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 — March 31, 1997

The front page of the Globe was graced by a spectacular photo of a farmhouse and barn fire on 13th Street in Hopkins Township that left a family of six without a home.

West Shore Construction, an asphalt company, is seeking a permit to mine gravel in Wayland Township, but first must satisfy 17 zoning requirements set forth by the Planning Commission.

Yankee Springs Township Planning Commission members are being asked why dog houses are being built locally without special use permits.

Opposition to a proposed park in Watson Township took up a lot of discussion at the public hearing. Neighbors raised concerns about vandalism, partying, traffic congestion and loss of wildlife. Ron Kryowsinki flatly stated, “I don’t want it in my back yard.”

Editor Nila Aamoth suggested an alternative truck route circumventing downtown Wayland as a way to cope with traffic problems caused by big rigs making turns in tight corners.

Thomas McDonnell Jr. penned a letter to the editor expressing dismay at ignoring the dangers of abstinence-only sex education, noting that may teens, whether adults like it or not, are already sexually active.

A 15-year-old Reed City motorist was finally apprehended by Wayland State Police after a high-speed chase that featured 100 miles per hour clockings. The chase started on U.S.-131 at Bradley and concluded in Kalamazoo. The driver had three passengers, all 14 and under.

Waycom, a new Internet provider, has opened for business with the slogan “Nothin’ But Net.”

Cub Scout Troop 3017 honored Jason Weber and Andy Davis who saved the life of a woman whose truck had been struck by a train the previous fall.

Wayland’s softball team won its season opener 17-4 over Hopkins. Angie Farmer pitched five innings, Amy Hilton crashed a couple of run-scoring doubles and freshman Kara Potter had two singles.

The Globe had a lot of spring sports previews of softball and track programs.

Leslie Anderson, Bree Davisson, Sarah Halsted and Amie Roldan are returning SAC champions for the Martin track team.

Harlow W. Schwartz, 62, of Clifton Park, NY, a native of Hopkins died of cancer. He was 62. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Michigan State University.

50 Years Ago — March 29, 1972

The Internal Revenue Service has granted tax exempt status to Moline Christian School.

Jacob Stehouwer, a longtime Hopkins Township farmer, died at Kent Community Hospital. He was 86.

The Hopkins Board of Education voted to place a request for renewal of five mills for operations for two years in the June 12 annual school election.

Gordon D. Landis, 35, of Alto, was sentenced for up to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting the robbery of the Clarksville branch of Wayland State Bank.

The Wayland Board of Education is exploring the idea of establishing a four-county Regional Media Center, including Allegan, Montcalm, Kent and Ionia counties. Richard Overmire of Wayland is chairman of the special committee studying the proposal.

Doyle Farling, a Wayland High School graduate, was injured in an explosion and fire at the Pet Milk plant. The incident was believed to have been caused by a buildupin the company’s bulk creamer instantizer.

Kenneth Bird, plant manager at Kessler’s, died after a brief illness at Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital. He was 57. A veteran of World War II, he was a member of the Lions Club and St. Therese Ushers Club.

Forrest Reichebach and Howard Lee are co-chairs of the Fraternal Order of Police annual Easter Egg Hunt at the City Park Saturday, April 1, at the City Park.

Mrs. Roman Stankey wrote a letter to the editor expressing her displeasure with the Hopkins Board of Education deciding not to offer David Dagley a contract to be principal at the high school, allegedly because of his penchant for “permissiveness.”

Fred Krumm became the first Hopkins FFA member to receive an American Farmer Degree and classmates Tom Miller, Merle Coffey and Jim Gratz earned State FFA degrees at the state convention at Michigan State University. The Hopkins Demonstration Team won a Gold Award, with Tom Miller, Brad Kern and Scott Miller.

A Hopkins chapter of the American Field Service program for foreign exchange students is being formed.

William Valentine Baweja, a 1966 graduate of Wayland High School, has returned home after a two-year tour of duty serving Vietnam.

Dan Kelsey and Dan McGuire of Martin and Bob Walker of Hopkins were named to the Allegan-Ottawa all-conference basketball team.

The Wayland girls’ basketball team won the Sportsmanship Award for the Al-Van Conference and Kathy Worfel was recognized as the top individual scorer with 126 points for the season.

The Wayland volleyball team defeated Allegan and Fennville. Top scorers were Louann Nakken, Sherry Tate and Marilyn Kuhtic.

75 Years Ago — April 4, 1947

Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher outlined proposals and candidates on the ballot for the biannual spring election. One proposal was for non-partisan elections of judicial officers. The other was to allow corporations to hold real estate for up to 30 years in cities with populations of more than 5,000.

Wayland Garden Club members were to answer roll call at their meeting with “Obnoxious Weeds.”

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Noffsinger, who bought the farm of Rudolph Steeby in Leighton Township last fall, have sold the place and moved to Grand Rapids.

Former Hilliards farmer Joseph Pawloski, 91, died in Grand Rapids. Born in Poland, he came to the U.S. in 1881 and he leaves 85 descendants.

Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Towne have moved their greenhouse and flower shop to a new location at 333 North Main St.

The Middleville High School speech class will present a play to members of the Leighton Grange April 11.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake in “Blondie’s Big Moment.”

• Ken Curtis, Guy Kibbe and the Hoosier Hot Shots in “Over the Santa Fe Trail.”

• Roslaind Russell, Alexander Knox and Dean Jagger in “Sister Kenny.”

• Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith and Francis Lederer in “Diary of a Chambermaid.”

100 Years AgoMarch 31, 1922

Indian Princess Neawanna was a special guest of the Ladies Library Club and gave a lecture about the American Indian. “Not only was the lecture entertaining, it was of an educational nature.” She sang an Indian lullabye in her native tongue.

Next week, member of the Plainwell Current Events Club will be guests of the LLC.

Seth Oliver, a Wayland High School graduate, is studying telegraphy at Ferris Institute in Big Rapids.

Two representatives from the State Board of Health gave lectures to Wayland school students, boys and girls separately.

The Regent Theatre plans to present James Whitcomb Riley’s famous poem “The Old Swimming Hole.” The play, with Charles Day in the lead, celebrates the implementation of 24-hour electric service in the community.

The county nurse, Miss McNielly, will be at the home of Mrs. Charles Yeakey for a baby clinic April 5.

A government surplus auction will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the Burleson Broom Building, promoted and directed by the United States Salvage Co.

Howard E. Ward has purchased the service garage of Hall & Holmes. John Hall has moved his household goods business to Kalamazoo.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre: Mildred Harris Chaplin in “Old Dad,” Charles Ray in “Homer Comes Home” and Lon Chaney and Priscilla Dean in “Outside the Law.”

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