"My heart was hot within me
while I was musing,
the fire burned,
then I spoke with my tongue"--
Psalm 39: 3
The Glory, CHRIST,
in Jesus Christ--
To be Passed...
"Pass on the torch,
Pass on the flame;
Remember whence the Glory came!"
"Lord Christ, we take the Torch from
We must be true, we must be free
and clean of heart and strong of soul,
to bear the Glory to its goal."
The Torch-Bearers of the Glory:
Sjur and Oline Stadheim
sailed from Norway to America via Quebec
Sisters Bergit and Katrine Holbeck
sailed from Norway to America in 1903;
the two Torches of Alfred & Bergit Holbeck
united in Holy Matrimony,
August 19, 1908
at Grace Lutheran Church, Canton, SD.
Alfred and Bergit built a house and farm
called Plain View Farm,
they raised nine children in the Faith and
Heritage of the Lord & His Church.
Alfred passed his Torch in 1964;
Bergit in 1983...
Alfred and Bergit to their Descendants:
"To you from failing hands we throw
the Torch. Be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die,
we shall not sleep..."
Plain View Farm--WHERE VISION BECOMES REALITY!
Motto for the Heritage Center Barn:
"May His Light Shine Through Our Heritage--
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!"
--Verses on the Glory & Torch
from "Faces Toward God," book given Bob &
Pearl Ginther by Stadem Descendant,
1800s-1900s: The Stadem Saga Begins
1866: Sjur and Oline Stadheim and family of four children sail from Bergen, Norway, to America via Quebec, Canada; they sail on the immigrant-packed ship, a fixed sail barque called the Brodrene.
1886: Alfred Stadem's birth in Sod House,
to Peder and Marie
Stadem, Rural Bryant,
Bergit Holbecks's Birth in Norway
1903: Teen-aged orphan sisters Bergit and Katrine "Tena" Holbeck
embark on a then modern single funnel steamship, the Hellig Olaf, and sail to America via Ellis Island, New York;
Older brother Andrew
1908: Alfred and Bergit married
1909: Pearl Andrina Stadem born, Canton, SD,
master bedroom of her Aunt Tena Lundring's house
1918: After 6 children born, first barn built on
80 acres of land in Rural Bryant, Hamlin County, Alfred and Bergit purchased from Stadem relative;
In 1940s Art Stadem bought additional acreage across the
road in Clark County for PVF for his parents' provision in later life, using money saved during his
Navy service in World War II
1919: House built;
Pearl, 10, eldest Stadem child of the family, helped build it,
working on the lathes-siding of interior rooms, and also filling in
insulating rocks and dirt in the foundation walls
1937-1939: Tornado destroys first barn; children born
in house: Art, Ruth, Leroy; after tornado, continue to use part of barn that was left. Rennard Svanoe has memories when the barn was leveled and the night of the tornado, though he was born in 1937.
Pearl Ginther, in later life, also recalled how the sleigh or "cutter" was thrown up on the roof, and there is a picture preserved of the
ruined barn and the cutter on the roof.
1939-1942: 2nd Barn, Alfred Stadem called "Basement Barn"
using recycled first barn boards (recycling was a Stadem passion early on); included design to get hay into the manger
below through a hole from the hay mow above; uses were for horses,
cows, calves, milk separator, and hay mow.
1941: Pearl Harbor Attack by Japanese; both Leroy and Art Stadem,
and Alida's husband Hans, serve in the armed forces,
Hans and Art during wartime, and Leroy soon afterwards
1947: Private Plane Crash, Bob and Art killed 1-9-47, just short of
Art's 25th birthday, but the testimonies by numerous pastors
and the main message by Pastor Peterson of Bryant's Lutheran Church, who
addressed the question of how could such apparent evil
happen, at the
funeral service indicated both were ready spiritually and
many people were no doubt brought to faith or
recommitted their lives to God as a result; upwards 1,000
attended, and the deaths received wide coverage in
SD newspapers and radio, and later a law was passed prohibiting
hunting with rifles from planes, though no law was broken by Bob
it was a fairly common hunting practice at that time in this country.
1948: Winter of 47-48, newly discharged from the Navy, young Leroy Stadem takes care of PVF, Barn and House on his own; but he determines to be married! Quote after the winter alone, "If I'm going to be a farmer, I'm not going to be a bachelor farmer." Then he proceeded to make double sure he wouldn't share the "fates" of Bernhard and Norman Stadem, bachelor farmers and cousins to him well known to him. He completed college and then entered seminary to be a pastor!
