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

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now historical library in downtown Dorr, which this week was recommended for a genealogical research project by The Michigan Historical Society)

25 Years Ago — Jan. 13, 1997

Opponents of privatizing school busing are not quieting their campaign, as they showed up at a Wayland Board of Education meeting to voice their opinions. School board members heard from privatization firms to pitch their services. Teacher Jeff Salisbury said, “It’s a philosophical issue, not a money issue. It you make it about dollars and cents, you will lose.”

The Allegan County Mental Health RAP program is zeroing in on the thorny problem of teen-agers and sexual harassment, focusing this time on Hopkins schools.

The Wayland Township Board has approved creation of a deputy supervisor’s position, but nixed a planner. Clair Black was appointed deputy supervisor at $7.50 for up to 100 hours per year.

The Wayland and Hopkins High School basketball teams have concluded a competition to help the hungry with cans of food.

The Wayland City Council declined the offer to take over ownership of the ancient railroad depot, as suggested by the Then & Now Historical Society, which now is taking to Conrail about it so Joe Mille and Rick Slagter can move their auto repair business just north of the structure.

Mike Permoda wrote a letter to the editor suggesting the school board is more more interested in making money with private bus service rather than serving the community.

Two miles of roads in Martin Township will be resurfaced in the summer of 1997, including Second Street and 118th Avenue.

Monterey Township officials plan to have an optical scan system installed to replace paper ballots in the next election.

Bill Fifelski retired as after 31 years of service as a letter carrier with the U.S. Post Office in Dorr.

Page’s Resort at Gun Lake, long ago a historic landmark as a hotel, was razed. It originally was on the property of Streeter’s Resort in the 1880s.

Sophomore Jess Brown scored 24 points at 17 in Martin’s two losses to Saugatuck and Decatur.

All-stater Tim Kisner scored 45 points as Hopkins defeated Battle Creek Pennfield 90-86 in overtime.

Senior all-state candidate Walter Smith slammed home 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Wayland lifted its record to 5-1 with a win over Cedar Springs.

Freshmen Kara Potter and Nicki Merchant sparked Wayland’s volleyball team to a league season opening win over Kenowa Hills.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 12, 1972

Wayland High School senior Teresa Calkins was named the winner of the annual Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Godd Citizenship award.

Walter Belka, 25, a victim of muscular dystrophy, died at his home in Dorr.

Though some parents asked the Wayland Board of Education to change hours for school bus pickup, the board decided to stay the course.

Wayland Education Association President Eugene Washchuck formally requested that teachers be granted back pay for the fall of 1971 when a nation-wide wage and price freeze was instituted.

Allegan County Clerk Esther Hettinger was honored for her many years of service before retiring after 39 years.

Frank Reno, the twin brother of L.P. Reno of Wayland, died at age 86 in Traverse City.

Roy St. Clair, former commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion in Wayland, died Jan. 8 in Hopkins. He was 54.

Two apartments above Art’s Tavern in downtown Dorr were damaged by fire. Chief Bernie Damveld said his crew and firefighters from Moline and Salem Townships were hindered by freezing temperatures, but Dee’s Fine Foods helped with hot coffee.

Mrs. Frank Calkins, who was born in Salem Township in 1892, died at her rural Hopkins home.

Alden Hazen received an award for 35 years of service at Pet Incorporated in Wayland.

Mrs. Milo Farnsworth presented slides depicting the history of Wayland to members of the Wayland Lions Club.

A balanced scoring attack highlighted Wayland boys’ basketball team’s 77-64 victory over Middleville. Bob Lehocky scored 19 points, Mike Trubiroha 17, Jim Hendrixson 14, and Tim Baugh and Pat Wilde 11 apiece. The ‘Cats, now 2-6, also got the best earlier in the week against Comstock Park, as Trubiroha scored 14 points, blocked five shots and gathered 11 rerbounds. Lehocky netted 26 points.

