Bygone Days; A brief look at Wayland area’s past, Part 169

25 Years Ago — June 13, 1990

Lee Pankratz, Lynn Mandaville, S Main looking NMike Browand and Roxie Muczynski were the winners of the contests for two, four-year, one, two-year and one, one-year seats on the Wayland Board of Education. Karen Slater and Paul Sebright won four-year east at Hopkins and voters approved (298 to 179) a request to override the Headlee rollback of three-quarters of a mill.

The Wayland Township Planning Commission is recommending a change for required frontage for property zoned agricultural from 500 to 330 feet.

Wayland teachers approved a new three-year contract that included salary raises of 5.4, 5.65 and 5.9 percent. Jeff Salisbury, a member of the bargaining team, called the negotiations, “intense, but not tense.” The starting pay for a first-year teacher eclipsed $20,000 annually for the first time and the average salary was said to be $29,631.

Leighton Township Supervisor DarVanderArk reported Dorr and Leighton townships are looking into prospects for sewer expansion because of recent requests for an industrial park along 10th Street north of Moline and for a 250-unit mobile home park on 10th Street south of Moline between 144th and 142nd Avenues.

The Village of Martin has been promised that the Carriage Stop Restaurant, an eyesore in the community for a long time, will be moved by July 15 of the building can be demolished.

Allegan County District Judge Harry Beach and Allegan attorney John Watts have announced their candidacies for 48th Circuit Judge, a position agreed to be created by the State Legislature at the requests of the County Board of Commissioners and Circuit Judge George Corsiglia because of increasing caseload.

The husband and wife policing team of Mike and Cora Goff was granted a 5% pay increase by the Village of Martin.

Michigan Bell finally pulled the plug on the old telephones system in the city and made the switch to a new system, according to local technician Jim Langley.

Marshall Plastics is making its third request for a tax abatement from the Village of Martin, and second in just one year. The firm won a tax break on an $880,000 facility expansion project in June 1989.

Jenny Ritz, Becky Long and Monica Holbrook have been named to the all-conference softball team and Heather Staley earned honorable mention accolades.

Wayland High School seniors David Todd (U.S. Navy), Mark Troy (Air Force) and Missy Bratsburg (West Point) all have been awarded military school appointments.

50 years Ago — June 9, 1965

The Rev. Jay L. Ward of the Martin and Shelbyville United Methodist churches, has announced his retirement after serving for 37 years in the ministry. He was named the outstanding rural minister in the Grand Rapids district in 1959 and he co-founded the Michigan Bird Banders. He and his wife are relocating to Sanford, Fla.

With the class motto of “Today we learn, tomorrow we lead,” the Wayland High School Class of 1965 held commencement in the high school gym on Pearl Street. Joanne Gilbert gave the valedictory address and Rhoda Edwards the salutatory address. Tom Tarnutzer and Glenda Reed were presented with Legion awards, Lee Pepper won the athletic award, Betty Spencer citizenship award, Bill Heyboar industrial arts, Diane Moser art, Russ Tobolic speech and Dean Truax band.

Dr. Gerald Vandevoord, Dr. Allen B, Dangremond, Huse Johnson and Mrs. Joseph McCarthy will be the four candidates running for one school board post in Wayland in the June 14 election.

“Moline on the Grow” will be the theme for the annual Moline Community Fair, which will be chaired by Dave Fennema.

The Allegan County Youth Home’s name will be changed to Weston Hall in honor of the late Harold Weston, probate judge, who died earlier this year.

Bob Bell, owner of the Dog ‘N Suds Restaurant on South Main Street, complained to the Village Council about “jack rabbit starts” and other motorist infractions occurring at the circular drive around the eatery and asked for a local ordinance to handle the nuisances.

The 31st annual Hooker School reunion has been scheduled for for June 19 at the old school house.

Two local queen contests have lured celebrities to take part. WOOD-TV new broadcaster Dar Hollindrake and State Rep. James Farnsworth will help crown Miss Hopkins and the Miss Dorr pageant will feature appearances by Miss Jean of WOOD-TV’s “Romper Room” and WZZM-TV teen disc jockey Dick McKay.

Lightning knocked out a transformer on Dahlia Street and caused Wayland residents to be without power for nearly three hours.