'48, '49, '50:
Pearl's 2 oldest sons, Darrell & Lorin work on farm with Grandpa and Grandma: Go get the cows across the road, milk the cows "day and night," break the sod across the road
1950s: Leroy Stadem (youngest of the Stadem family) marries Elizabeth Aamoth (1955); Grandpa and Grandma Stadem begin trips to the L.A.L.M. mission field in Mexico. The Latin American Lutheran Mission was a largely Haugean inspired mission, founded by Columbian missionary Mildred Nordin, headed by Sanford Haugen for years, supported by churches many of whom were in the Lutheran Fellowship League, of which the Stadems were strenuous members,
serving on the Board.
1964: Grandpa Stadem passes to glory; Grandma Stadem lived in DeSmet, next to Leroy and Elizabeth in a trailer, and near the church where
he pastors. Quilting and gardening are activities she carried with her to Leroy's next church and
parsonage in Mobridge, and there she kept her own home and garden into advanced age.
Grandma Stadem moved to Mobridge, along with
Leroy and Elizabeth; talk of family reunions; visits from children,
grandchildren; gatherings around Grandma's birthday month.
Bernice Stadem Schaefer's love of PVF and her Mama
kept her coming out year after year from California, so faithfully in fact,
it turned into a wonderful, blessed tradition more and more family and relatives
wanted to see continue! And it did continue, thanks to her
energetic promotion, a love gift of herself and as many
as thirty loaves of fresh-baked bread she contributed every
year to the family gatherings at her Mama's in Mobridge
and afterwards on PVF itself. Then she outdid
this with her inspiring these gatherings according to
a stated theme of inspiration, drawn from our godly and abundant Stadem Heritage,
and celebrating Anniversaries, Birthdays,
Births, Weddings, and various other significant Events.
These themes and events were all decorated by her, using banners,
pictures, inscriptions, and programs presented that
made these commemorations so meaningful. This
expertise greatly enhanced the tradition, making sure
it would be enjoyed and participated in by all.
1975: Celebration of Bergit's grand 90th Birthday; reunions at PVF. Grandson Ron
Ginther's Grandma memory: "Most powerful praying saint I know (next to Mother). When she prayed for me in Mobridge in her home one
evening, she got so roused up in fervent cries for my sake she cracked heaven's Crystal Sea! No feeble 'bless me, or bless them" prayers from Grandma! It is the most precious memory I have her consequently."
Reunions @ PVF? Until Christ our Victor comes again!
1983: Grandma Bergit Stadem passed to glory, rich in years, age 98; Tom and Ruth
Harrington come to own a portion of PVF, at auction of the Farm they purchase 11 acres from Neighboring
Taschners, which included buildings; it was to be Tom's
retirement home for him and Ruth; in the knick of time, Tom rescues the property from
years of neglect, improves Farm and Barn with
siding on house, barn straightening, basement bathroom, carpeting, painting, back porch built, and moved in the Spise Hutte (the dining shed) and the Mower Shed on to PVF. It was a thorough makeover, transforming the
whole appearance, creating a beautiful place out of what looked at one point to be an abandoned farmstead.
1990: Barn showing wear, talk of repairing:
responded always amenable Tom to inquiries from loved ones: "Whatever you want to do..."; Rachel K. Svanoe adds: "I was barned!!" [born 1990?]
1994: His earthly work all done, Uncle Tom Harrington passes to glory; end of the 90's; nothing done to save it,
the barn is visibly going down, down, down (no reflection on Tom, who
accomplished tremendous things, all without showing a "Big I").
Luther Svanoe, age 48, who loved PVF and its animals and the hunting
there, attended his last reunion though very ill, and soon after passes to Glory July 25, 1994.
1996: January, Den Stadem Samtaleran ("The Stadem
Conversation"), Editor Eloise Hefty sends out first Vol. 1, No. 1; Barbara Benson follows up with the Stadem Genealogy book traced first from Sjur and Oline in Norway (and their ancestors as well); data was collected from the family for Cousin Barb by John L. Brown,
son of Gloria, eldest daughter of Pearl Stadem Ginther; This great work was followed in 2009 by Stadem cousin (Line of Kristine Stadem Stene, first Stadem
born of Sjur and Oline in America) Sylvia Fjelstad Yuge, who
also located the descendants of Knud Stadem (or Staim) residing in
Washington State, after reuniting the Kristine Stene family
line to Alfred and Bergit's line, meeting first with Pearl Ginther in
her home, then bringing a gift of $1,000 to the Heritage Center Barn fund from the families descended from Kristine Stadem Stene and her sole surviving
descendant, daughter Andrena
2000: Reunions continue on the Farm; but Myrtle
on her "homegoing bed" tells sister Cora in Brazil on the phone, "I'm
the first," and a few days later, January 2000, went to be with Jesus,
the first of the Stadem girls (Eldest Son Rennard relates)
2003: Auntie Ruth Stadem Harrington passes to Glory; in her will a portion of her estate went to her missionary sister in Brazil,
Cora Taylor, and another portion to L.A.L.M,, and the Farm property itself went to the Leroy Stadem families [as owners but also "heritage trustees" to preserve for all friends, Stadems, neighbors, for gatherings, and fellowship in Christian love, sharing with everyone Christian and Scandinavian-style hospitality for God's Glory. Motto: "May His Light shine through our Heritage! To God be the glory!"--Composed by Stephen Stadem; all this is within the tradition and in the spirit of
Alfred and Bergit Stadem and our forebears, American and Norway-born.
