, but Wayland lost 58-44 to Plainwell.

Ron Kraai had 19 points and 20 rebounds and Jim Keyser added 13 points, but Martin lost 86-71 in a high-scoring contest against Lawrence.

Covert defeated Hopkins 79-77, despite 25 points from Terry Yonkers, 22 from Don Walker and 16 for John Wilson. The Vikings fell to 1-6 on the season.

Serving in Vietnam are Wayland High School graduates Rich Luyk, David Selzer aboard the USS Demato and Mike Fisher aboard the USS Everett Larson.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: Sean Connery as James Bond in “You Only Live Twice.”
The Women’s Glee Club and handbell Choir of Moody Bible Institute will put together a special concert at Moline Baptist Church.

The Beatles again topped the music charts across the land with “Hello Goodbye.”

75 Years Ago — Jan. 15, 1943

As many as 40 young people at one time have been taking advantage of the excellent condition of the ice skating rink at the city park.

Jack Rugaber, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Rugaber of Wayland, has received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He owns a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Tri-State College of Angola, Ind.

Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Aspinwall of Wayland are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. They were married in their minister’s Wayland home in 1883, but resided for many years in Hopkins.

Mrs. Bowena Delvin of Wayland, known in the area as an expert knitter, has two sons, Robert and James, serving in the military overseas.

Mrs. Herman Laug of Martin will show slides and make a presentation about her recent trip to Mexico to members of the Mothers Club.

Mack Short was re-elected president of the Board of Directors for Wayland State bank for the ninth consecutive year. Other directors are A.E. Weaver, Fred Yeakey, Harry Haywood and Fenton Sebright.

Allegan County Home Extension groups will meet Jan. 20 and 22, with Mrs. Leona McLeod, a clothing expert, at Wayland High School.

Donald Cluver is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Culver on a 15-day furlough from serving in Alaska as a truck driver transporting supplied.

E.W. Tooker of Freeport, a native of Hopkins and a member of a prominent local family died unexpectedly.

The Wayland Parent-Teachers Association was scheduled to meet at the Wayland High School auditorium for a presentation on Yellowstone National Park.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Roy Rogers in “Ridin’ Down the Canyon.”
  • John Hubbard and Martha O’Driscoll in Youth on parade.”
  • Pat O’Brien and George Murphy in “The Navy Comes Thru.”
  • Faye Bainter, Zazu Pitts and W. C. Fields in “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.”

100 years Ago — Jan. 11, 1918

Protests have erupted in some part of the country against proposed “meatless and wheatless” days, maintaining they are an unnecessary sacrifice for the war effort.

Allegan County Ag Agent Alfred Benthall has reported farmers in Michigan are being surveyed about their feelings about using tractors in their fields.

The Grange will have a Farmers Institute at various locations around the county Jan. 14 and 17.

Longtime Hopkins resident Eugene Bartholomew died at his home after a lengthy illness. His funeral will be conducted at his home.

Mrs. Rbecca May and her family has suffered through tragic events recently. Mrs. May died of heart failure just before she was to being retirement, noly four months after the family home was consumed by fire. They have been staying temporarily at the Atwood home.

The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Myring died at the home after a brief illness.

Mr. and Mrs. D.G. Clack are planning to take up residence on Maple Street in Wayland.

The lighting plant in the village had to be shut down temporarily when its foundation gave way. It may take several weeks to construct a replacement.

Leon Pavlowski of Hilliards was killed accidentally when a tree fell on him. He was described as a fine young man who had been married only a year.

Wayland and surrounding areas were assaulted by a fierce snowstorm Sunday. Village officials are promising local residents and bigger and better snow plow soon.

Halloran’s Orchestra will perform at the masquerade ball Jan. 25 at Yeoman’s Hall in Bradley.

Wayland has a furniture factory with displays at the Grand Rapids showroom called “The Wayland Line,” including flower boxes, porch furniture, lawn swings all made from excess wood from the Business Men’s Paper Co. in town.

Ivan Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jay L. Smith of Wayland, and Clarence Calkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Calkins of Wayland, both have obtained permits to enlist in the Naval Reserves.


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