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 — Oct. 14, 1996

The 1968 homecoming court (from left) Rick Worfel, Pam Rairigh King Gary Doublestein, Judy Gardner, Ed Bergeron, Queen Mary Torrey, Steve Alflen and Sandy Potter.

The Penasee Globe honored two Dorr Township firefighters, Bernard Damveld and Floyd Fifelski, pictured in a 1947 truck. Much of the edition was a tribute to area fire departments in light of Fire Prevention Week.

The Dean Foods plant in Wayland is undergoing a $5.7 million expansion that will include a 120-foot powder dryer, promising between 16 and 25 new jobs.

Local officials hope A-42, aka Chief Noonday Road, Bradley Road, 129th Avenue or M-179 will be designated as a Heritage Road by the state. The move would leave maintenance of the artery to the state transportation department.

The old granite sign in front of Wayland High School has come down to make way for an electronic version.

John and Bea Hooker of Leighton Township, part of a family with a 149-year-old history here, have been named to the Michigan Farmers Hall of Fame.

Fifth Street in Wayland Township is being reconstructed and there is talk about having it paved.

Hopkins Village is having a second ballfield constructed at Northside Park in town, replacing site that has included garbage dumping.

The Wayland girls’ tennis team finished in second place in the O-K Gold Conference by edging Caledonia in the league tournament. Krissy Hendrick at fourth singles and the doubles team of Kim Kessler and Stephanie Cunigan were champions.

Hopkins remains unbeaten in five football games thus far this season, as does the Martin girls’ basketball team in 11 outings.

Lucas Blanco scored a hat trick to lead Wayland to a soccer victory over Kenowa Hills to give the ‘Cats their winningest season yet.

Angie Farmer overcame Caledonia’s double teaming to score 21 points in the second half and lead the Lady ‘Cats to their seventh straight victory.

The Hopkins girls, who started fast with 10 victories without a loss, dropped their second in two weeks and now are 11-2.

Zeke Fletcher fired a 78 and the Wildcat golf team took second in the league golf tournament.

Gertrude Durkee, 100, died at the Sandy Creek Nursing Center in Wayland.

50 Years Ago — Oct. 13, 1971

A total of 90 local residents are enrolled in local adult education classes in Wayland, the largest number in bookkeeping and American history.

Architects from Guido Binda & Associates met with members of the Wayland Board of Education to discuss plans for building a new high school, a $3.825 million project approved by voters in September.

Art Shade, lead man in the boiler room, was recognized for 35 years of service at Pet Incorporated.

Larry J. Brinks of Wayland was promoted to Army private first class while serving in Vietnam.
Designers of the irrigation pond sprinkler system implanted a “dry run” for the sewer lagoons being installed on the north end of the city.

Wayland Union Schools chief cook Butch Hinckley has reported about 800 meals are served to students each day.

The 88th annual Allegan County Sunday School conclave will be held at Martin Reformed Church Oct. 21, featuring guest speaker Dr. Jack Hyles of Hammond, Ind.

Fred Krumm has become the first Hopkins FFA member to receive the highly coveted American Farmer degree.

The Wayland varsity football team absorbed its first loss of the season, 28-8 to Hamilton. Halfback Wayne Thomas scored the Wildcats’ only touchdown on a 6-yard run.

Hopkins lost a nonleague football game against visiting East Jordan 36-20, despite the awakening of the passing game for 137 yards.

Rod Stewart held the No. slot among the nation’s tunes with “Maggie May.”

75 Years Ago — Oct. 18, 1946

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mayer of Hopkins were notified that their son, Pvt. Ralph Mayer was killed in Japan when a truck he was driving went over a cliff and into water where he was drowned.

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher announced that President Harry Truman ended all federal controls on meat, thereby increasing supplies for consumers and prices for farmers.

“In this air-minded age, it certainly would be handy for Wayland to have an airport of its own,” Mosher wrote in his weekly “Observations” column. He said there have been more than a few instances of small craft having for force land between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Members of the Peg-Away Club will entertain husbands and and families at the Harvest Family Chicken Dinner Monday evening, Oct. 21.

Howard Clack was elected master of the Wayland Grange.

Chester McCullough, 27, of Shelbyville, a returning veteran from Wold War II, was killed early Sunday morning when his car left the road east of town and crashed into a tree. The coroner reported that the young man apparently had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Dr. Alton J. Humphrey, formerly of Wayland, died of a heart attack at his home in Monroe. He had visited his Gun Lake cottage only three weeks before and seemed to be in good health.

Local voter registration numbers picked up before the deadline in time for the November general election.

Carol Ellinger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Ellinger of Hopkins, was named chairwoman of the Women’s League at Western Michigan College., which is preparing for the annual Christmas Chocolate celebration.

Harvey Wycoff has been confined to his bed after an attack of the Sciatica.

Mr. St. John, agricultural field man at Wayland High School, showed members of the Leighton Grange moving pictures and lectured.

Congressman Clare Hoffman, in a display ad, opined that “Government by imbeciles must end… we have meat markets without meat, groceries without soap, auto dealers without autos, clothing stores without clothing, contractors without building materials.”

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

  • Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Gabby Hayes in “Under Nevada Skies.”
  • Al Pearce and Pinky Lee in “One Exciting Week.”
  • Jane Russell and Louis Hayward in “Young Widow.”
  • Bette Davis, Glenn Ford and Dane Clark in “A Stolen Life.”

100 Years Ago — Oct. 14, 1921

Ladies Library Club Vice President Willa Rankin presented an interesting paper to members on the milk industry.

Charley A. Walch, who came to this area with his parents from New York in 1851 and lived in Leighton until 1884, when he moved to the Dakotas and returned to Wayland in 1901, died at age 74.

All teachers this past week have been attending the County Institute at Allegan.

The Regent showed a documentary on a big forest fire, “Nomads of the North,” in which actor Lon Chaney was depicted as one of the firefighters.

The Village Council seems to have approved a 12-foot curb to go with the 30-foot-wide driving surface on the concrete road in downtown.

The Allegan County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a “Milk and Alfalfa” campaign from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5. Meetings will be held at farms in Wayland, Martin, Burnips, Hopkins and other areas around the county during that stretch of 10 days.

The Grange Fair at Hopkins was hailed as a success and prizes were awarded for exhibits of vegetables, drawings, papers and fancy work.

Construction work on the new power line from Wayland to Montieth is progressing.

The new building to house Hopkins State Savings Bank is nearly complete.

The community was shocked to learn of the death of Mrs. T.E. Wilson of Bradley, better known to Globe readers as Mrs. Solomon Fox, a rural correspondent for this weekly newspaper.

Al Hunt and “Cash” Knight of the Hunt Stock Co. have bought the “old bandstand” of Fred Wallace and will remodel it into an up-to-date restaurant and lunch room.

Mr. and Mrs. Leo Doxey have announced the birth of Vivian, later to become Mrs. Albert Kidney, the mother of twins Alice and Art Kidney and all-state basketball player Ron Kidney. She and her husband were longtime members of the United Church of Wayland.


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