Bygone Days: A brief look at Wayland area’s past, Part 209

25 Years Ago — April 3, 1991

hoeksmahardwareDamage assessment seemed to confirm that a tornado visited the Shelbyville area on 7th Street at the home of Katie Oldebeken, 87, destroying a tree and causing extensive to the house roof.

Van Solkema Farms has been granted permission to have the Hooker-Harvey Drain east of Wayland. The drain feeds into the Rabbit River near 137th Avenue.

The Wayland Township Board decided for the second straight time to leave the dust control responsibilities to those who want to pay for it, thereby saving between $5.000 and $10,000 a year, which will be earmarked for road improvements.

Apple Core Lounge owner Al Baker earned the praise of Wayland Township Board members for alcohol-related safety improvements made in the last year at his establishment.

Wayland Junior High School students wrote more than a few letters to the editor defending the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program being implemented in local schools. Carrie McBridge wrote, “the only way to confront this growing problem is through the kids because they are the most vulnerable.” Heather Postma wrote, “I think the DARE program will help people who are hooked on drugs or cigarettes.” Gina Garza wrote, “If every school was fortunate enough to have a DARE program, I don’t think there would be a drug problem.”

The Myers Foof Center in downtown Martin has been sold to Gil Lewis and Dale Ermaar of Kalamazoo, owners of Village Market. Joe Cowels, 26, of Plainwell, will be the manager.

Paul Jackson wrote a feature story on the Gun Marsh area, home to one of the most productive potato growers in the state.

The Wayland girls’ track team captured first place in the Grand Valley State University indoor meet. Earnings firsts were Ann Iciek in the 800-meter run, Christine Holben in the 50 dash and the 1600-meter relay with Jenny Moore, Marcie Brown, Iciek and Shannon Kedde.

Coach Cheri Ritz is seeking the third straight O-K Blue Conference softball championship for Middleville Thornapple Kellogg.

50 Years Ago — March 30, 1966

Joseph Permoda wrote a letter to the editor in response to Editor-Publisher Irv Helmey’s editorial decrying the low voter turnout in the village election. Permoda suggested the alarming totals and p[ercentages are the result of a one-party system in favor of the Republican Party in West Michigan.

James Drake was re-elected to the board of directors for the Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce and newcomers chosen were Arnold Wilde and James Charles. Stepping down were Chester Brevitz, Arthur Young and Bob Swainston.

The nine students who earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages for the fourth marking period at Wayland High School were seniors Bill Conwell, Dan Hayes and John Salski, juniors Gary Finkbeiner, Joan Halloran and Dennis DeHaan and freshmen Marty Braendle, Lois Sykes and Cheryl Brower.

The Wayland Education and Wayland Board of Education have agreed to a one-year employment contract for the 1966-67 academic year. Teachers agreed to raises of $400, bring a first-year instructor to a salary of $5,000. The maximum salary for Wayland teachers was to be $6,500.

Area 4-H members are preparing for the organization’s annual spring show at the Martin High School cafetorium April 4 and 5.

Former Editor-Publisher Rollo G. Mosher, in his weekly “Observations Here and There” column, noted the 10 most popular television shows were, in order, “Gunsmoke,” “The Man from UNCLE,” “Red Skelton,” “Walt Disney,” “I Spy,” “Perry Mason,” “Dick VanDyke,” “Dean Martin,” “Lawrence Welk” and “Bonanza.”

The Wayland High School music department will present a “Showboat” minstrel show at the auditorium. The show is directed by Helen Gambee, Steve Working and Mrs. Harold Wilson.

Richard Burton was starring “The Robe,” at the Wayland Theatre.

Mrs. John Grafford, in a letter to the editor about recent rural school consolidation meeting in Moline, opined, “It seems the one point stressed in the information sheets passed around was ‘we must vote yes.’ Now it seems very odd to be told how to vote when you can’t get a straight answer to your questions.”

Another letter, from G.W. “Stonewall” Jackson blamed the formation of teachers’ unions and “a few mental misfits” in colleges for the recent state requirements for rural school districts to consolidate with larger ones.

75 Years Ago — April 4, 1941

Leon B. Mason, 65, died of heart failure at his home in town. Mason had been an optometrist and jeweler for 29 years in Wayland and a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He had sold his business in 1937 to Glenn Zumberink.

Wayland Township and Village are working together on the possibility of buying a new rural fire truck. The old vehicle is 14 years and “has seen better days,” according to Rollo Mosher.

The Village Dump will be open two days a week, Tuesday and Fridays.

The new Preap’s dry good business will have a grand opening April 5 on West Superior Street.

Mrs. Grayce Delp presided over a Ladies Library Club meeting in which several members led a presentation on “Friendships in the Bible.”

“The annual spring election is approaching. Be sure to vote. This is a most important election.”

The Weather Theatre will present the film adaptation of “Tobacco Road,” starring Charley Grapewin and Gene Tierney at the Wayland Theatre.

Also at the local movie house were Gene Autrey and Smiley Burnette in “Ridin’ on a Rainbow.” Robert Cummings and Ruth Hussey in “Free and Easy.” John Shelton and Virginia Grey in “Blonde Inspiration.”

George Goodspeed won a trip to Lansing from the local 4-H for his winter’s work in collecting wood.

100 Years Ago — March 31, 1916

Candidates for the upcoming election Monday, April 3, in Wayland and Leighton townships, including the Republican, Independent and Citizens’ parties. All were nominated in party caucuses earlier in the year. GOP candidates in Wayland were Supervisor Frank Chamberlain, Clerk L.D. Chapple, Treasurer Joseph Bowman and Constables Harold Fox, Samuel M. Boyer, George K. Brown and Fred Wallace. In Leighton it was Supervisor Garrhart Oetman, Clerk Oliver Francisco, Treasurer Lussenden and Constables James Halloran, Fred Steeby and Byron Hackett.

Bradley Thimble Club will have a victrola concert April 11, featuring a chicken pie supper. Cost of the supper is 25 cents and 15 cents. Cost for the concert is 10 cents.

“A large quantity of ice of good quality has been harvested by the people of Moline.”

John Overmire, a 67, succumbed to Bright’s Disease. He had not been well for a long time, but family members were shocked at how soon he passed.

A chicken pie supper organized by the Rebekahs raised $19.60.

The roads in the country are impassable. Mail from Moline to patrons failed to reach them Monday.

Jay McCaslin, who bought the livery, is making improvements to the V.S. Fish business for a new garage with all the new conveniences for storage vehicles.

Leone Rankin won the spelling contest and Marion Sherwood and Minnie Towne were second and third, respectively, in Wayland Township.

A large and much pleased audience watched the film “The Lost House” at Frank’s Opera House.

Grace Chamberlain’s is Wayland’s candidate for the Grand Rapids Herald’s contest for a trip to Alaska.

Earle E. Ryno was convicted in federal court of violating the Harrison Drug Act, but colleague Frank Perkins was acquitted.


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