Kathy Worfel dropped in 19 points and Wayland defeated Fennville in girls’ basketball.

Don McLean took over the No. slot among the nation’s tunes with his iconic “American Pie.”

75 Years Ago — Jan. 17, 1949

With the retirement of Circuit Judge John Miles, candidates to succeed him thus far are Ervin Andrews, Ramond Smith and Louis Oosterhouse.

The American Legion’s annual Womanless Wedding farce played to a packed house. Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher insisted its success was owning mostly to the efforts of Director Jaymie Hicks and her assistant, Frances Carter.

Frank Spatney, who came to America from Czechoslavakia when he was 9 years old, died at his Gun Lake home. He was 72.

Roy Johnson had 22 point and Wayland defeated Byron Center in the opening round of the Barkenall basketball tournament. Hopkins came from behind to beat Caledonia, 29-23.

Allegan County has reported six cases of Infantile Paralysis (polio) and the Wayland Rotary Club plans a Polio Ball Jan. 30 at the Dixie Ballroom.

The farm home owned by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Brown, Ohio Corners, was destroyed by fire. The couple had only recently purchased what was known as the Germaine Farm. The house and contents were a total loss.

German native Henry Moeller died at his farm home north of Wayland. He was 74.

Ardythe Jane Snyder, 17, and Mrs. Homer Bauchman, 32, were killed while walking on the road near the Dixie south of Wayland. Both Hastings women were struck by an automobile after the dance at the ballroom.

Dorr Township native Homer Todd died at his home south of Wayland after an illness of two weeks. He was 74.

The adult homemaking class at Wayland High School had a lively discussion on “Getting the Most out of Your Clothing Dollar.”

George Parsons, dairy specialist from Michigan State College, will lead a discussion at the meeting of the Artificial Breeders group at Wayland High School.

Rollo G. Mosher wrote in his column, “To our way of thinking, the village could very well, if it has any spare change lying around in the coffers, buy a new tractor and snow plow.”

Clara Hall pumped in 17 points and Hopkins beat Martin in a neighborhood girls’ basketball contest.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Donald Barry and Ann Savage in “The Last Crooked Mile.”

• Sunset Carson and Peggy Stewart in “Days of Buffalo Bill.”

• Van Johnson, Keenan Wynn, Guy Lombardo, Xavier Cugat in “No Love, No Leave.”

• Walter Pidgeon, Jose Iturbi and Roddy McDowall in “Holiday in Mexico.”

100 Years Ago — Jan. 13, 1922

The Wayland High School student body resembles a World War group home from foreign fields. Alton Crofoot carries right arm in a sling, Juanita Hilbert has her left arm bandaged, James Halloran has a swollen eye and adhesive plaster, and Clayton Hendrixson has a bandaged hand.

Juniors are beginning to work on their play, “Galliger.”

Former Leighton lad Robert Oosterhout, 64, died at his home in Yorkville, Ill. “The devotion of Mr. Oosterhout to his invalid wife was a matter of unusual depth.”

W. A. Crocker was installed as master of the Rural Grange No. 31, which reported a membership of 101 and average attendance of 50 or better.

Hooker School teacher Gertrude Vollweiller is on the sick list and the school had to be closed for three days.

The Moline band, under the baton of Mr. VanVoorst, presented a concert to a full house and O.A. Kirkby presented funny readings.

Fred C. Fierabend, “The Fox Man,” furnished foxes for the George Barnum ranch and a pair of German Shepherds were purchased.

Marjorie Grinage, 3, died at the Kalamazoo home of her parents. She was born in Shelbyville.

The workmen stringing the copper wires for the M & W. Light Co. have been helped by favorable January weather. They still have to set poles in Wayland and Monteith.

Mrs. W.W. Hooker has been engaged to finish the school year as teacher Nelson School north of town after the illness of Mrs. M.E. Stokoe.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown”

• Bryant Washburn, How to Make Home Brew.”

• Harold Goodwin in “Hearts of Youth.”

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

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