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 27, 1996

Hopkins’ memorable and unusual basketball season was concluded in the state Class semifinals at the Breslin Center, Michigan State University, in a loss to Manton. The Vikings broke the state record for most overtime games with nine. It was the first time Hopkins made it this far since 1949.
Hoeksema Hardware in downtown Dorr was spared serious damage from a fire because the local department happened to be located a half a block away.
A suspected drug abuser is being interrogated in connection with six robberies, one of which was reported at a Wayland liquor store.
State Rep. Paul Hillegonds has announced he will retire from his seat in the Legislature, 88th District, because of term limits. At one time, he was co-Speaker of the House.
David Britten will take over next year as principal at Steeby Elementary, succeeding Holly Lear. Britten has an extensive military background.
The Hopkins chapter of Students Against Drunken Driving sponsored a special appearance of crash dummies.
State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith penned the Soapbox, promoting the idea of voting by mail as a more efficient and inclusive system for democracy.
The lively City Council race has three candidates for mayor — Mary Reno, David Miller and Don Shafer.
Walter Blue and Lori Mead asked the Martin Board of Education to release their children from the local schools, but will have to await the state’s decision on “Schools of Choice.”

50 Years Ago — March 24, 1971

The Wayland Board of Education will present a 6.8-mill renewal request in a special election Monday, March 29.
The school board approved a list of teachers for tenure recommended by their immediate supervisors. Resignations were received for Mrs. Mary Mahalek, Mrs. Linda Stratton, Mrs. Olive Halloran, Wayne Keyzer and James Stewart.
Language arts instructor Eugene Washchuck asked the board for permission to take a group of students to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario.
Jack Dendel was chosen Michigan Dairyman of the Year and James Gilder and Son of Hopkins was honored for having an efficient dairy farm operation. David Leep & Sons copped top honors for highest crop value per tillable acre and Gerald Fenner of Martin earned highest milk sales per cow.
City of Wayland sewer bonds have been sold for sanitary sewer collection and treatment system though First of Michigan Corp.
The Wayland Chamber of Commerce annual dinner will be held at the VFW, featuring music by John Dunsmore and an unusual German band.
Wayland High School graduate Joan Lautenschleger, a student at Hope College, is competing in debate and interpretive reading and Phi Delta Kappa tourney.
J.E. Hudson, father of Wayland High School graduates Tom, Dick and Harry Hudson and Mrs. Marie Hall, died at St. Mary’s Hospital at age 67. He had been a longtime employee of the Allegan County Road Commission.
Now showing at the Wayland Theatre: Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis in “The Out-of-Towners.”
Editor-Publisher Irvin P. Helmey urged a “yes” vote on the 6.8-mill renewal for the Wayland school district.
Clifford Holbrook of Shelbyville took part in a ceremony honoring Neil Holbrook (no relation) for saving him from drowning May 2, 1970, in the Pine River.
Airman Mick Mutschler, a 1967 Wayland High graduate, graduated from Air Force missile analysis school.
Randy Kuiper, son of Dr. and Mrs. Dale W. Kuiper, earned a bronze medal in a giant slalom race in Aspen, Colo.
WHS track standout Elwyn Powers copped a second place in the mile run at an indoor meet at East Kentwood.

75 Years Ago — March 29, 1946

Sally J. Haywood, who came to Wayland as a baby and lived here for 78 years, died at the home of her daughter in Kalamazoo. She was 92.
Lynn Marshall, formerly of Wayland and son of the Rev. C. W. Marshall of the Methodist Church, died at Fort Worth, Texas, where he was a banker.
Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher complained about the condition of muddy roads after taking a country drive and almost getting stuck on one of them. “The big eyesore of the countryside is in the number of unsightly places where tins and rubbish of all kinds has been dumped along the roadside.”
RGM also reported, “Wayland is in the middle of a building boom that will help in some way with the housing shortage. About a dozen houses are under construction.”
The Globe announced it wants to publish a photo of every boy and girl in this trade territory. Woltz Studios of Des Moines, Iowa, is conducting the picture sessions April 3, at the American Legion Hall.
A local agency for Kaiser-Frazer is being constructed near North Main and Forrest Street. Charles Andringa is building Wayland Feed & Coal and an International Harvester dealership is going in on the west side of South Main Street.
Edward Alflen & Sons, just north of the village, is bringing in a a new Plymouth-DeSoto dealership.
Maud Schad has been elected president of the Anti-Can’t Club of the Congregational Church.
Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:
• James Craig and Signe Hasse in “Dangerous Partners.
• Sunset Carson and Peggy Stewart in “Oregon Trail.”
• Robert Walker, Keenan Wynne and Jean Porter in “What Next, Cpl. Hargrove?”
• Gary Cooper and Loretta Young in “Along Came Jones.”

