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. 27, 1997

The continuing debate over privatizing Wayland Union Schools’ transportation services moved into the next phase when a panel began seeking bids.

A bungled bank robbery at the Gun Lake branch of National Bank of Hastings left would-be thieves with nothing for their trouble.

A Shelbyville woman, Margaret Allen, won a $6.9 million Lotto prize on her husband’s birthday. She quit her job and plans to buy a new home and car and invest in her daughter’s future.

Tom Mathison of Tower Pinkster, the architect of an addition for Sycamore Elementary School, is going with a leaf motif.

Wayland High School varsity basketball coach Mike Hudson guided his team to an overtime victory over Wyoming Rogers, coach by his father, Harry.

Carol Miller, of the Citizens Against Privatization, wrote a letter to the editor opining that too few citizens appeared at a meeting focusing on school bus drivers and what they do.

Wayland Board of Education Trustee Robert J. Wiersema penned a letter defending the school board for looking into the pros and cons of privatizing transportation services. He suggested saving money could result in hiring more teachers.

Editor Nila Aamoth penned on “Soapbox’ a request that the school board reconsider not establishing a memorial outside the east entrance to the high school.

Village of Hopkins officials acknowledge there is no satisfactory resolution to the need for a full-time police officer because the budget stands at $18,000 annually. It was noted that hires at low pay generally are beginning police officers who use the position as a stepping stone.

Dr. Tadd A. Heft of Allegan has approached the Village of Hopkins about setting up a medical practice at 130 W. Main.

Mike Sparrow scored 14 points and gathered 10 rebounds to spark Martin to its first victory, 49-46 over Gobles.

Godwin Heights handed Hopkins its first loss of the season, 65-52, as Tim Kisner scored 21 points and Brian Maher added a dozen.

A dedication ceremony for the new Wayland Middle School will be held Sunday afternoon, Feb. 2. Holly Lear is principal. Seventh-grader Kristi Barnaby commented, “I used to hate school. Now it’s OK.”

The first annual Hopkins High School wrestling tournament is approaching this Saturday.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 26, 1972

Fred C. Yeakey, vice president of marketing for the Gerber Products Co., has been named to a seat on the board of directors for Wayland State Bank, succeeding his father, A.E. Yeakey, who retired after 30 years.

Former Wayland businessman and Fire Chief Clifford Averill of Dorr died at Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 80.

Just above the Globe name plate on the front page was the message: “President Nixon: Your Tuesday night policy address was great. We salute you.” Editor-Publisher Irvin P. Helmey never made it a secret that he and his wife, Helen, Jane, were lifelong Republicans.

The Wayland High School debate team won the O-K Blue Conference trophy. Team members included Bob Grafford, Conrad Mauchmar, Patricia Slomski, Jerry Kuper, Wayne Thomas, Mary Lautenschleger, Jan Shoemaker and John Linder. Coach is Eugene Washchuck.

A “Snowmobile Safari” chicken supper sponsored by the Wayland Mother’s Club is planned for Saturday evening at the high school cafeteria.

The State Boundary Commission will have a public hearing on a request to annex a portion of Leighton Township into the City of Wayland.

Former Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher has sent his “Observations” column from his winter home in Florida.

The Kent Intermediate School District Board has invited Wayland to send one representative for career education development committee.

Former Wayland teacher Irma McCracken died at Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital. She was 89.

Pvt. Daniel Glusic, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Glusic of Wayland, and a 1971 graduate of Wayland High School, died in an accident while driving a military vehicle in Germany.

Wayland High School graduate Cindy Weber has been selected as one of the members from the Western Michigan University choir to sing in a concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Miller Auditorium on the WMU campus. They will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky.”

Helmey, in his editorial comment, noted publication of the annual delinquent tax sale. He noted, “If all no sale were necessary and all taxes were paid (on time), that situation would be perfect.”

There was an advertisement by the Astro Family Theatre in Middleville, which was showing “Love Story,” with Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw.

Fire destroyed the home of John DeHaan on 144th Avenue in Moline. Mr. DeHaan, 79 years old, was injured and is now staying with his won and daughter-in-law.

The Allegan County 4-H Department is seeking adult leaders for teen snowmobiling activities.