75 Years Ago — June 7, 1940

Some of the drivers of those big oil 
trucks that ramble through this cow town are
going to get a prize they won’t relish if
 they do not slow down as they cruise in
the vicinity of the traffic light. Time may
be valuable, but human life is still more
precious and we are not going to tolerate
it here in Wayland.

Two or three boat loads of members of the local Rod and Gun club went to Gun Lake Tuesday evening to spear carp, dogfish, gar pike and other noxious fish and came back with a small trailer load to show for their efforts.

One of the men, Clifford Averill, ruined a good spear on one of the carp, which was about the size of a young hog. It is regrettable that Gun Lake cannot be netted so as to rid the lake of the hoardes of these fish which infest its waters.

Wayland’s (Cow Town) program of summer activities got off to an auspicious beginning when the first program of the summer-long season was put on by the merchants themselves last Wednesday evening before a mighty big crowd of folks.

Led by the Wayland Drum and Bugle Corps, following a short concert by Wayland’s band, practically all of the town’s business men, clothed in white shirts, trousers, a big western type straw hat and each carrying a milk pail, marched in a parade.

Next week the program will be Jimmy Hayes of M.S.C. and his mechanical cow. Jimmy has a great message for dairymen but has a lot of fun mixed in with his talk. Make it a point to be here.

Running water means money, health and happiness to you and your family. Why have mother carry 37 tons of water for kitchen use every year? Running water will lighten the wash day burden. Running water is essential to better health. Running water answers the problem of fire protection. Running water adds many dollars to your farm income. Save with running water. See your local dealer (for) an Electric Water System. Saves and Serves!

June’s arrival last week has somewhat changed the weather picture and we are hoping it will make up for May’s shortcomings this year. Local farm work is slowly coming back on normal schedule.

100 Years Ago — June 9, 1915

The funeral for F.E. Pickett, formerly of Hopkins Township and west of Wayland, was expected to attract a large crowd. Pickett came to this area from New York in 1865 after serving in the Civil War at Antietum, Chancellorville and Fredericksburg, settling in Hopkins and taking a wife in 1870. He later moved to a farm west of Wayland and started a cheese making factory. He also taught school during winter months and had a mercantile business with his brother, E.W. Pickett.

Thomas Tobin, whose farm had burned earlier in the spring, reported that his rebuilding efforts were proceeding apace in Leighton Township.

The Improvement League will serve ice cream at the old store this Saturday and members hope to offer the program every Wednesday and Saturday in efforts to raise money for the Improvement Fund.

Miss Mabel Foster has closed her rural school for the summer and promises to be back for another academic year starting in September. She, parents and students had an end of the year picnic at Selkirk Lake.

The Bradley Thimble Club met at the home of Mrs. Ted Holmes with 10 present and “dainty” refreshments of sandwiches, cookies, caramel cake and coffee were served. The group will meet June 18 at the Kalamazoo home of Mrs. Blanchard. Members are to meet at the interurban station to take the 9:27 a.m. car.

Mrs. Mrs. Jay Cheesbro died at John Robinson Hospital in Allegan. Her funeral was to held held at the home of one of her three sons, Earl.

Moving pictures at Frank’s Opera House will feature “A Redskin’s Reckoning” and comedies “Pass Key No. 2” and “A Monkey Cabaret.”

The ninth annual Wayland High School class reunion had only 39 attend because invitations and publicity was a bit late. Better communications to get the word out next year to the some 200 members was promised. Officers include President Ester Martin, Vice President Rollo Mosher, Recording Secretary Florence Yeakey, Corresponding Secretary Inez M. Slas and Treasurer Hattie Wallbrecht.

Mrs. Hattie Fales presented a paper to the Wayland Grange, advancing the proposition that “There is More Pleasure in Living 50 Years Ago than Today.”


  • I was looking around the internet for info on BIll Merchant. I was a Wayland resident and really enjoyed finding this site. I loved the Bygone Days articles. I was a 1966 graduate of Wayland High School and find my heart is still with Wayland even though I have been in G.R. for 50 years. Thanks for this site.

    • I remember you, Ruth Klein. Please forgive me, but I remember most was that you were very tall. Was it you younger brother who later starred for Wayland in basketball? Thanks for getting in touch. As you know, I’m also a 1966 WHS grad and this is what I do in my retirement after more than 40 years in community journalism. I will be emcee for a trivia-packed 50th reunion next year in which I will play songs only from August 1962 to June 1966.

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