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 — Jan. 20, 1997

The Lovall General Store in “Bygone Days”

Editor Nila Aamoth offered words of praise for rural carriers of the Globe who faced snowy weather challenges in her latest “Soapbox” entry. Wayland and surroundings were hit by blizzard conditions.

Former Wayland Board of Education member Diane Smith wrote a letter to the editor asking the current board to carefully consider the ramifications of privatizing school bus services in order to save money and she asked that those who signed petitions should be heard.

Condolences have been pouring in for the family of Wayland High School freshman Ryan Sipkema, 14, who was killed Jan. 11 in a snowmobile accident. Pat Staley wrote a feature story about the young man.

The Hopkins Township Board has agreed to have Professional Code Inspections handle building permits, succeeding former Supervisor Kevin Cronin.

Kristopher Cheyne, 22, has been arrested for robbing the Moline branch of the Moline State Bank Jan. 14 with a short-barreled shotgun. There were no injuries in the incident.

Chad Burgess scored 26 points to lead Wayland to victory over O-K Gold Conference rival Belding and keep the Wildcats in the league title hunt.

A balanced offensive attack from Tim Kisner, Mike Kisner, Brian Maher and Kurt Glupker sparked Hopkins to a rout of previously unbeaten Fennville.

Martin registered its first SAC volleyball dual match victory over Bloomingdale and now is 2-8-1 overall.

The Wayland volleyball team now is 9-5-3 overall after beating Godwin Heights in a dual meet.

The Leighton Township Board is wrestling with a prospects of constructing a new Leighton Township Library building in Moline near Division, noting that it will be the biggest structure in the township. Officials are reluctant to levy a millage.

A battle over the appointment of a planning commissioner, either David Patchak or Randy Marklevitz, is raging in Wayland Township, where the board seems to be in conflict mode since the recounted election of Democratic Supervisor Jose Blanco.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 19, 1972

Frederick K. Ritz has been appointed to the board of directors at the Moline State Bank. The board includes Chairman Victor Fleser, Vice President Wesley Jackson and Director Glenn Kaechele. Joe Haveman is president of the bank, celebrating its 52nd year.

There is no rush for candidates for city offices in the spring election. William Schuh has declared for a trustee’s seat on the council, Mrs. Fred Feldwisch for treasurer and Ernest Martin for assessor. Mayor Phil Reno will not seek another term.

The new state traffic symbols feature fewer words and more symbols for motorists’ ease of recognition.

Mrs. Ransom (Nita) Heth is Wayland’s first-ever licensed auctioneer after graduating from a school in Battle Creek.

The Hopkins post office includes three “Alices,” postmaster Alice Calkins, Alice Thompson, and Alice Switek.

Elmer White, in his “Michigan Mirror” column, pointed out that President Richard Nixon has never carried Michigan in elections and has shown little interest in the state since the 1968 vote.

The Hopkins Methodist Church is welcoming District Superintendent Dr. Robert Smith to services this weekend.

Trooper O.J. Smith and Dorr Township Constable Butch Smith were pictured with an impressive number of bluegills they caught at Boot Lake. “Naturally, being men of the law, they were careful to stay within the limit of the law.”

Sports writer David T. Young ruffled more than a few feathers with his column saying “Women’s lib is alive and well, sprouting its wings in the girls’ gym.” He said it’s unfair to relegate the girls to the dilapidated old gymnasium while boys get to play in the newer and more spacious Pearl Street gym.

Wayland was clobbered by Caledonia 74-49 in varsity boys’ hoops. Sophomore Paul Heckert scored 14 points, but high scorers Jim Hendrixson and Bob Lehocky were limited to six and two points, respectively.

75 Years Ago — Jan. 24, 1947

Hopkins won the Bar-Ken-All League basketball tournament by defeating Kelloggsville in the championship game. R. McBride scored 16 points. Wayland defeated Martin in the other contest Saturday. “It is unfortunate that that many had to be turned away because of a lack of space.”

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher reported the Henika Library has undergone some remodeling and installation of fluorescent lights.

Thirty-five ladies attended a homemaking class on flower arranging at Wayland High School Monday night under the auspices of the Wayland Garden Club and Dora Weaver.

Mosher, also in his column, noted, “Of all the money that the federal government spent and in some cases squandered, we have always believed that the money went into the Rural Electrification Administration was the one that did the most good.” The funds have enabled many rural farms to hook up to electrical lines.

Miss Frances F. Smith died at age 80 in Pasadena Calif. She was the daughter of Wayland area pioneers and longtime members of the local Congregational Church.

Three committemen, Frank Geib, Thomas Lukins and Harold Carpenter and an assessor have been approved for the new Village of Martin.

Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Ladies will have a Bunco party Jan. 26.

A firemen’s ball is scheduled for Feb. 12 at the Dixie Ballroom. Admission will be $1.

Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Hilbert and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Smith attended the winter meeting of the American Seed Trade Association at the Palmer House in Chicago.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Gene Autry, Ann Miller and Jimmy Durante in “Melody Ranch.”

• John Garfield, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Faye Emerson in “Nobody Lives Forever.”

• Katherine Hepburn, Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum in “Undercurrent.”

100 Years Ago — Jan. 20, 1922

It was reported in American Legion Notes that “energetic pursuit and punishment of the more than 100,000 men who evaded the draft during the world war is urgently recommended by the adjutant general of the Army…”

The boys at the high school have been divided into two teams, with Raymond Fox captain of the “Foxes” and Gerald Andrus for the other to raise money for baseball suits. The Foxes already have held a candy sale and the Andrus team is planning a bake sale.

The eighth grade county examination in reading this year will be on “The Great Stone Face.”

Mrs. Rumery presented a paper on “The Oil Industry” to members of the Ladies Library Club.

The recitation for the Jan. 21 meeting of the Wayland Grange was “When I Had the Measles,” presented by Verna Leggett. The debate was on the question, “Should a housewife have an allowance?” The affirmative was Mrs. Clack, the negative Mr. Clack.

Mary Jane Rudy, who moved to Wayland 23 years previous from Pennsylvania, died at age 80. She attended Sunday school at the Methodist Episcopal Jan. 8, had dinner and became ill that evening.

The school in Hopkins District No. 5 has been closed because of an outbreak of diphtheria. There have been no fatalies reported.

Reuben Smith has sold his pool room o n South Main Street to Jerome Zaiser.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown:

• Enid Bennett and Lloyd Hughes in “The False Road.”

• Shirley Mason in “The Mother Heart.”

• “Winners of the West,” two-reel western series.

1 Comment

  • Kudos to you, Mr. Young, for “ruffling more than a few feathers” with your column supporting girls’ access to the newer gym 50 years ago.

    I’m guessing that the new fluorescent lighting installed in the Henika Library 75 years ago was the same lighting that was replaced by softer lighting in the interior restoration that happened in the late ’90s. Things do change, but not very quickly, especially in underfunded libraries.

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