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 — April 3, 1996

The Tree Tracers genealogy group had to leave its space inside the Henika District Library to make way for the new children’s wing of the library and becaue of some issues involving CD-Roms.

The State of Michigan has filed suit against the scrap tire mountain in Watson Township, claiming the dump is illegal, dangerous and has to be cleaned up.

Clerk LaVerne Lussenden, Trustee Ray Wamhoff and Clerk Sue Sebright have announced they will not seek re-election to seats on the Hopkins Township Board.

Editor Nila Aamoth, in the weekly Soabox, insisted change is inevitable and progress should be welcomed. She wrote, “If you are curious and even a little afraid of computer technology, we invite you to stop by our office. We’ll introduce you to our family of Macs.”

David Miller was elected mayor in a three-way race and incumbents Paul Kaczanowski, Marie Hall and and Dallas Strong were re-elected to two-year seats. Newcomers Anita Modreski and Dr. Bruce Sexton were elected to the two seats vacated by mayoral candidates Miller and Mary Reno.

Jeff Nylaan (112 pounds) earned a pot in the Division 4 state finals by placing fourth in regional competition.

Wayland High School students Jenny Koch and Andrea Brenner competed in the Business and Professional Association national competition in Phoenix, Ariz. Koch was third in business knowledge skills and Brenner was second in keyboarding and sixth in business law.

Harvey Noble, 81, of Moline, died at Butterworth Hospital. He has been an electrician for Kelvinator.

50 Years Ago — March 31, 1971

Wayland Union Schools’ proposal for renewal of an 8.6-mill levy was approved by voters 1,203 to 214.

David Blok of Moline, owner of Dave’s Variety Store, was named co-chairman of the Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

Richard Worfel was elected president of the board for the Wayland Chamber of Commerce, succeeding Walt Wenzel. James Thomas was chosen vice president.

Republican Congressman Ed Hutchinson has announced his opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment to lower the minimum age to vote to 18.

Bernadette Nicolai wrote a feature story about Dorr dairy farmer Clifford Cooke, who recently returned from an around the world trip sponsored by the Kellogg Farmers Study program. Cooke declared the U.S. as the greatest country in the world and added if dissenters were sent to see how people live in other countries, “they would come home and appreciate life here.”

Leighton Township officials have filed suit against the City of Wayland for its efforts to located the sewer lagoons and treatment plant outside the city limits just south of 137th Avenue. The contention is that the plant and lagoons would negatively impact the nearby Rabbit River.

Ron Merrill, baseball coach and athletic director at Martin High School, is recovering from emergency brain and skull surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital. He had been struck by the artificial arm of an automatic pitching machine while assembling it.

The Globe is among the sponsors of a petition to spare Lt. William Calley from serious penalties after being accused in connection with the My Lai massacre of civilians in Vietnam.

Marjean Lynema of Shelbyville was elected to a leadership position for the Kappa Phi women’s service organization at Western Michigan University.

Boyd Heckert and Mark Schipper were named to the second unit of the O-K all conference basketball team.

The Temptations climbed into the No. 1 slot on the nation’s music charts with “Just My Imagination.”

75 Years Ago — April 5, 1946

The Wayland Village Council increased water connection fees for new customers from $18 to $35, prompting Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher to comment, “This is something that should have been done years ago.”

The Village Council also adopted a resolution requiring a permit for any construction within village limits.

G.H. Ross has sold his West Gun Lake Resort to Mr. and Mrs. Chelsea Balbock of Noblesville, Ind. Ross and his wife had owned and operated the resort for 27 years.

Longtime Wayland and Plainwell resident Mrs. Calvin Dean died March 30 at DelVista Sanitarium. She was 87.

The house of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Burleson on Church Street was damaged by fire. A child passing by noticed smoke pouring out of a steel roof and asbestos shingle and notified authorities.

Wayland boys and girls are being warned about flying kites near electrical wires by the Consumers Power Co.

Staff Sgt. Jack Sager placed a trans-Atlantic call from Bremen, Germany, to his wife and daughter. He has been serving overseas for the last 15 months.

Sgt. Royal Pease of Hopkins surprised his wife by sneaking back home after military discharge.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Pearl Buck’s “China Sky, with Randolph Scott and Ruth Warrick.
  • Adele Mari and Edgar Barrier in “Song of Mexico.”
  • Dorothy Lamour, Artruro Cordova and Ann Dvorak in ”Masquerade in Mexico.”
  • Ray Milland and Jane Wyman in “The Lost Weekend.”

100 Years Ago — April 1, 1921

The Commercial Club had a lengthy discussion about the possibility of starting a community-wide auction.

The Wayland Ladies Library Club held a patriotic program, including a presentation on “Americanization” by Mrs. Sib Rumery. The ladies concluded the meeting by signing “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean.”

Bailey Frank, a 1918 graduate of Wayland High School, died of peritonitis at a Lansing Hospital. Only 21, he was enrolled in the engineering program at Michigan State College.

Mrs. Charles Rantz, the former Anna Ella Staley, a longtime music teacher in this area, died at age 50. She was preceded in death by two husbands.

William A. Sherwood, a native of Hopkins Township, died after suffering a serious injury at work, causing amputation of a leg Feb. 18. “Through true grit and determination, he fought his way from the bottom and was nearing the top of the ladder of financial success.”

Mrs. Ruth Ward resigned her post at Shelbyville School. A Mr. Beal of Kellogg will finish the academic year.

“Aunt Sabe” Dorrance, a longtime resident of Bradley, died. A Globe correspondent said, “She was universally loved by all who knew her.”

Bad weather caused a Saturday night dance party to be called off, but it has been rescheduled for April 9.

Mrs. J.W. VanArsdale presented ”Why We Wear the Green for St. Patrick’s Day” to members of the NE Hopkins Community Club.

Guy E. Smith of Plainwell has joined Yeakey’s Auto Service, focusing on tractor repair.

G.W. Rawlinson of Bloomingdale has accepted the call from the Christian Church in Wayland, succeeding Fay C. Wing, who is leaving the ministry because of the press of business.

Mable G. Robinson, who became a teacher at age 16, died at age 54. She had been an active member of the Dorr Congregational County Line Methodist Episcopal Church.

COVER PHOTO: Downtown Hopkins from long, long ago. (Photo courtesy of Janet Pavlak)

Leave a Comment