2004: Fall/Thanksgiving: Pole Barn salvaged from a silo farm of
Norling Farms, near Willmar, MN, purchased for $50 after tornado damage; transferred to PVF, sets for 4 years outside on the ground. Peter Stadem enlisted all the available Stadem families to join in dismantling and then transporting the lumber to PVF--a great feat, accomplished without any accidents or injuries.
2005/2006: Barn continues to fall; salvaged what they
could; pulled out hay trolly, some doors, some wood used to create frames for
historical water colors Steve Stadem painted of the Barn to contribute to the PVF/restoration barn fund. One such picture was framed by Steve Stadem and given to the Morrells Company plant in Sioux Falls, received by Plant Manager Kenneth Baptist, after the CEO allocated $1,000 to the Heritage Barn fund. He asked that they be notified when we are ready for an open house or dedication, and this has not happened, as the infrastructure still remains, as of 2013, to be finished.
2008: Drill holes for Pole Barn
2009: Bernie Iserman brings equipment for shingling house;
Bernie Iserman and son Mike continue work on the Pole Barn, commencing on a large Maintenance Shed using the salvaged wood and tin, intended to house supplies and material, tools and equipment for the Heritage Center Barn.
Sept. 13, 2009, Pearl Andrina Stadem Ginther turns 100, still active in church & Christian ministries, and winning souls for Jesus with her testimony and prayers. Sylvia and Tom Yuge from California visit her and return for
the Centennial Birthday Celebrations (she had seven cakes and
celebrations, the biggest at her church, Mt. View Lutheran Church, Edgewood, Washington.
2010: June/Summer: Foundation ready on the barn: Dug out foundation,
pour footings; Fall: basement foundation walls, put on Joist (main floor)
and flooring sheets; covered with plastic for winter
2011: Building continues on the "Pole Barn," also called the Plain View Farm
Heritage Center by eldest Stadem descendant and her son Ron Ginther, as it
is to be for people this time, not livestock, and will preserve and provide means to
share the Stadem spiritual heritage for years to come and give glory to God; Bernie Iserman,
Steve Stadem, and Mike Iserman continue the building upwards from
basement level to loft level.
April 30, 2011: Pearl Ginther, next to the last of the Stadem girls to go to Jesus, and Eldest of Alfred and Bergit's family, passed to Glory in her own home where she resided 34 years, enjoying her garden and her neighbors and the club activities. Her youngest son Jerry Lee Ginther joined her about July 1. Her eldest of eight children, Darrell Robert Ginther, joined them August 13. She became the acknowledged Stadem Families Matriarch, passing in age the previous centenarian Matriarch, her Aunt Sarah
in Watertown, she reached 101 years of age and 6 & 1/2 months, still active,
attending church regularly, and serving the Lord Jesus. Eight children survived her,
5 boys and three girls, all grown, and who know the Lord and value the godly principles she instilled primarily by her own example of living them daily
and lovingly. Her life of triumphant faith (overcoming all the challenges
in her long life) became their model of what a Christian should be. Her many grandchildren & great-grandchildren, also her
loved ones in the Stadem Family relationship, not to mention her innumerable friends through the many years of knowing her, also see her this way, so that her legacy will surely continue a long time into the future blessing people.
