Lori Hough said that
she spent some quality time with
a giraffe at Binder Park Zoo,
getting the up-close perspective
and the measurements that
helped her create Unexpected
Visitor, one of the papier
mache works that are part of her
exhibit at NCCA Artsplace in
downtown Fremont. More
information about the exhibit is
in this week's TimesIndicator.
Photo by R.C. Wheater
Fire strikes feed business
from six local fire departments battled an early morning fire that struck a Fremont area
livestock feed business on Monday, Jan. 7.
Chief Phil Smalligan of the Fremont Fire Department said that the feed mill at the
intersection of Croswell and 32nd Street, northeast of Fremont, was already fully
involved when the first firefighters arrived at Miller Feeds around 6:40 a.m. The
feed mill, office area and an undetermined quantity of grain were lost in the fire.
from White Cloud, Newaygo, Grant, Hesperia and Holton all worked to contain the fire and
keep it from spreading to nearby buildings and equipment.
contained it, Smalligan said. We accomplished what we needed to do. We were
thankful that we were able to keep it from spreading to other buildings.
said that the cause of the fire had not been determined by press time.
Mansfield of Mansfield Excavating used heavy equipment to help clear the way for the
firefighting efforts and remove structures that threatened to fall.
said that firefighters used approximately 90,000 gallons of water to fight the fire,
hauling most of it from the fire hydrant near the Fremont Area Community Foundation
building on the east edge of the city, two and a half miles from the fire.
assistant chief said that members of the local Amish community and other friends and
neighbors joined owners Ernest and Wilma Miller in starting a clean-up and recovery effort
almost immediately after the fire was extinguished.
were a lot of people there offering support, Smalligan said.
Ice Fishing Clinic to move indoors
Saturday morning Kids Ice Fishing Clinic being conducted by the North American Ice Fishing
Circuit during the tournament event this weekend will be held indoors at Loomis Lodge in
Newaygo instead of the previously planned sites in Croton.
just too much uncertainty about the ice, said Laurie Supinski of the Newaygo County
Convention and Visitors Bureau. Even though were moving indoors, it will
be a fun event with a lot of activity and the kids can get ready for Dam-to-Dam with the
free equipment theyll be given.
Kids Clinic is intended for children ages four to 12 who must be accompanied by a
parent. The clinic is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Loomis Lodge, at 136 Croton-Hardy
Drive just east of M-37 in Newaygo. Participants will receive HT Enterprise ice fishing
rods and other promotional items.
the weather changes possibly affecting the Croton Pond ice fishing tournament on Sunday,
Supinski encourages people to check online at www.newaygocountytourism regarding possible
cancellations or changes.
Treasurer still serving township after 50 years
Township Supervisor R.M. Stewart was looking for a new township treasurer in the summer of
1962. Township Treasurer Carl Johnson had died a few months earlier and his wife Margaret
Johnson took over for a few months, but did not want to continue.
approached young farmer George Dickinson and asked him to consider taking the job.
said yes, Dickinson recalled 50 years later. Ive been here ever since.
in the fall with 443 votes, the highest total of the townships board members, George
Dickinson started when the townships books and tax rolls were hand-written and
calculations were performed with the help of a hand-cranked adding machine. The job paid
$25 per month. Tax bills were prepared and mailed by hand, and many taxpayers came to the
Dickinson farm on Luce Ave. to pay their taxes.
system is computerized now, but many of those taxpayers and, in some cases, their
descendants, still pay their taxes in person.
Dickinson has helped her husband with the work from the start. She recently retired as the
townships deputy treasurer, making way for the appointment of Amy Stockwell as the
new deputy treasurer.
gone from green ledger paper and handwritten records to a totally computerized,
Windows-driven system, said Newaygo County Treasurer Holly Moon, and he still
settles every year to the penny. Hes top-notch.
you see someone whos done this for 50 years, Moon added, you know the
kind of dedication theyve had.
unable to confirm it without an exhaustive search of county records, County Clerk Laurel
Breuker said that she cannot recall any elected official serving longer than Dickinsons
half a century.
has to be one of the longest, if not the longest, Breuker said.
Wolgamott served as Troy Township Clerk for 49 years until she tied with challenger
Marilyn McGhan in the November 2008 election and then lost the tie-breaker drawing.
Wolgamott was honored as the states longest-serving township clerk.
most of the elections in which he has been re-elected, George Dickinson has been unopposed
on the ballot.
had the job, he explained with the hint of a smile. Nobody ran against me, so
I kept it. Im stuck with it.
with keeping the townships books and collecting the taxes, the treasurer also
collects cemetery lot fees, attends township board meetings and serves as one of five
township board members.
Dickinsons live in the house where George Dickinson was born in the closing minutes of
1934, and they are the third generation to farm there. They married in June of 1958 and
they raised their four sons on the farm while handling both farm and township duties.
was fun with those little boys around all the time, Karen recalled with a laugh.
Dickinsons have four grandchildren and three and a quarter
great-grandchildren. The fourth great-grandchild is due in July.
to identify the best or the worse part of the treasurers job, George hesitated to
make such a judgment.
just a job youve got to do, he explained, so you do it.
Dickinson said that she enjoyed getting to know the residents and property owners of the
township. While taxpayers in some townships use drop boxes to make their tax payments,
Lincoln Township taxpayers still have the option of paying at the farmhouse kitchen table.
come any time, day or night, Karen said. We always say come on in; youre
said that some taxpayers, typically owners of seasonal homes on Diamond Lake, would drive
up from the city, bring the family, and spend the afternoon paying their property taxes.
In some cases, mailed-in tax payments told the Dickinsons that a new generation was now
taking care of the taxes.
said that they still receive personal notes and letters along with tax payments, updates
from taxpayers who have become friends over the years. Karen said that she answers all the
Township Supervisor Buck Geno said that he has plenty of respect for the treasurers
experience and knowledge.
been pretty invaluable to me, Geno said. Having that history is so important.
Hes taught me a lot.
dont think youll find many elected officials anywhere who have served for 50
years, Geno said.