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

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

The old gas station at the corner of 30th Street and 128th Avenue.

25 Years Ago — Nov. 16, 1998

The old Walker pickle plant in Bradley is no more, as what remained of it has been removed by a wrecker.

Leighton Township youngsters are battling pesky gypsy moth wasps, installing traps as part of a class at Moline Christian.

Area educators are studying the results of the Michigan Educational Assessment (MEAP) tests, which were shown in a chart in the Globe. Overall, area educators were pleased with what the data showed.

The Hopkins football squad won its first playoff contest, as Kurt Glupker picked up an amazing 303 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 30-13 triumph over Hartford.

Editor Nila Aamoth opined in her soapbox, “The downtown district (in Wayland) is hopelessly trapped in a single lane street bottlenecked by a single-minded traffic light. She said motorists’ wait at the four corners sometimes reaches annoying proportions, not to mention lack of space for big rigs like semis and trucks to make proper turns.

Charges of assault against Wayland City Police Officer Mark Rookus have been dropped after his accuser failed to show in court. Leif Gunderson, 17, failed to appear after he charged Rookus with excessive force. Rookus said he was glad the case is over, but wanted to have a chance to prove his innocence.

Robin Nyenhuis wrote a letter to the editor praising the efforts of ambulance staff in handling a traffic accident that injured four Wayland High School students.

Dave and Dawn Brown penned a letter lamenting the lack of recognition for cheerleaders in the school system.

Craig Meyers, 36, of Shelbyville was listed in critical condition at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo after the pickup he was driving was struck on railroad tracks just south of Martin.

Bruce Culver of the Allegan County Road Commission announced that $10,000 is being offered to local townships for road repairs, using funds from the four-cent state gas tax.

Trooper Lane Booms and his K-p companion Kahn received praised from citizen Randy Knowlen for finding his wallet containing a $1,100 paycheck.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department has received more than $100,000 in state grants for drug enforcement, safety belt checks and technology.

Martin Village Council offices are relocating from 1576 S. Main to 1617 N. Main to score more room for meetings and citizens’ attendance.

Wayland senior Sarah Grygiel set the school record in five kilometers with a time of 18:57, good enough for 23rd place in the Division 2 state championship cross-country meet at Michigan International Speedway.

Hopkins senior Tom Marcoux broke teammate Luke Williams’ school record mark by crossing the finish line in 16:56 at the state Division 3 meet.

Kara Potter scored 22 points and Jessie Merchant 19 as Wayland blew out Caledonia in preparation for the Division 2 girls’ basketball districts.

Hopkins finished the girls’ basketball season with a 14-6 overall record, but the Vikings once again must face the Twin Towers Feenstra sisters of Grand Rapids Baptist in the opening round of the Class C districts.

Martin also closed out its season at 14-6 and will take on Wyoming Lee in the district opener.

Leon and Cheryl Hilaski are the new owners of the Countryside Inn in North Dorr.

Carey Veeder has taken over ownership of Sunny Jim’s Pizza, Gull Lake.

Knobloch’s Corners, the former gas station site after a recent crash from a vehicle.

50 Years Ago — Nov. 13, 1973

Richard A. Koster is the new pastor at the United Church of Wayland, succeeding the Rev. James Smith and interim Pastor E. C. Watterworth.

Wayland Board of Education members acknowledged current plans for entrance and exit paved roads at the new high school site are inadequate. The road is too narrow and traffic bottlenecks are likely to result.

Supt. James Thomas explained the need for Wayland schools to have a separate administration building constructed near the site of the new high school on East Superior Street.

The Henika Public Library has signed a contract for local citizens’ use of the Grand Rapids Library.

Bishop Myron Boyd of Winona Lake, Ind., will be guest speaker for the dedication of the Free Methodist Church on West Superior Street.

The Allegan County Republican Party Executive Committee issued a statement condemning the actions of the few burglars at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C., but also condemned “the virtual persecution of the President of the United States by innuendos and grandstand statements by members of the press and media.”

Mrs. Willard Benedict led a local Girl Scout effort to dress and display 92 dolls that will be given to Goodwill Industries.

