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

(Taken from the archives at the Then & Now Historical Library in downtown Dorr)

Red school buses and their drivers line up besides Wayland School back in the day.

25 Years Ago — April 7, 1997

A number of Watson Township residents are telling the Township Board they aren’t happy with the current state of the local roads, a plan for a park at 20th Street and M-222 and an environmentally challenging pile of tires near 12th Street.

The Michigan State Police, Wayland post, have indicated they now have a list of convicted sex offenders for the public to peruse to see if there any in the neighborhood.

Area health officials confirmed tainted berries were served in Wayland, Martin and Hopkins schools and fears have arisen over the possibility of a hepatitis A outbreak. No cases have been reported yet.

Wayland High School graduate Erin Marsh, now a junior at the University of Michigan, wrote a letter to the editor insisting it is the duty of public schools to teach information about sex, regardless of what parents and religious leaders think.

Bob and Mary VanRee of VanRee Trucking penned a letter to the editor defending truckers who pay taxes and are better citizens than charges of “grim drivers.”

Former Wayland City Manager Harmon “Pete” Stull is a prime candidate for village manager at Caledonia.

Developer Greg Dykstra’s plans to build condominiums on a 2.2-acre parcel west of downtown Dorr on 142nd Avenue are proceeding after approval for rezoning from commercial to residential.

Bob Golm, Bruce Sexton and Anita Modreske were unopposed for their seats on the Wayland City Council in the annual spring election.

The Henika Library Board is seeking alternative means of financial support after the loss of revenue from Leighton Township, which is forming its own library.

Dorr Township Library’s site is struggling to keep up with growing population and may seek ways to move into a new facility. They were located at what today is the Then & Now Historical Library.

The two tumors removed from the brain of teen-ager Jamie George were found to be benign and he is home now resting comfortably after surgery.

50 Years Ago — April 5, 1972

Marshall Towne defeated Walt Gurney in a very close race for Wayland City Mayor, the first local community leader, 306 to 276, other than the retiring Phil Reno in a couple of decades. Meanwhile, Marie Hall became the first woman ever to serve on the City Council.

Mrs. William Raaf is seeking a zoning variance to permit construction of two duplexes near Forrest and East Maple Streets.

Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz will be guest speaker at a special West Michigan Republican fund-raiser in Grand Rapids at the Civic Auditorium.

Donna Benedict, Mrs. Harol Ernst, Barb Kotrba, Mrs. Betty Davis, Joan Medendorp, Mrs. Jerry Nelson and Mrs. Roger Ling are heading up plans for the third annual Earth Day celebration here April 22.

Charles Towne, a local official and father of newly-elected Mayor Marshall Towne, died at age 79. He was a veteran of World War I, a member of the VFW and American Legion and the Masonic Lodge.

The Globe ran a photo of the Moline Centennial Committee, which included Mrs. Wayne Ritz, Merland Pepper, Pete DeKraker, Mrs. DeHaan, Jim Westhouse and George Whitcomb.

Phillip Reno had a big week. Besides stepping down as Wayland’s first mayor, he was chosen the Lions Club Citizen of the Year and was elected president of Pipp Hospital Board of Trustees.

Mrs. Barbara Welch and Mrs. Henry Chachulski wrote letters to the editor defending the Hopkins school district from allegations of lack of discipline in a letter that appeared a week before.

James Taylor Jr. was the winner of the annual Leighton Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby.

Columnist Charlie Frost predicted the Detroit Tigers were “not a division winning team” because it had no one on the pitching staff besides Mickey Lolich who could be counted on to win. The Tigers won the division, Joe Coleman won 20 games to back up Lolich’s 25 and mid-season acquisition Woody Fryman had a sensational year.

Fourteen members of the Hopkins chapter of the FFA earned a perfect score for their corn project and advisor Roy Miller also was honored at the Corn Banquet in Grand Rapids.

75 Years Ago — April 11, 1947

Members of the local PTA were treated to evening tour session at the school at the corner of Pine and Pearl streets.

Fifteen ladies attended the second meeting of the new-formed clothing construction class. Miss Morrison, a student teacher from Michigan State College, presented helpful hints to the adult class.

The St. Therese Altar Society will be host for a country style ham supper starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Legion Hall. Pillow cases and other fancy handiwork will be on sale.

Sister Hazel Christensen was chosen associate matron for the local Order of Eastern Star to succeed Sister Arlie Lauz, who has moved to Missouri.

The Globe chatter columns were chock full of accounts of people gathering for Easter dinner.

Twelve of the 13 members of Wayland 4-H attended Achievement Day at the Griswold Auditorium in Allegan, under the leadership of Mrs. Norma Hudson and Mrs. J.L. Gurney.

Walt Gurney is home on leave from the Merchant Marines. He and two friends traveled from New York and were challenged by a blinding snowstorm in Canada.

Wayland Chamber of Commerce President Mrs. Merle Peffley presented a review of the previous year at the group’s annual dinner. J.R. Rugaber, Julius Andringa and R.J. Nicolai were named to the board of directors.

Only 165 voters showed up at the polls for the spring election. Raymond Smith of Holland was elected Circuit Judge.

The Wayland Radio Shop located in the Delp Building and operated by Myron Wilde is having a closeout sale. Wilde will continue electronic service from his home.

Ladies Library Club members were given a presentation by Mrs. Ruby Larsen on the Easter story and the Ladies Sextette sang two selections with Hazel Overmire on the piano.

Delbert Taylor was listed in serious condition at U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor after two operations for crushed bones in his feet and a ruptured ulcer of the stomach.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Barbara Britton in “The Fabulous Suzanne.”

• Wild Bill Elliott and Red Ryder and Robert Blake in “Conquest of Cheyenne.”

• Gail Russell, Claire Trevor, Ann Dvorak and Adolph Menjou in “Bachelor’s Daughters.”

•  Joan Crawford, John Garfield and Oscar Levant in “Humoresque.”

100 Years Ago — April 7, 1922

The Ladies Library Club held a reciprocity night with the Plainwell Current Events Club at the home of Irene Yeakey. Mrs. Havens presented a paper of “Thrift.”

The Shattuck Store was featuring boys’ steel fibre nick suits and dress Oxfords.

Students in freshman English have completed a unit of producing newspapers. “They are worthy rivals in originality and cleverness to most of our great dailies.”

The Wayland girls’ basketball team will have new outfits when they play their season finale April 15 against Martin.

The WHS baseball team was defeated 7-3 by the Local Independents.

Wayland High School teacher Miss Hanles resigned due to ill health.

Frances Reidlinger, only 28, died March 21 after a trip to California to seek a warmer climate for her ill health. Surving are her husband Rupert and two children.

The Bradley Congregational Church will have an Easter supper April 7, with proceeds going to the drive to buy a piano.

The new fire truck got a fresh coat of paint, with Frank Hitchcock doing the work.

The death of Mrs. Minerva Goodspeed, one of the few remaining community pioneers, occurred at her home in the village. Another pioneer, Samuel Wolcott, died at his farm near Shelbyville.

Wayland Township agreed to to appropriate $3,800 for the Highway Improvement Fund, bringing the total to $7,050 to be used on local roads.

Leon B. Schuh was advertising instructional moving pictures on the care of automobile tires planned for the Regent Theatre downtown Saturday.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre: Ben Turpin in the Mack Sennett comedy “Married Life,” William S. Hart in “Sand” and Anita Stewart in “The Yellow Typhoon.”

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