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

25 Years Ago — Feb. 10, 1993

Local school superintendents indicate they don’t believe Gov. John Engler’s plan to solve public schools’ financial woes will work. James Cooper of Hopkins said, “We have to get away from property tax dependency.” Bob Brenner said Wayland would lose almost $3 million in three years and Iris Williams reported Martin would lost almost $800,000 at the same time.

Several Martin parents, led by Marie Knight and including varsity basketball coach David Nightingale object to a literature class that includes promotion of negative spirits, such as the witches’ scene in Shakespeare’s “MacBeth,” Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” and Elizabeth Bowens’ “The Demon Lover.”

The community is invited to a farewell event for the retiring Rev. Brewster Willcox at the United Church of Wayland.

Rusty Dutkiewicz of Dorr added her voice to opposition of the implementation of the Michigan Model in Hopkins schools, insisting it’s the state trying to control sex education.

The Wayland Fire Department is working on a project to restore a rescue truck at a cost of about $17,000 through Village Auto Body of Dorr and Allied Truck Co.

Lloyd Steeby of Gun Lake spearheaded the rescue of two snowmobilers, Mark Leep of Gun Lake and Tom Coffindaffer of Allegan, whose vehicles fell through the ice.

Area schools are making preparations to comply with new state regulations that insist all school teachers, staff and administrators receive criminal background checks.

Kim Hough, a 1982 graduate of Wayland High School, is living in New York City and recently appeared in a Madonna video.

Though FFA membership in Hopkins plummeted to just 15 in the wake of the loss of the program advisor, a comeback is being celebrated with new advisor Robert Brown and 58 members, one of whom is State FFA President Jason Schut.

The Wayland varsity basketball team has bounced back from an 0-21 season in 1992, but now has absorbed five consecutive losses and is 5-9, despite strong performances by Robert Moore, Matt Barghan and Lee Olger.

Hopkins has struggled even more, now at 1-11 overall and 0-7 in the River Valley Conference, despite some stellar three-point shooting from Ryan Rewa.

Martin has improved to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the SAC. Freshman Richie Guerrant continues to impress, scoring 23 points and gathering 15 rebounds in one victory.

Lawrence shocked the Martin volleyball team with a 15-9, 15-3 sweep in a dual match, bringing the two teams to a tie for the op of the league standings at 9-1.

Wayland High School was host for a junior cheerleading clinic, led by coach Diane Martus and assistant Pam Merren.

50 Years Ago — Feb. 7, 1968

Wayloand Board of Education Wally Wakeman struck a nerve in his public statements from the previous week about standing against spending public tax dollars on private religious education. Rusty and Dick Dutkiewicz wrore a letter that asserted, “when the public schools are in such financial trouble with all the money they get, the non-public schools are practically bankrupt… If our (religious) schools go belly up and we have to send our children to public schools, where God is outlawed, we will hate it more than anyone.”

Julie Kotrba also wrote, “Public aid to non-public schools could be used to broaden the scope of parental choice.”

Former Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher, in his weekly column, noted that a Rotary Club dinner meeting in Florida drew 62 residents from out of state, including 26 states and two other local residents, Naman Frank and Russell Rugaber.

Cub Scout Mark Dewey, son of former Wayland residents Mr. and Mrs. Pete Dewey of Grand Rapids, was lauded in a public ceremony for saving a boy who fell through the ice in a river.

A committee is being formed in Hopkins to consider future needs of the local school district, according to Supt. R.G. Anderson.

Ted Green, chairman of the Wayland Centennial Committee, has announced celebration members appointed, including City Manager Blaine Bacon, Wade Greenawalt, Richard Canen, Richard Clack, David Low, Mrs. Kenneth DeWeerd, Richard Overmire, Gene Weber and Vince Ford. A celebration of Wayland’s 100th year of incorporation will be held in August.

Four Wayland High School students, Lois Sykes, jack Konecny, Kay Graham and Tom Marks, earned all-As during the last marking period.

Congressman Ed Hutchinson, a Republican from Fennville, has announced he will seek re-election to his third term.

Under the front page headline “Annual Dance to Benefit Retarded,” was a story about a charity dance that would include Irv Helmey, Bill Mauchmar and colleagues for the Terrible Troubadors providing the music.

Fire damaged the farm house of Gordon Culver near Shelbyville after a water heater exploded.

Randy Rairigh scored 14 points and Bob Ayers 10, but the Wildcat hoopsters were defeated by Caledonia 56-42. Lee Pankratz and Rick Middleton both had 18 points, but Wayland lost to Middleville, 59-56.

