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 — Dec. 2, 1996

Representatives from the Laidlaw Transportation firm of Cincinnati told the Wayland Board of Education about economic and safety advantages of privatizing school bus services with them.

Carol Miller, in a letter to the editor, accused the naïve school board members of being persuaded by the wining and dining from Laidlaw, much like a public relations and advertising campaign.

Wayland residents are organizing fund-raising events to help the Steve and Becky Hubbert family, which suffered serious injuries in a traffic accident near Niles.

The Hopkins football team this time put up a much more gallant fight against No. 1-state ranked Detroit St, Martin DePorres in the state Class CC semifinal round, but lost 34-29. The Vikings’ only two losses in the past two years have been at the hands of DePorres.

The Wayland girls’ basketball team’s season finally ended in the regional finals in a loss to Lakeview. The Lady Wildcats lost their first four contests of the season, but ended the regular campaign with a 10-game winning streak. All-Stater Angie Farmer tallied 26 points in her last high school game.

The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony for the City of Wayland is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the gazebo in the City Park.

Ron and Kathy Wycoff, in a letter to the editor, praised the seniors on the Hopkins football team, saying, “May you go on in life with the same pride and determination you showed on the football field… you are all champions.”

Lloyd LeMar wrote a letter urging citizens to put pressure on national officials to stop harassment of Christians in foreign countries such as Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

Jack Cummiford of Gun Lake has been inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame.

Dorr, Leighton and Salem townships and Martin and Gun Plains townships are having discussions about collaborating on police patrol services from the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.

Troopers and staff members at the Wayland post of the Michigan State Police had a surprise impromptu party for Commander Lt. Michael Olson to pay tribute.

Longtime Pet Milk employee Harry Dommert died at age 83. He also had owned and operated Modern Cleaners in Otsego.

Life-long Shelbyville farmer and General Motors employee Bernard Hunderman died at age 75.

50 Years Ago — Dec. 1, 1971

Wayland City Manager John Hefner has been appointed to the Allegan, Van Buren and Berrien Counties’ Horizons program created to promote more effective rural development.

Lifetime Leighton Township farmer Lyle Jensen died at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. He was 57.

A large group of seniors earned all-As at Hopkins High School for the conclusion of the most recent marking period. They were Lynne Church, Laura Fifelski, Mick Dever, Mari Ignatoski, Gerald Kaminski, Kathryn Larr, Karen McEwen, Katherine Rewa, Lois Rewa, Donna Smith and Linda Smith.

State Rep. James Farnsworth has announced he is opposed to a proposal to spend federal road money on a mass transit program. He insisted current funds should be spent on new roads and repairs.

Two-year-old Richard Paul Thompson was killed at his home in Hopkins when a tall dresser fell on him in his parents’ bedroom.

Wayland High School graduate James Devereaux, representing Union Bank and Jim Shoemaker of the Hopkins branch of Wayland State Bank joined Japanese foreign exchange student Hiroshi Maki for a special class session in Grand Rapids. Maki’s father is a banker in Japan.

Thieves stole two wheels from a truck parked in the Airport Lanes parking lot. Michigan State Police are investigating.

City Manager John Hefner, in his column, warned local residents about at least one plumbing contractor who is providing false and misleading information about hooking up to Wayland’s new sanitary sewer system.

Sgt. Richard Wolfe has arrived in Taiwan after serving two months at an air base in Vietnam.

Dr. Robert Smith, superintendent of the Grand Rapids district, will be guest speaker this Sunday at the United Methodist Church in Wayland.

Wayland High School senior girls will join 600,000 across the nation in taking a written 50-minute test on homemaking in hopes of winning the contest for Betty Crocker Young Homemaker for Tomorrow.

Jon Gambee wrote his “swan song” column as volunteer sports writer, announcing he has accepted an offer to be sports editor of the Dowagiac Daily News. He was succeeded by David T. Young, whose first story on was on how the Wayland varsity basketball team will open its season against state-ranked powerhouse Wyoming Lee.

Sly & the Family Stone had the nation’s No. 1 hit song this week with “Family Affair.”

75 Years Ago — Dec. 6, 1946

Wayland Schools Supt. Rudolph Steeby told Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher the district will be hard pressed to come up with enough coal to heat the school building through Christmas. This prompted Mosher to rail again against the United Mine Workers’ strike.

Otto Banas now is on terminal leave from the military after serving overseas in the Sixth Cavalry for occupation of Germany.

The Ant-Can’t Club of the Congregational Church will have a holiday rummage sale, featuring aprons and fancy work at the Andringa store on North Main Street.

The St. Therese Church Altar Society is planning a country-style ham supper at the American Legion Hall. There also will be a bazaar selling pillow cases, aprons, dolls, towels, etc.

Kenneth H. Smith, 34, died of a heart ailment at his home. He had owned and operated a gravel truck independently.

Most of the weekly rural correspondents for the Globe this week wrote about the many Thanksgiving family festivities.

Wayland grade school pupils will present the annual Christmas program Dec. 12 at the high school auditorium.

Hugh D. Allen, assistant minister at the Fountain Street Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, was guest speaker at the most recent meeting of the Ladies Library Club. He talked about the state of the American family in an address to 58 women at the Congregational Church.

Wayland won its varsity basketball opener 30-29 over Delton and next will take on Comstock at home.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

Sunset Carson and Peggy Stewart in “Red River Renegades.”

Linda Sterling and William Henry in “The Invisible Informer.”

Constance Moore and William Marshall in “Earl Carroll’s Sketchbook.”

The Wayland Theatre will be closed for two weeks from Dec. 10 to Dec. 25.

100 years Ago — Dec. 2, 1921

Wayland’s free Chautauqua has picked up some free widespread positive publicity. Cleo Fox, who has been doing Chautauqua work with Dunbar’s Swiss Bells, reported he saw an article in Lyceum magazine, praising the town for its enthusiastic support.

The ladies of the local Congregational Church will offer a chicken pie supper (50 cents) at the Morford Building.

The Southeast Wayland Community Club will meet Dec. 14 at the home of F.D. Cutler.

A group of Wayland merchants is sponsoring a Big Bargain Day Saturday and Monday. Featured will be the intriguing five-cent lunch at the Doll House.

Wayland merchants, as promised, have purchased a dozen eggs at a rate of 10 cents above the market price, at 70 cents.

The local Methodist Church has scheduled three rallies Dec. 14 and 15 at the Wayland and Corning locations.

Allegan County Farm Bureau Agent Alfred Benthall has submitted his annual report to the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown:

Charles Ray in “Alarm Clock Randy,” a rousing tale of a stuttering salesman.

George Walsh in “Dynamite Allen.”

Art Acord in “Winners of the West.”

Mrs. Clayton Smith was elected president of the Willing Workers Sunday School group at the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Wayland Grange held a discussion about “In what way should the Grange be responsible for the appearance of the community.”

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