100 Years Ago — March 25, 1921

Leona Rankins’ division of girls will have a candy sale, with proceeds going toward purchase of a Victrola for the school.
The junior class secured the services of the Grand Rapids Men’s Glee Club to perform here Friday evening.
Republican Samuel Hanna was elected supervisor, William Fry clerk and William Schad treasurer in Leighton Township.
The Ladies Library Club will have a “choclataire” reception at the home of Mrs. Mrs. Charles Yeakey.
Amelia D. Moffat, who came to the Wayland area with her husband, George Truax, in 1869, died at age 77. She had been a member of the Christian Church for 45 years.
The Rev. Rood gave a presentation to the Wayland Grange on “The Value of a High School Education.” There was a discussion about whether teachers’ pay should be increased.
Several farmers in Ohio Corners have sold their potatoes and “are drawing them to Hopkins.”
“Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde” is showing at the Regent downtown in the village.
The Wayland Commercial Club has invited several prominent farmers to its next meeting.
George Opperman of Hopkins was assessed a $15 fine and 60 days in jail to taking a skunk’s stench gland and inserting it into the air ducts at the school house, which had to be closed for a week.
Rollo G. Mosher was a special guest of the NE Hopkins Community Club meeting at the farm of A. Groskopf.
Robert Williamson, supervisor, Clarence Buer, clerk, and William Graczyk, treasurer, were Republican candidates in Dorr Township. Democrats were Joseph Bartz, supervisor, Fred Weaker, clerk and Richard Worm, treasurer.


  • Interesting that 25 years ago someone else, State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith, was espousing the benefits of voting by mail. A good idea doesn’t go away, it just gets side-tracked by those who would benefit by quashing the concept.

  • A bad idea is ALWAYS a bad idea. You can vote by mail, it is called an absentee ballot.
    They receive your request for an absentee ballot and it is checked by registered voter rolls. If it is approved, you are sent a ballot to fill out. Pretty simple and it protects your vote so an ineligible voter is denied a ballot.
    What you reference is a mail-in ballot, without any check to see if the voter is really a registered, eligible voter. It is sent to an address and can be completed by anyone.

    That’s how Clown Biden and Kommie Kamala cheated to win the election.

    Why is it you need identification for Covid shots, present a driver’s license to a law enforcement officer, boarding an airplane, or voting in person?

    It is called identification for a reason – so you can prove who you are with a universally accepted form of identification such as a driver’s license or state issued identification card.

    It’s not racist, it is easy to obtain, and keeps people honest. Of course, that is the whole reason Democrats cry “racist” when mail in voting is opposed… what they are really saying is we want to be able to keep on cheating.

    For such an educated person, your response is massively ignorant. But most people can see your motivation. Notice I said “ignorant” and not stupid. Stupidity is forever. Ignorance is lack of information or understanding. You are a dyed in the wool Democrat and follow the ignorant chants of Congressional Democrats.. birds of a feather …. you know the rest.

    • DTOM,

      Well said! If the any of the liberals see how this is a bad idea help me understand. We all would like to experience a fair and honest election…….don’t we?


    • DOTM, we routinely vote by mail in Az. This system has been in effect for many, many years without abuse or fraud.
      Why do you feel the need to attack me when all I said was that voting by mail is a good idea?
      Perhaps there are issues with the manner of voting by mail, but the idea itself is a good one, and we needn’t fear fraud around every corner if the method is secure.
      Please don’t try to read into my comments more than is there.

      • Ms. Mandaville,
        Your observation is suspect even in your response “… if the method is secure.”

        Does Arizona send a voter ballot request to each registered voter or are ballots automatically sent out to registered voter’s last known address? Is every ballot signature checked against their voter registration signature?

        If not, how can you state there is no fraud possibilities?

        I’m all for absentee ballots be sent out if requested, otherwise get to the polls on election day.

        PS. It is DTOM, not DOTM.

        • DTOM, sorry for the typo in the last response. I hope you can forgive a simple error in typing your name.

          Just an FYI for you. In AZ, when we apply for a driver’s license or state ID, we are able to opt in for automatic mail-in voting. For each election, local, state, or national, we are sent, automatically, a ballot for said election. All returned ballots are checked against the Secretary of State’s database for validity of signatures. This system was in place for many years before we moved here in 2016 and performed without problems. Even in the last national election, when ballots were checked and double-checked because of The Big Lie, no fraud was discovered.

          AZ is not the only state that has had a successful system for ease of voting. In this day and age there is no excuse for making voting difficult.

          • Good for AZ. They must have a system like Texas. However, not every state does. Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and others are suspect.

            Michigan had late night surge of absentee votes in Wayne county (gee, what a surprise!).

            It’s recently been discovered the election in GA was frudulent. Over 10,000 dead people voted in 2020 (taking lessons from Chicago?), others voted who didn’t live in GA, etc. The truth is slowly coming out, now that the cheating Democrats are ensconsonsed in power. The complaints from Trump were true and being found everyday… some day we will know the truth.

          • I reread your response and found a gem. You stated when applying for an AZ driver’s license you can select mail in voting for every election.
            So if you move and don’t notify the state of moving, a ballot is sent to your old address. So someone moving in could make out the ballot and send it in. Do you really think each signature is checked for authenticity? Many votes in GA were counted through that screwed up system. It’s called an illegal ballot(s).

            The only way that should be used is REQUESTING an absentee ballot every election. Less illegal voting that way.

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