Bygone Days: A look at the past in NE Allegan County

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now Historical Library in downtown Dorr)

25 Years Ago — March 13, 1996

The Monterey Township Planning Commission is considering recommending a local ordinance banning residents from keeping exotic pets. Commissioner Robert Caywood said, ”We don’t need lions and tigers in Monterey Township.”

Dorr Township Library unveiled its new Doris Brenner Memorial Children’s Room to rave reviews.

The Wayland Board of Education is taking steps to make sure athletic uniforms and logos show less black and more green, sticking with the traditional school colors.

A hearing has been scheduled in Dorr Township to outline slowing the spread of the gypsy moths and saving local trees.

It was no surprise that voter turnout was low for the Hopkins and Martin Village elections. Mary Howard and Larry Switek were elected to trustee seats on the Village Council at Hopkins.

Wayland Junior School penny wars raised about $1,700 for the Michigan Juvenile Diabetes Association.

A feature story by Sebastian Blanco was published about Don Latta, 39, who has overcome dyslexia to learn to read.

Tonya Hatch has been introduced as the newest trooper at the Michigan State Police post in Wayland.

Josh Conley finished third in the Class D state wrestling tournament and her broke the school record for victories in a season with 55. Clippers Don Bailey and Matt Noble both finished eighth.

Dorr Township officials are asking for a mid-decade census because they believe Dorr is experiencing tremendous population growth, which would affect state aid.

Hopkins defeated Gobles 66-35 and Kalamazoo Christian to capture the Class C district basketball crown. Tim Kisner became the school’s all-time career scoring leader and Chris Johnson and Scott Langlois made important contributions.

Richie Guerrant scored 21 points Ropbert Mitchell 22, but Martin’s season came to an end at the hands of Wyoming Lee in Class D districts. The Clippers finished at 13-8.

Wayland’s B. J Predum finished sixth in the state in the Class B divining competition.

Lucille Larr of Hopkins, active in the VFW Auxiliary andf Hopkins United Methodist Church, died at Allegan General Hospital. She was 91.

50 Years Ago — March 10, 1971

Wayland Schools Supt. James Thomas said the state’s decision to make cuts to public education will have a negative impact on local schools, estimating will lose about $1.4 million in the next year.

Boyd Heckert, Ted Case, Tom Marks and Cathy Siefert make up this year’s Wayland High School Quiz Bowl team featured in an upcoming match against Wyoming Lee on WZZM-TV.

The Hopkins Village Council agreed to raise the salary of the village president to $500 and trustees to $200 apiece.

A workman from Grand Rapids was injured in an oil tank explosion on 24th Street south of 142nd Avenue in Dorr Township. Charles Helden Jr. was rescued by Dorr Fire Chief Bernie Damveld using an attic ladder.

The home occupied by Mrs. Channing Chase and son Donald was destroyed by fire, leaving them with no clothing or household items.

Former Leighton Township woman Mrs. James Ledden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Francisco, was honored by the United Presbyterian Women in California.

Brent Hale, son of Mr. and Mars. Larry Hale of Shelbyville, was selected as Trooper the Day by the 101st Airborne Feb. 19 in Vietnam.

Wayland Township Supervisor Clayton Jackson has announced the Township Board is exploring possibilities of establishing a planning commission.

Joseph Trudeau died of a heart attack while shoveling snow at his home in Wayland Township. An engineer with the Bradford-White Corp. in Middleville, he was 54.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: “Paint Your Wagon,” with Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.

Mrs. Harry Chachulski, in a letter to the editor, asked, “If give the chance to legalize marijuana, would you vote to do it?” Most of her letter contended it’s a dangerous drug that needs to be kept away from people.

Fred Greenawalt penned a letter asking his friends and neighbors to put pressure on Leighton Township Board members to permit the location of the proposed sewer treatment plant lagoons north of the city.

The Hopkins FFA had the champion and reserve champion entries at the annual Ottagen Livestock Show.

75 Years Ago — March 15, 1946

Candidates for the state primary election must file petition in April. The primary elections are scheduled for June 18.

Harold (Red) Calkins received widespread recognition for showing two color slides of a woodchuck in Chicago.

S special meeting of the Allegan County Board of Supervisors has been called to discuss the ongoing financial crisis of the County Health Department. A total of $16,593 is being sought for the department to meet its needs.

The Village of Martin is petitioning the County Board of Supervisors to incorporate as a village and noted one of the reasons is that a new aluminum factory plans to come to Martin.

Only 33 people voted in the village election Monday in Wayland.

The Wayland Grange plans to have a debate on President Truman’s proposal for a national health insurance plan.

Dorothy Larson has been announced as valedictorian for the Wayland High School Class of 1946. She achieved a perfect cumulative grade point average of 4.0.

Area businessmen are being invited to a special meeting to hear Office of Veterans Affairs explanations of government “on the job” training programs.

The Wayland High School Vocational Educational Agriculture Department will be closed from March 15 to July 1 while Mr. Prescott attends Michigan State College for the spring term.

The Hopkins Blue Devils won their third consecutive district basketball tournament by defeating Byron Center 39-23 and Martin 39-36.

Bandleader Orrin Tucker will be bring his ensemble to the Dixie Pavilion March 26.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Allan Lane and Linda Stirling in “The Topeka Terror.”
  • Fred Astaire, Frank Morgan and Lucille Bremer in “Yolanda and the Thief.”
  • William Gargan and Nancy Kelly in “Follow that Woman.”
  • Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith in “San Antonio.”


100 Years Ago — March 11, 1921

The Allegan County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation by the deputy state highway commissioner about plans to complete the Dixie Highway through through Wayland, Martin and Gun Plain townships Allegan County by filling in more than 10 miles of gaps with cement roadway. Estimated cost is $360,000, about $90,000 of which would come from the county.

The Congregational Church will be host for a Sunday afternoon concert, featuring selections from this year’s Musical Memory contest.

G.T. Hines, in a presentation for Grange, said, “We can’t sell the milk and eat the cream. All the farmers have to stick together.”

Miss Fannie Hoyt sang “Bonnie Dundee” and presented a sketch on Victor Hugo’s “Toilers of the Sea” to members of the Ladies Library Club.

This week’s selections featured in the Music Memory contest are “Humoresque” by Anton Dvorak and Edward Greig’s “Anitra’s Dance.”

About 35 people attended the Poverty Party in Ohio Corners Saturday evening.

Harry Clack spent a great deal of time recently in Cuba representing the VanCamp Packing Co. He had the pleasure of dining with the president of Cuba.

Beet sugar growers in Hopkins held a meeting with Frederic Hilbert and decided not to sign a contract with area sugar manufacturers.

The remains of the old liberty pole, erected in 1888 and made of two trees spliced together, were extricated by workers.

Mrs. Horace Rodriguez, the former Katie Smith, died at an Ann Arbor hospital of appendicitis. She has surgery to have her appendix removed and was believed to be recovering, but then took a turn for the worse. A Wayland High School graduate, she was attending the University of Michigan and had just gotten married. She was only 20.

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