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 — June 5, 1996

Allegan County’s Tiger Broom mower is crunching roadside trees into small splinters to help motorists with visibility, but some neighbors and environmentalists are not happy with nearby damage after the machine throws debris.

It was a deadly and somber end of the month of May, as four people lost their lives in traffic crashes. One was Hopkins High School prom king Michael VanderPloeg. Three other victims were Mark Brower of Hamilton, grandmother Rose Navis, 54, and grandson Jacob Hazen, 11.

Wayland City Manager Harmon “Pete” Stull has decided to retire after nine years on the job, effective Dec. 15. Mayor David Miller said, “Pete has done us a favor by giving us plenty of time to find a replacement.”

The Wayland Township Board has decided to lower the asking price for a five-year road millage request, from four mills to 2.5 mills.

Wayland seventh- and eighth-grade choir members, under the direction of Jan Laman and accompanied by pianist Connie Hooker, sand at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing at the invitation of State Senator William VanRegenmorter.

Mike Newbre of Martin was one of two Allegan County tech students who placed seventh in an auto mechanics exam competition.

Editor Nila Aamoth, in her Soapbox entry, told readers the Globe has no plans to endorse either of the presidential candidates. Quipping about political advertising, she wrote, “Neither Bill nor Bob has asked for our rates yet.”

Martin senior Robert Mitchell took second in the state Class D track championships in the high jump by clearing 6-2 and he finished eighth in the open 400 at 53.12 seconds. Hopkins’ Todd Frazee earned a medal in the 200 by going 22.58 seconds and he, Bob Kerber, Scott Langlois and Bill Werkema were third in the 400 relay at 43.87 seconds.

Wayland’s 1600-meter relay team finished sixth in the Class B state meet with Heather Postma, Sabrina Scully, Brenda Jackson and Sarah Baker.

The Wayland softball team scored a revenge win over Hastings, but dropped both ends of a doubleheader with O-K Gold champ Hudsonville Unity and then lost in the district semifinals to Lakewood. Candi Bala and Angie Farmer were named to the all-league team.

The Globe published a two-page spread on Wayland High School top award winners, including Gina Garza, DAR Good Citizenship; Danielle Tuinstra, second WHS student to sign in the State Vocal Solo and Ensemble finals; the state runner-up debate team of Gretchen Beuschel, Karryn Bilski and Summer Brown.

The Martin softball team ended its season with an 8-4 extra-inning loss to SAC champ Lawrence, finishing with a 12-12 overall record.

The Wayland varsity baseball team ended its season at 11-16. Top hitters were sophomores Jason Hilaski and Billy Buell.

Five Hopkins High School softball team members made the academic all-state team. Including Toni Newell, Katie Kloska, Katie Lodenstein, Heather Merren and Cheri Belka. The team boasted of a 3.42 overall grade point average.

50 Years Ago — June 2, 1971

Mrs. Schuyler Bowen, former president of the Garden Club and longtime member of the Ladies Library Club and Grange, died at age 86.

The Rev. William Kobza of Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church of Gun Lake, was guest speaker for the WHS Class of 1971 baccalaureate. Speaking on “Humor in Distress.”
Mike Hanacek’s takeout grocery south of town on old 131 was purchased by William Alexiuk, former owner of Bill’s Tavern before he sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Robart the previous year.

Patti Krup, 1971 WHS graduate, has earned a hefty $1,600 scholarship from Nazareth College of Kalamazoo for arts and music.

Mrs. Charles Pease, assistant cashier at Wayland State Bank, has taken over ownership of the Circle Inn Restaurant, Gun Lake. Her son, Chuck, and sister-in-law, Mrs. J.M. Bodine, will oversee day-to-day operations of the eatery.

Miss Alice Calkins has been appointed postmaster at the Hopkins office. A native of Hopkins, she has 28 years of postal experience and is a Western Michigan University graduate.

Former Wayland businessman Bert Swainston, 75, died in Tarson Springs, Fla.

Charles Yeates, administrator for the Allegan County Health Center, spoke at Memorial Day ceremonies about understanding and accepting personal responsibility.

Wayland native Commander A.E. Rieder, has left his post with the Naval and Marines Coprs Reserve Training Center to take a job as commander of executive officer with the USS Mississinew in Newport, R.I.

Marsha Mogenstern, a 1966 Wayland High School graduate, wrote a letter to the editor saying the Memorial Day ceremony at Sts. Cyril & Methodius was unique in that attending military did not fire a single shot. “I feel that this was a greater way of saluting those who gave their lives for their country by silencing the guns that kill the living.”