Jim Hendrixson scored 17 points, Pat Wilde had 11 and Gib Goodwin and Paul Heckert each had 10, but state-ranked Wyoming Lee spanked the Wildcat varsity 91-57. Adding to the news of woe, leading scorer Bob Lehocky will be out for the rest of the season because of a thigh injury.

The Wayland girls’ basketball team looks forward to a rematch with Martin, the only team to defeat them this season.

Paul Fair and Joe Permoda were the only winners for the Wayland wrestling team in its 55-9 loss to O-K Blue powerhouse Comstock Park.

Chuck Pelham and sophomore Kelly McEwen led Hopkins to a 76-39 hoops victory over Kalamazoo St. Augustine.

75 Years Ago — Jan. 31, 1947

The State Highway Department reports that the toll of small animals killed by motor vehicles continues to climb unabated, with dog fatalities leading the way.

Legal notices are being published for the Republican Party village caucuses Feb. 17.

A local chapter of the Humane Society is being organized in Plainwell with plans to establish an animal shelter.

There was a bruising political battle between Congressman Clare Hoffman and Judge Thomspon for the chairmanship of the Allegan County Republic Party.

Ira G. Gillispie, former grand master of the Odd Fellows, a Thornapple Township native and longtime Leighton Township farmer, died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He was 79.

Mrs. Betty Doublestein, the French wife of Charles Doublestein, gave Wayland Rotarians and Rotary Anns an interesting account of the last days of Hitler at a dinner at the Dixie.

Weaver’s Hardware, which has been closed for remodeling since before the holiday season, has reopened downtown.

The Rev. James R. Pollock, former chaplain in one of the armored divisions that marched into Berlin, spoke at the Methodist Church.

The undefeated Hopkins girls’ basketball team, led by Clara Hall, will put their unblemished record on the line next against Byron Center. The girls call themselves “The Angels” because the boys’ team nickname is the Blue Devils.

Harold Hoffmaster, a polio victim, suffered a fall and broke his hip at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• William Elliott and Vera Rawlston in “The Plainsman and the Lady.”

• Lucille Bll, John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan in “Two Smart People.”

• Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy and William Bendix in “Two Years Before the Mast.”

100 Years Ago — Jan. 27, 1922

John Haley Jr., formerly of Wayland, was taken to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo with a broken spine after he fell from a building scaffold in Kalamazoo. Haley, a carpenter, also suffered other internal injuries and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Wayland High School juniors and seniors gathered for a party at the home of Miss Mildred Hitchcock. Time was spent with games, music and refreshments.

The third installment of the Lyceum series will arrive Friday evening with “The Virginians,” featuring four “peppy colored people bent on giving you an enjoyable evening.”

Miss McKinstry gave a terrific book review of “If Winter Comes” to members of the Ladies Library Club. Robert LaTourette als presented two paino solos.

The Forest Lewis Post of the American Legion decided to make a contribution to the American Legion program of East Jordan.

The long-awaited production of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” will be presented at the Regent Theatre downtown.

Daniel McBride, a well-to-do farmer north of Hopkins, suffered a stroke of apoplexy while doing chores at his barn and died.

An exploding lamp caused a fire that destroyed a stone house near Pickeral Lake, owned by J. Frank Smith of Toledo. The fire spread so rapidly that practically none of the contents was saved and only the stone walls were left standing. 

A tuberculin test by the health officer in tandem with Drs. VanBrussel and Slater, found that the dairy herd of Mr. Ryno was safe and pure.

The local Methodist Church is sponsoring a series, “The Church Must Save America,” featuring the legacy of John Wesley Jr.

Carrie Frue was elected president of the Ladies Aid Society at Hopkinsburg. O.D. Stevens was elected deacon at the First Congregational Church.

Otto Herp erected a new gas and oil service at Moline and installed a 15,000-gallon tank.

Hope Rebekah Lodge of Wayland will have a Valentines Social Saturday evening, Feb. 11.

“The Country Squire,” a rural comedy, will be presented Feb. 16 under the auspices of the Ladies Library Club at the Regent Theatre.

Mrs. Harold Steeby is acting substitute teacher at the Hooker School until Mis Vollweller is able to return.

“Arnold Runkel of Hopkins has already broken his New Year’s Resolution. He has been seen with the girls several times.”

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