Senior fullback Jon Johnson rushed for 180 yards and scored four touchdowns as Wayland concluded its best season since the days of Don Japinga with a 7-2 record and a 53-13 victory over Spring Lake.

Hopkins also finished at 7-2 in a big way with a 58-0 pasting of Gobles.

Shelly Low, Jeff Merritt, Jim Bechtel, Julie Miller, Sharon Shaw, Scott Zasadil, , Jane Calkins and Carol Davis earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages at Wayland High School for the first marking period.

Mrs. Bernard Bixler of Shelbyville was killed while walking on U.S.-131 near 36th Street in Grand Rapids. Authorities said she was struck by three different cars.

75 Years Ago — Nov. 19, 1948

The Globe published a huge front page photo of the Wayland High School Bar-Ken-All championship football team with coach Walter Gillett.

The Rev. O.B. Little, pastor of the Church of God, was to present the sermon at the Union Thanksgiving Service Wednesday at the United Methodist Church.

Joseph Kotrba of Chicago died unexpectedly. He had spent his boyhood in Wayland and many local relatives were listed among survivors.

Two local hunters, Joe Panyrek and Bill Schuh, made the right call in doing their hunting in the Gun Lake area instead of traveling north. They landed eight-point bucks.

Gladys Johnson was elected worthy matron and Paul Johnson worthy patron for the Wayland chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.

Frank Crofoot, 64, a longtime farmer and teacher and member of the Leighton Grange, died at his home east of Wayland of an illness of five years.

The Ladies Library Club held a reception for 21 new members. Mrs. Florence Rugaber led singing of “I Was Seeing Nellie Home” and “When You and I Were Young, Maggie.”

“Barney” Nicolai called Wayland relatives from Newberry to let them know he and his hunting party had to wait only 45 minutes to catch a ferry boat taking them to the Upper Peninsula.

Now showing at the Wayland Theatre:

• Roy Rogers and Trigger in “Night-time in Nevada.”

• Victor Mature, Richard Conte and Shelly Winters in “Cry of the City.”

• Gary Cooper, Ann Sheridan and Ray Collins in “Good Sam.”

100 Years Ago — Nov. 16, 1923

Mr. and Mrs. Fred DeCon and sons are getting ready to move to Wayland, where they will take charge of the hotel.

“The Climax,” regarded as a masterpiece of drama and comedy, will be presented Monday in Wayland by the Redpath Bureau. “The uncertainty of the ending is one of its many charms.”

H.J. Ross, Mrs. Mayette Ross and daughter Miriam of Gun Lake motored to the Armory in Grand Rapids to attend the boxing match between Harry Grebb and Chuck Wiggins.

Mrs. Sargent has been named new director of the Robins School after the resignation of Mr. Vandenberg.

Rev. F.W. Maxon of Hastings and Floyd Nagel of Irving are directing the revival series at the United Brethren Church, Yankee Springs.

Charles Leaver has been doing road work on Gun Lake Road for the people of Hastings, trying to keep it in passable condition.

The Rev. and Mrs. Selkirk Sprague of Bradley and son have left for the Delwin Mission in Indiana to conduct a revival series that will last for two weeks.

Frances German Hartwell, born in Wayland Township in 1853, died at her home in Leighton at age 70. She had been a “patient sufferer” over three years.

Lewis McLoud accompanied a rabbit hunting party to Yorkville. Anyone interested in the number of rabbits they got may inquire.

“Quite a few heard the address given by former President Woodrow Wilson over the radio at the Yeakey Garage.

Now showing at the Regent Theatre downtown: Gene Straton Porter presents “Michael O’Halloran.” Harry Carey in “The Miracle Baby.”

Chester Calkins suffered a fractured when the wagon he was driving ran into a motor car just north of the Rabbit River Bridge. The car tipped over, but injuries and damage were minimal.

Dr. D.J. Dunwell suffered a heart attack at the interurban and was taken for treatment by Drs. Slater and Brysen. He was listed in critical condition at press time.

Mrs. William Mauchmar Jr. suffered fractures of both collar bones in a traffic accident in which the vehicle she was a passenger in went into a ditch.

Mrs. William Ablett, one of Wayland’s oldest and respected citizens died after an extended illness. The full obituary will appear in next week’s edition of the Globe. 

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