Four members of the Wayland High School varsity baseball team have been named to the O-K Blue All-Conference team, including southpaw ace pitcher Joe Koperski, third sacker Leon Hilaski, outfielder Conrad Mauchmar and second baseman Mike Longstreet. The Wildcats defeated Mason 8-1 in a pre-district contest, as Koperski fanned 13 and tossed a five-hitter. Mauchmar smacked a home run, Longstreet a triple and catcher Tom Wilcox had two hits. The ‘Cats will play Holt in the district opener Saturday at Hastings.

75 Years Ago — June 7, 1946

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher estimated that about 50 servicemen marched in the Memorial Day parade, highlighted by special presentations from four youths from Starr Commonwealth on the topic of juvenile delinquency. Mosher offered compliments to Edward Russell for the splendid condition of Elmwood Cemetery.

The newly-organized Veterans of Foreign Wars post will be formally mustered in a ceremony Monday evening at the high school gym, featuring many dignitaries. Raymond C. Smith will be officially installed as commander, along with other post officers.

Frank G. Whitney, 89, of Coldwater, died. A native of Bradley, he was former manager of the Wayland House.

William C. Chilson, retired superintendent of the Globe Casket Co. of Kalamazoodied at the Hodge Home in Bradley. He was 80.

Mrs. Ida Jeffers of Moline died a week and a half after suffering a fall and breaking her hip. A native of Dorr Township, she was 84.

Five Wayland High School girls, Lola Ballard, Marion Bostran, Vivian Barritt, Ruth Helmholdt and Margaret Edwards, appeared in a front page photo with Prairie Farmer Features Editor Gladys Blair and Associate Editor Arthur C. Page.

Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ryno have purchased the produce market south of town from Mr. and Mrs. Sam Ward.

The American Legion Child Welfare film, “A Square Deal for Every Child,” will be shown Sunday and Monday evenings at the Wayland Theatre.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brenner of Hopkins “were visited by the Fire Demon” Monday morning, destroying their barn, silo and new milk barn and killing a cow and a team of horses.

Weldon Rumery, a 1930 graduate, was toastmaster at the Hopkins High School alumni reunion.

Mrs. Virginia Parrish will introduce her piano students in recital Friday evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Elenbaas.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Charles Lughton, Randolph Scott and Barbara Britton in “Captain Kidd.”
  • Robert Walker and June Allyson in “The Sailor Takes a Wife.”
  • Rosalind Russell and Lee Bowman in “She Wouldn’t Say Yes.”

100 Years Ago — June 3, 1921

The Wayland High School Class of 1921 is graduating 14 seniors, eight boys and six girls at commencement at the Christian Church. Alto L. Dell will give the salutatory address and Dorothy Santas the valedictory address. Prof. John L. Brumm will be guest speaker.

Mrs. Beattie, formerly of Hopkins, was a featured member of a wedding account in Hoxie, Kansas, as the bother of the bride, Jennie. The bride’s father was Probate Judge Beattie, who performed the ceremony.

About 25 ex-servicemen took part in the Decoration Day parade to Elmwood Cemetery. Some veterans were from as far back as the Civil War. Speaker was C.W. Heald of Battle Creek.

Georgianna Smith VanArsdale, born in Wayland in 1863, died at age 57. “Mother Van, as she was affectionately called by all who knew her, leaves behind her personality that will long survive.”

The Globe ran a front page photo of Mary Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart,” who will be featured in a film this weekend at the Regent, “The Hoodlum.” Also showing are Wallace Reid in “The Lottery Man” and Conway Tearle in “Marooned Hearts.”

Wayland High School finished second to Allegan in the annual Field Day held in Plainwell. The girls’ basketball team was runner-up to Plainwell and high jumper Bert Bouwman was second in the high jump by clearing 5-10.

Darcey Stone, daughter of former Wayland residents Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stone, was killed in Battle Creek when she was run over by a street car.

Rollo G. Mosher has been appointed temporary postmaster at Wayland because of the resignation of John C. Yeakey.

Fay C. Wing will present the address at the Memorial Day service in Byron Center June 12 for the International Order of Odd Fellows.

Miss Margaret Wintringer will talk about her experiences overseas during and after the Great War at the Methodist Episocal Church. Her appearance is being sponsored by the local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

“LOST: May 30 on Dixie Highway, a drum beater. Finder please leave at the Globe office.”


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