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 20, 1996

Paws with a Cause will have a grand opening for its new national headquarters on Division just north of Wayland.

Steve Bird, acting principal at Sycamore Elementary in the Hopkins District, has decided to resign at the end of the academic year and return to the classroom teaching metal shop and technical education.

Wayland City Police Chief Dan Miller has thrown his hat in the ring for the Allegan County Sheriff’s post.

The Hopkins boys’ varsity basketball team earned its first regional championship since 1953 by defeating Watervliet and then coming from behind to top Three Oaks River Valley. The Vikings were down 49-38 with just under five minutes to go when junior star Tim Kisner scored 18 of his 37 points, including 12 of 13 free throws.

Leighton Township is witnessing apartment complexes as new additions to the mostly rural and agricultural landscape, particularly in the Green Lake area.

Jim Spykerman has joined Yankee Springs government as zoning administrator and will be paid up to $7,000 per year.

Joan Medendorp, in this week’s Soapbox, took umbrage with Gov. John Engler’s contention that high school students should have gotten it right the first time and proceeded to eliminate adult education. She called his stance, “arrogant and elitist.”

Letter writers Janet Jonker and Betty Terry offered their support for Medendorp’s position, maintaining adult education has helped many who deserved a second chance.

Wayland High School graduate Ann Iciek is closing in on a record for career assists at Hillsdale College, approaching fellow former Wildcat Coralie Ritz Miller. The Chargers’ co-captain., she is averaging almost 17 points per game.

Alfred Rice Jr. of Selkirk Lake, retired transportation supervisor for Martin Schools, died at Pennock Hospital in Hastings. He was 63.

50 Years Ago — March 17, 1971

The Globe’s biggest front page headline this week was “Movie Era Ending Here,” as the Wayland Theatre has announced it will close March 28. Wayland’s first movie house came to town in 1910 when Naman Frank opened Frank’s Opera House and showed a lot of silent films. The current building, erected in 1938, will be demolished.

A petition was presented to the Hopkins Board of Education to build an elementary school north of 138th Avenue in Dorr Township to ease overcrowded conditions.

The Wayland High School band, under the baton of Steve Working, earned an outstanding rating at the Michigan High School Band and Orchestra Association District 10 festival at Lakewood High School.

Leighton Township Supervisor Wayne Steeby has announced legal action will be taken against the City of Wayland using township property south of 137th Avenue to install sewer lagoons and a wastewater treatment plant.

A special election March 29 will ask voters in the Wayland Union School District to approve a 6.4-mill renewal. Four precincts will be used in the voting for the first time.

Pirl Truax of Hopkins Township, machine operator for Pet Milk for 36 years, retiring in 1953, died at Pipp Hospital in Plainwell. He was 83.

Mrs. Tom Steele of Martin was elected chair of the Allegan County Board of Canvassers. Helen Jane Helmey of Wayland is one of the members.

George E. Maker, 27, of Byron Center, was killed after being thrown from his snowmobile in Yankee Spring Township.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: Walt Disney’s “Son of Flubber.”

Mary Hooker is student director of the junior play, “We Shook the Family Tree,” starring Pat Slomski, A.J. Predum, Sheryl Lee and Mike Johnson.

A committee has been formed for the WHS Band Parents’ annual Variety Show April 16-17. Allen Halloran is president of the group and Mrs. Paul Browand is chairwoman of the show.

The late Janis Joplin scored her first and only No. 1 hit posthumously, “Me and Bobby McGee.”

75 Years Ago — March 22, 1946

The Wayland High School Girls’ Sextette, Betty Clack, Berdine Chapple, Dorothy Wisniewski, Joan Baugh, Ruth DeYoung and Margaret Edwards, performed for the Rotary Club luncheon.

The Allegan County Board of Supervisors has voted to increase its contribution to the Health Department ir order to let it qualify for a Kellogg Fund grant.

Merle Peffley and the Rev. John Miles are co-chairing the Red Cross drive for Wayland Township.

Gerald Carver, 40, died two weeks after being in an auto accident near Muskegon.

The Globe is sponoring a program to have all local children photographed through Woltz Studios of Des Moines, saying, “We just want pictures take of all the youngsters we can get.” There is no compulsory purchase. The photos will be taken at the Legion Hall April 3.

William Schuh, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norris Schuh, has returned home after serving for more than a year in Germany.

Mrs. Alfred Snook gave book reviews to the Ladies Library Club on “The King’s General,” and the song “Spring Will Soon Be Here” was sung by Ethel Deardorff and Dorothy Chrisman.

Grange Roll Call was answered by indicating “The first electrical appliance I would like to buy.”

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Sir Aubrey Smith and Erich Von Stroheim in “Scotland Yard Investigates.”
  • Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes and Dale Evans in “Along the Navajo Trail.”
  •  James Craig, Ava Gardner and Frances Gifford in “She Went to the Races.”


100 Years Ago — March 18, 1921

Frank Chamberlain, supervisor, Leander Chapple, clerk, and Edward Russell, treasurer, were Republican nominations submitted in Wayland Township.

Mark Beall outpolled L.A. Carner 159-57 for village president in the caucuses.

This week’s selections for the Musical Memory contest are Mendelssohn’s “Spring Song” and Paderewski’s “Minuet.” The final public concert for the contest will be at the Methodist Episcopal Church and the final test will be at Wayland High School.

Mrs. George O’Dell of Grand Rapids spoke to the Ladies Library Club about her trip to England and described post-war conditions there. The roll call was answered by “Improvements we would like to see in Wayland.”

Proceeds from the senior play will help defray costs of this year’s graduation ceremonies.

The home economics classes have completed their assignments for preparing hot lunches and now are beginning studies of sewing.

A new local baseball team is being formed. Lawrence Waite is captain and Lawrence Broughner is “Booster.”

Fifth- and sixth-graders enjoyed a marshmallow roast at Edward’s Hill.

Former Wayland student Mabel Newkirk rejoined her olf Wayland school friends at a class party and then attended the senior play.

Allegan County Nurse Margaret East said she found 352 students with defective teeth and 233 with defective tonsils and 75 with defective hearing at Wayland School.

A number of Wayland residents was denied voting in recent election because of not registering.

Katie Elizabeth Smith, a Wayland High School graduate and student at the University of Michigan, died at University Hospital in Ann Arbor. She was only 20. She had just married the previous fall and was planning a trip to Chile with her husband.

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