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 — Sept. 16, 1996

Though re-siding is being done at the Wayland post on North Main Street, Michigan State Police officials insist they do not intend to continue to have that be their home in the future.

The Globe published a feature story with pictures about Judy Helder and her crusade for mammograms. For her it’s personal because the breast cancer screenings she received helped save her life.

Editor Nila Aamoth, in her latest “Soapbox,” defended the owners of Rosita’s Restaurant who want to use part of the building for living quarters, but city officials disagree. The editor pointed out that what makes a small town so delightful is its walkability, so residences upstairs in the downtown may not be such a bad idea.

Lisa Harnish, in a letter to the editor, expressed her displeasure with the continuing loss of rural character at the hands of residential development.

There was a plethora of letters to the editor about the Hopkins Public Schools bond election for a new high school.

T.J. Layton wrote about the upcoming Hopkins school bond issue, “A child is taught by the teacher, not by the building.”

Dawn Shoemaker wrote about her displeasure with the circulation of misinformation about the Sept. 21 bond issue, one a rumor that the money will be used for teachers’ raises.

Marge Hodgson, a senior citizen, said she’s supporting the bond proposal, opining, “The same old arguments by the same people leave me cold.”

Chad Stein argued, “Everyone has to realize that for students to stay competitive, we need a larger building with updated equipment.”

Bob and Nancy Vogt referred to the bond issue as an investment in the community and its people.

Andrew Iciek wrote, “I think it’s important for Hopkins to keep up with science and technology, but I don’t think we need a new school building to do it.”

Robert Beck insisted the cost of not educating is greater than the cost of educating.

Sally Hoffmaster suggested that if the Hopkins bond fails, an alternative school in Byron Center will benefit.

Christine Schwartz, a board member, said he doesn’t buy into the notion the schools are overcrowded and the population lately actually has declined.

The United Church of Wayland is sponsoring a “Healing Racism” series under the direction of Christine Blanco.

The Caledonia boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams easily won the Yankee Springs Invitational.

Longtime Wayland girls’ basketball coach Zack Moushegian has been sidelined by diabetic complications and his team lost twice without him.

Martin girls’ basketball is off to a fast start at 4-0 with victories over Saugatuck, Wyoming Lee, Schoolcraft and Marcellus.

Best start this fall, however, belongs to Mark Austin’s Hopkins girls’ cagers, who are 7-0 overall. Featured was a strong 26-point offensive performance by Alissa Johnson.

Coach Cheri Ritz acknowledged it’s been a long time since Wayland defeated South Christian in tennis after a 5-3 victory.

50 Years Ago — Sept. 15, 1971

Lynne Freeman, a former Miss Wayland, earned the grand champion baton twirler title at the Michigan State Fair. A resident of Moline, she teaches the discipline and finished fourth in the national competition.

Sallyann Beaver of Hilliards, who teaches business education at Galien, has been selected as a Leader in American Secondary Education.

Wayland’s split sessions for high school and middle school classes has landed it on the University of Michigan probation list.

Wayland High School is reporting 720 students compared to 660 a year ago. The junior high has 576, an increase of 56 from 1970. Principal JC Clyma said the building was intended to house as many as 550 students when constructed in 1941.

A new maternity wing has opened at Pipp Community Hospital in Plainwell.

Martin High School Principal Leon Hausler was surprised on his first day when he found a hummingbird flying around the halls. It was trapped by a fish net and released to the wild immediately afterward.

Singer-songwriter Roger Miller will be the featured entertainment at the Allegan County Fair this year. Also on the bill is Archie Campbell, a part of the cast on “Hee Haw.”

Editor-Publisher Irvin P. Helmey penned a “Turned Up Here and There” column about his front row seat for a Count Basie Orchestra concert and expressed his appreciation of the Count’s artistry and gentlemany conduct.

Spec.-4 Jerry Ziegler has returned to Wayland after a 15-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He was greeted by pennants and colorful signs, the handiwork of his sister, Laura, and her friend, Laura Schipper.

William E. Johnston wrote a letter to the editor insisting local residents be careful to salvage trees while moving dirt to make way for the installation of sewer service.

Loraine Balubaner wrote a letter praising the Henika Library as a valuable asset to the community.

Fred Hilbert Sr. penned a letter disagreeing with officials’ decision to remove trees on Sycamore Street.

The Moline Fire Department emerged victorious in a Class C waterball competition against firefighters from Cutlerville, Middleville and Caledonia.

The coffee house at the United Church of Wayland has reopened and the first session will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19.