Martin’s overall season record fell to 3-9 with a 63-51 loss to Gobles.

Bob Hennip and Marvin Moll co-wrote a story about Hopkins losing 52-51 to Bloomingdale in double overtime.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: “Rosie,” starring Rosalind Russell and Sandra Dee.

Pvt. Rex Greenwalt, son of Fred and Effie Greenawalt of Wayland, has completed combat leader training, and appears to be headed soon to serve in Vietnam.

Paul Muriat and his Orchestra captured the No. 1 slot in the music charts with “Love Is Blue.”

75 Years Ago — Feb. 12, 1943

Allegan County Sheriff Louis Johnson will be at Village Hall every Tuesday to receive applications for renewing automobile license plates.

As the Wayland Village Caucus approaches, Village President Rollo G. Mosher, also publisher of the Wayland Globe, has indicated he does not want to serve another three-year term. “I feel it is time to quit and turn the heaches over to someone else,” he wrote. He cited a shortage of help in his newspaper business and said, “We do not feel we have set the world afire as village executive,” though he pointed to accomplishments such as getting new furniture for village offices, paving Highway 131 north of town and purchasing the land for the future State Police post.

The former Doll House Inn on South Main Street has been identified as the location of the local Red Cross headquarters. Owner Mrs. E. J. Smith is donating the building until it can be reopened again as a restaurant.

James L. Dean, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Dean, has graduated as an Air Force cadet at Sheffield Base, Texas.

Albert W. Preapp, a longtime local businessman, died Feb. 5 at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. He was a member of the Wayland United Methodist Church and James Fenton Masonic Lodge.

John Iciek Sr., 84, died at his farm home in Hopkins.

Dorothy Fleser, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Fleser of Moline, has announced she has joined the WAVES. After graduating from Wayland High School in 1939, she worked in the Peffley Sweep Shop downtown.

Cornelia Burch, 75, a Hopkins resident for the past 54 years, died at her home.

Ruth Crisman, daughter of Mrs. Hattie Chrisman of Hopkins, has signed up to join the Army WACS program in motor transport duty.

Donald Barlow of Hopkinsburg has graduated from pilot training at the Marfa Air Force Base,

The Wayland chapter of the FFA has indicated that poultry and eggs are not included in the foods being rationed for the war effort.

Wayland High School will welcome both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams for a Friday evening of competition and entertainment.

Paul McNutt of the Manpower Agency is proposing that all married men with children enter the work force in the war industry or face being drafed into military service.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Roy Rogers in “Heart of the Golden West.”
  • Virginia Gilmore and Roger Ellison in “That Other Woman.”
  • Gene Tierney, Preston Foster and John Sutton in “Thunder Birds.”
  • Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in “Road to Morocco.”

100 Years Ago — Feb. 8, 1918

The Globe’s front page included stories about the Women’s Army Corp (WACs) and rehabilitation of servicemen maimed in the war overseas.

The D.W. Shattuck store ad this week” “Herbert Hoover says with each purchase of what flour we must purchase a certain amount of substitutes — corn meal, oat meal, rolled oats, corn starch, buckwheat (Bowens Mills) and head rice.”

While hitching up his horses to go to the milk condensary, Ed Sulaski was kicked in the face by one of the animals, causing injury.

Services in the Congregational Church have been temporarily discontinued because of the lack of heating fuel.

Rural mail carrier Fred O. Birchard has had his troubles… as he strives hard to make his route.” The roads in some areas were reported as virtually impassible after the blizzard.

The Farmers Club will meet Feb. 26 at the home of Oscar Douglas to discuss a proposed resolution that the condensary is a paying proposition to the community.

Mrs. Arnold Frank entertained 34 members of the Dorr Center Red Cross organization.

The annual ice harvest has commenced in the Wayland area.

Miss Ethel Grinage, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. Grinage of Martin, has died and the funeral will be at the family home.

Frank Suchovsky, brother of Albert, who lives east of town, has received a patent for his invention of a shield protector for lifeboats.

The Young Peoples group of the Bradley Congregational Church will have a valentines box social.

Plans are under way for a county-wide patriotic rally on Lincoln’s birthday Feb. 12 at the new auditorium in Allegan. Dr. Edwin Trefz will be guest speaker on “Back from the Trenches,” an account of his experiences in France.

About 30 girls are enrolled in the new Home Economics or “Domestic Science” course at Wayland High School this semester.

“Seeveral students desire a place to room and board for the rest of the winter. Any families feeling able to take on one or two, please call the superintendent.”


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