Bygone Days: A look at the past in NE Allegan County

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now historical library in downtown Dorr)

ACHTUNG: The Wayland Globe edition for 25 years ago, Jan. 6, 1997, is missing from the usually reliable archives at the Then & Now Historical Library in downtown Dorr. Townbroadcast regrets the omission, but promises to return to the narrative next week for Jan. 13, 1997.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 5, 1992

The Dorr Sunoco gas station owner by William Miller, who later sold it to Floyd Fifelski.

Wayland’s first mayor, Phil Reno, who also served as village president, has announced he will not seek another term and is retiring from public service after 17 years. He said the two most important developments during his leadership years were becoming a city and implantation of the sanitary sewer system.

Moline Centennial Executive Committee members Mrs. Carl DeHaan, Pete DeKraker, George Whitcomb, Jim Westhouse, Harold Ritz, Mrs. David Blok and Victor Fleser have been developing plans for the community’s 100-year celebration June 16 and 17. Included in plans are a beard contest, arts and crafts exhibits, farm produce displays, costume contests and a queen contest.

Cecil Robart, owner of Robart’s Tavern in Wayland and Kozy Inn at Ludington. Robart suffered a heart attack at his home. He was 74.

Hopkins Public Schools will have new lunch prices, starting this year: 30 cents for first through third grades, 35 cents for fourth through sixth grades, 40 cents for seventh through 12th, and 40 cents for adults.

James William Beck, 17, of Dorr, died at his home after a lengthy illness.

A portion of East Superior Street has been closed for construction between 7th Street and Steeby Elementary.

An early morning fire destroyed a barn on the Ferris Moored farm north of Martin. The summer’s corn crop was lost, but all animals at the farm were spared any harm.

Pet Incorporated had a ceremony honoring employees for at least 25 years of service, including Lester Engel, George Devereaux, Alden Hazen, Ron Hines, Iman Fox, Frank Belka, Rol Hummell and Wilmer Wesse.

Editor-Publisher Irvin P. Helmey penned an editorial on the retirement of Mayor Phil Reno, saying, “Not all of Mayor Reno’s acts were met with favor of the Globe and there were times he was something less than happy with us, but there was never a time when a reporter was made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at council meetings.”

Miss Hu Meei Lien of Taiwan was a holiday season guest of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph and family in Wayland. She and Kathy Mark are students at Miami Christian University in Florida.

To prevent the spread of colds and flu, the Allegan County Health Department has canceled all clinics throughout January.

Kathy Worfel scored 13 points and the Wayland girls’ basketball team defeated Middleville 24-9.

Pomona Grange will meet at the Leighton Center Grange Jan. 20. Jane and June Tinsler will perform at the piano and Mrs. Mary Jane Wagner, youth director for the Michigan State Grange, will be the guest speaker.

75 Years Ago — Jan. 10, 1947

The Village of Wayland has been busy with trucks removing about a foot of snow from streets. A gang of men shoveling and a tractor owned by L.W. Johnson is being used to clean the debris.

Mrs. Hattie Sigler, who lived in Wayland for nearly 75 years, died at her home on Locust Street. She was a charter member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Order of Eastern Star and the Ant-Can’t Club.

Joesph E. Gula, a native of Czechoslavakia and World War I veteran, died of a heart attack in Grand Rapids. He came to Wayland in 1921 to live on a farm and was an inspector for the Pere Marquette Railway.

The American Legion is staging the farcical comedy, “A Womanless Wedding,” Jan. 15 and 16 at the Wayland High School Auditorium. Post Commander Halen Hudson said there’s not an ounce of sense in the entire show. Nearly half of the girls will be portrayed by husky males.

Two Grand Rapids men, one of them a recent enlistee in the U.S. Army, died in a traffic crash at the curve about a half mile north of town.

Two local fires were reported in the village, at the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Milo Farnsworth and Mrs. Ida Overmire. There were no injuries and damage was confined to the sources of the blazes.

Mrs. Norma Hudson have a presentation on home management to members of the Ladies Library Club.

The Barkenall League basketball tournament will be held later this month, with two teams from Wayland and Hopkins, Kelloggsville, Caledonia, Byron Center and Martin participating. The Wayland second unit, undefeated thus far this season, is a favorite.

Wayland and Hopkins played last week before a huge crowd of 500, where the Wayland second unit prevailed 24-15, but Hopkins won the other contest 40-37.Hopkins girls pummeled Wayland 30-4.

The Dixies have taken over first place in the local bowling league standings by defeating Barney Nicolai’s squad in a showdown.

Clara Baker Wolfinger, a Hopkins native, member of the Order of Eastern Star and member of the Hopkins Community Church, died at age 81.

Thirty-one men and 27 women attended the first sessions of the adult education series on agriculture and homemaking at Wayland High School last week.

Ten new members were to be initiated into the Leighton Grange at the group’s next meeting.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes and Dale Evans in “Roll on, Texas Moon.”

• Red Skelton, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Marilyn Maxwell in “The Show-off.”

• Laurence Olivier, George Sanders and Joan Fontaine in “Rebecca.”

100 Years Ago — Jan. 6, 1922

About 80 members were present at the Wayland Grange meeting Dec. 31, which featured a mock wedding with Grangers marching down the aisle. Master and Mrs. Crocker were presented with gifts for their year of service.

Ranselaer G. Smith of Gun Plains Township, celebrated his 101st birthday Dec. 24 as Allegan County’s oldest citizen.

Canadian-born Silas D. Hilborn died at his home near Gun Lake. Active farming and stock buying and reported to be “honest and upright in his dealings,” he was 63.

Mrs. Mae Smith led a rousing musical presentation of “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” at the latest meeting of the Ladies Library Club. She also read a paper about the history of the nation’s capital.

Mrs. Leonard Lussenden has been suffering from blood poisoning in her hand.

The First Congregational Church had its annual meeting and potluck, at which E.C. Nevins was re-elected deacon and Peter Alman trustee.

Mrs. E. Buck narrowly escaped being hit by a flyer at one of the Interurban crossing. She is hard of hearing and was not aware of the approaching car.

Russell Hanlon left Monday for Big Rapids, where he will take a 12-week course in pharmacy at Ferris Institute.

Glen Clark and J.L. Robinson are showing some of their birds, White Leghorns and Plymouth Rocks, at the Poultry Show in Grand Rapids.

The Northeast Hopkins Community Club adopted a resolution that insisted that farm women are entitled to the same labor-saving devices as their husbands.

The children’s health clinics program for Allegan County has been completed with nurse Matilda McNeilly and Dr. I.L Slater. The work was done free for those parents who couldn’t afford to pay.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown:

• Ethel Clayton in “Young Mrs. Winthrop.”

• Eileen Percy in “The Tomboy.”

• The continuing series on “Winners of the West.”

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