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 — July 14, 1997

Local historian James Levandoski died of a heart attack July 8. A graduate of Wayland High School, he had been a member of the Wayland Jaycees, Wayland Genealogy Club, and briefly was a businessman in Wayland. He wrote a book about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

The Leighton Township Board has rejected a plan to create a man-made lake for water skiing competition.

Martin High School no longer will allow students to opt out of semester examinations if they simply have perfect attendance.

The recent freak summer storm caused serious damage to a cottage at Gun Lake and will result in a rebuilding project.

Survey results will determined whether the Little Rabbit River Drain in Leighton and Dorr townships get cleaned out.

Pat Staley, in the weekly Soapbox column, reminded residents to be careful with fireworks, noting disaster was averted by quick action July by the Dorr Fire Department.

Barb Konecny resigned her position as treasurer at Wayland Township.

A small plane crashed in a field near Barlow Lake, killing its two occupants, and Federal Aviation Adminstration officials are investigating.

The Globe published a cute picture of Jessica Armstrong with patriotic painted face. Who could have known years later she would twice be a state champion in distance racing?

Barry County Drain Commissioner Robert Shaffer announced that Yankee Springs and Barry Township residents along the Cuddy Drain will pay for repairs after the freak summer storm clogged up things.

A fund-raising auction to help with costs of building a new football stadium at Hopkins netted about $8,000.

The Watson Township Board agreed to pay $1,000 for its annual contribution to the Hopkins Township Library.

50 Years Ago — July 11, 1972

Three local educators with a combined 68 years of experience, Mrs. Louis Japinga, Mrs. Frederic Hilbert and Mrs. Arend TenHoor, have announced their retirements. Mrs. Japinga most recently has been principal at Baker Elementary.

Congressman Guy VanderJagt was pictured breaking bread with local citizens Jack Cook, Walt Wenzel, Glenn Archer, George Hampel, Rev. Leo Bennett, Hugh DeWeerd, Marshall Towne and Harold Dietiker.

The Wayland chapter of the Jaycees had a special night to celebrate receiving its state charter. President of the group is Bill Conwell.

Quality Furniture has opened up shop at 142 S. Main St. in downtown Wayland. Kenneth Barnes of Lawrence is the manager.

Don Lapham was elected president of Wayland Boarde of Education. Dorothy DeWeerd is secretary and Robert Hendrixson treasurer.

Miss Sharon Nelson was hired to teach junior high physical education at Wayland.

The Miss Wayland pageant is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 12, under the leadership of the Ladies Library Club.

Mel Watkins took the president’s gavel from James Thomas as new president of the Wayland Rotary Club.

The Hopkins FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Team of Jim Gratz, Burton, Brenner and Dan Weick won top honors at the Michigan Animal Breeders Cooperative contest.

Sandy Snyder, 15, won first place in the Moline Centennial Talent Show with a baton twirling routine.

Gilbert O’Sullivan climbed atop the music top 40 list with “Alone Again, Naturally.”

75 Years Ago — July 18, 1947

Wilkie Bush landed a huge six-and-half pound dogfish west of Shelbyville with a cane pole and number six bluegill hook.

Six Wayland members of the Gray Ladies Red Cross volunteers, Orpha Leila Dietiker, Ethel Deardorff, Lucille Miles, Barbara Gardner and Mildred Smith, went to Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek to help veterans there.

Mr. and Mrs. Eldon Milheim and Ward Welsh were local delegates to the State Convention of the American Legion in Detroit.

Leighton maintained its half-game lead in the Wayland Softball league standings, being chased by Moline and the Vets.

The search for Wayland’s champion golfer will be concluded with a tournament Aug. 1-22at Indian Hills Golf Course. Spearheading the tourney is Walter Gillette.

Elton Calkins was re-elected to his school board seat and Mrs. Ruth Fox of Bradley joined the group for the first time.

Marshall Towne has been in Chicago recently, attending a course offered by Bright’s School of Floristry.

The Gun Lake Robbins, a new baseball team, has been established by ex-pro Joe Panyrek, featuring another ex-pro, Alvin Kotrba.

The Dorr Merchants will take on the Wyoming Beverly Merchants in a playoff after they played to  2-2 tie in an extra-inning game called on the account of darkness.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Ted Donaldson, Tom Powers and Ann Doran in “For the Love of Rusty.”

• Paul Kelly and Kay Scott in “Fear in the Night.”

• Jackie Jenkins, James Craig and Frances Gifford in “Little Mister Jim.”

• Paulette Goddard, Fred MacMurray and MacDonald Carey in “Suddenly It’s Spring.”

100 Years Ago — July 14, 1922

Lawrence Towne, of this village, while working on the Michigan Railway right of way, narrowly escaped serious injury when he was shocked by current from the third rail he touched with his am. He was thrown several feet and was briefly rendered unconscious. Dr. E.O Hanlon arrived on the scene to render aid.

The president of Michigan Agricultural College insisted in an address that the state needs 196,000 expert farm managers for the future.

The Shattuck Store was advertising a sale on boys’ knickerbockers for between $9.50 and $12 apiece.

The quarterly temperance lesson at the Methodist Church Sunday will be “Enforcing the Judgment Against Strong Drink.”

Congressman Patrick Kelly will make campaign stops in Wayland and Martin Monday, July 17.

The 41st annual Allegan County Soldiers and Sailors Association convention will be July 20 at GAR Headquarters in Allegan.

Mrs. Lillian Buskirk was elected to another term on the Wayland Board of Education. Only 35 electors appeared at the annual meeting.

A fire in the basement of Village Hall caused smoke damage and was caused by electrical malfunction.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown: Myrtle Reed’s story, “At the Sign of the Jack O’ Lantern” and “The Scoffer.”

William Nelson has left for the Mayo Brothers Hospital in Rochester, Minn., to undergo an operation for goitre.

Word was received of the death of former Wayland resident Jeff Blair.

Leave a Comment