The Hopkins chapter of the FFA has won its sixth consecutive Gold Award for excellence.

The Wayland varsity football team is preparing for its season opener at Bloomingdale.

75 Years Ago — Sept. 20, 1946

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher told readers that unless they have registered since May 1, they might go to their polling place to find out if they are listed on the books. Registration deadline for the November general election is approaching. New registration laws were approved by the State Legislature to establish a permanent list. For more information, contact clerks Fred Brooks, Lydia Frey, Harry Elenbaas, Raymond Hilaski or William Nicolai.

The November ballot will include proposals to earmark $270 million in bonus pay for World War II veterans and set aside one mill of sales tax for schools, with half for cities, villages and townships.

The Wayland Chamber of Commerce had a business meeting to attempt to help sponsor the local Future Farmers of America and Homemakers Club to the Allegan County Fair.

John Nowak Jr. of Wayland roped one of the FFA steers in front of the grandstand at the fair.

A runaway truck owned by the Clemens Trucking Co., crashed the side of the Ward building occupied by Jacob Eding Ford dealership, tearing a hole in the side of the cement block structure.

Art Steeby slammed a long triple to drive in the winning runs in the summer softball league championship game, defeating Ford in a best-of-three series. A post-season all-star team was selected, with Louis Japinga of Pet Milk as manager.

The WSCS of the Methodist Church was host for a reception for Wayland school teachers. Genevieve Snook was speaker for the evening.

Helen Crofoot of Wayland has graduated from the Bronson Hospital School of Nursing.

Senior Ken DeWeerd and junior Bob Jager will be the nominees for this year’s Student Council president at Wayland High School.

The Wayland High School football team, with 37 players, will open its season Sept. 27 at home against Middleville.

Verne Lettinga of Dorr showed the Grand Champion dairy animal of all breeds at the Allegan County Fair. Breed Grand Champions were shown by Lloyd Miller of Monterey, George Rankins of Martin and Keith Button of Martin.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Johnny Weismuller and Virginia Grey in “Swamp Fire.”
  • Wild Bill Elliott as Red Ryder and Alice Fleming in “Sun Valley Cyclone.”
  • Dane Clark, Janis Paige and Zachary Scott in “Her Kind of Man.”
  • Olivia deHavilland, Ida Lupino and Paul Henreid in “Devotion.”

100 Years Ago — Sept. 16, 1921

Mrs. Sarah Brush, a longtime Wayland resident, died in Clearwater, Fla. She was born in 1842 in Kalamazoo County and sustained a life of deprivation.

Wayland High School now has 95 students, an increase of 14 over the previous year.

Raymond Fox was elected president of the senior class, Mildred Hitchcock treasurer and Lucile Franz secretary. Mary Ryno was elected president of the freshman class, Alton Crofoot vice president and Lucile Crocker secretary-treasurer.

New sanitary drinking fountains ave been installed on the first and second floors.

Jemima Stroman, 82, died in Wayland. She nad husband James, came to Salem Township to settle in 1866. She was remembered as a devoted wife and tender, loving mother.

Congressman John C. Ketchum of Hastings will speak at the Gun Lake church on “The Field of the Sunday School.”

Members were asked to answer roll call at the Sept. 17 Grange meeting by telling a story about something that happened during their school days.

Notice was published of the dissolution of the Wayland Electric Light & Power Co. by President David Fox and Secretary Frank Chamberlain.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown: “Don’t Ever Marry,” starring Marjorie Daw. Also: “Partners of Fate:” and “Beautifully Trimmed.”

Three cases of typhoid fever have been reported in Martin, believed to have been caused by cases in nearby Otsego. “Every means will be taken to prevent the disease becoming epidemic here.”
Mr. and Mrs. Lee Deuel have left for their new home on Los Angeles, Calif. Mr. Deuel has been identified with many business interests in Bradley and Wayland.

The 40-piece Masonic Band of Grand Rapids, featuring Charles Yeakey of Wayland, will play at a supper Wednesday evening at the Dixie Inn.

Cleo Fox has joined Ralph Dunbar’s Swigs Bell Ringers, who will begin a 13-week concert tour in Pennsylvania.

Elmer M. Doxey, formerly of Shelbyville, shot and killed Mrs. Cora Schilling and then turned his gun on himself in a murder-suicide in Athens, Mich. Her remains will be brought to Wayland for burial in Elmwood Cemetery.

A Dodge car owned by Mr. Simpson of Watson plunged over the embankment near the brick school house and landed in water bottom side up, but the occupants’ injuries from the incident were minor.


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