She herself expressed her wishes and dreams for the Heritage Center Barn Project (we are quoting her exact words):
"I really want to see the Barn Heritage Center go forward! It is a real necessity. It is on my heart so strongly. I want to see it before I am 100 [then praying with eyes closed] Mama and Papa would be so joyful, and even get in on it in Heaven perhaps. To see Souls saved!"[stating the purpose of the Center in evangelistic, salvific terms]
At the last reunion she attended, Pearl prayed on her knees
a Matriarchal prayer of blessing for all the Stadem Descendants, present and not present:
July and August 2011: walls built, lofts, stairs; rafters up on loft, material ordered, 48 foot main beam bought and brought
from nearby Hutterite Colony; Labor Day Weekend work party of mainly teen-aged Stadem youth raised main beam, and
put rafters in place (15 on crew); End of September sheeted the roof and
with plywood and put barnlike prow in place
October: Put on black, tar-saturated Weather Guard Roofing as temporary covering for the winter weather
October/November: Professional plumber plumbed in basement
with assistance of Master Builder Bernie Iserman and Project Manager Steve Stadem, leveled sand, 2 inches
of foam laid, Steve laid out plastic tubing for floor heat (stapled to foam sheets); cemented by big crew of Bernie Iserman and
Stadems, floor cement supplied by two cement trucks
November: Installed slider windows/doors on south end,
large window on main floor; bracing and backfill around foundation; stairs from main floor to basement built
End of 2011: Winter unexpectedly affords long stretches of nice weather, and work continues up into
walls, staircase going upstairs, siding
Apr./May 2012: Basement windows & Backfill, Railing and Catwalk, New Lumber to rebuild stairs going to Loft, Loft Windows, Memorial Weekened,,
Kitchen Floor laid, Insulation
2012: June 22, 23, 24: Family Reunion; 81 present;
special commemoration for Pearl Ginther, passed to glory April 2011, and
Jerry Ginther and Darrell Ginther, her sons passing to glory
July 2011 and August 2011, respectively; interrment of ashes
of Pearl and Darrell at Our Redeemer Church Cemetery by the families;
the building (the expense of materials and labor largely but quietly underwritten by Leroy and Liz Stadem) is dedicated by the 81 present and named with a Norwegian
name, Velkommen Barna, indicating "Welcome to Children" ("Barna," in Norse); Rennard Svanoe donated many books of Norwegian heritage
to PVF from his own library; Rennard also contributed his financed reprint
of the new translation of his grandfather Atle Svanoe's book on lay ministry, and wrote and contributed an article detailing the events of the Reunion.
Devotions held at PVF gate, 5:30, to restart the vital tradition of family prayer on PVF during a reunion. Only Two Stadem Descendants present for
scripture and prayer,
but God showed up at the last prayer's conclusion, with a wondrous Rainbow, truly a most meaningful sign that he was
present and approving, and blessing us all with a "future and a hope."
New gardens by the house and by the
heritage center put in, for squash and pumpkins and
Pearl's favorite Cosmos and morning glories, from her own garden seeds,
as well as a rooted plant start from her grapevine in Washington;
Ron Ginther added special pictures and Farm artifacts to
master bedroom of the house from Pearl Ginther's home, including Grandma
Bergit's oil lamp, the old barn lantern, a clock with rosemaling,
the original framed wedding picture of Alfred and Bergit,
Grandma Bergit's platter, and other items to the
dining room book shelves, including
books, one a complete history of Augustana Academy by Dr. Lynwood Oyos;
albums of Stadems of years ago were also contributed from Pearl
A much larger collection of Pearl Ginther's heritage items, some Farm artifacts,
mostly Archival Books of collected papers, official documents, pictures,
writings, articles, maps, publications, books, videos, albums,
cassette recordings, etc., is held indoors in storage in
Park City, Utah, until such time as the Heritage Center Barn is
able to house them properly and safely. The Archival Books
contain the most complete history of the Stadem Families available, for Ginthers, Stadems, Svanoes, Schaefers, Spildes, Rangens, Harringtons,
and Taylors (and we don't forget the Holbecks and Lundrings!).
There is also a Holbeck/Holbek Book, as
Holbek relatives in Norway are in contact with Stadem/Ginther Descendants here on a continuing
Sylvia Yuge (herself a Stadem/Fjelstad) has followed up with a Ginther Genealogy as well, after doing a Fjelstad genealogy. Here are the descendants of Kristine Stadem Stene and Andrena Stene Fjelstad in California that Sylvia
reunited with the Stadems of PVF (Sylvia is the "angel" 3rd from Right, first standing
2013: Update from Steve Stadem:
Winter/ '12 & '13 Spring:
Steve S. and Bernie I. continue work; Barn sided, possibly completion end of April; finishing up kitchen; "decks and such" after that; got materials four sauna,
projected tree planting and gardening.
Ron Ginther: Rennard Svanoe requested and financed
a poster-sized enlargement of Ron's poem, "The Old Lantern" to
be set, with others in the Heritage Center Barn as
a kind of "interpretive center" to learn heritage by.
This enlargement will be sent and will be in keeping
of Leroy Stadem, for possible future display at a reunion.
The actual artifact, the lantern used by the
Stadem children to light their way as they did their
chores in the Barn, is stored in the house basement for
possible future display, brought back to the farm
out of Pearl Ginther's estate in 2011.
Heritage Center Uses Year-Round:
Christ-centered Music, Art, Crafts, Norwegian Folk Dance,
Family Values Drama, TV Family Values/Pioneer Farm
Days productions, Gospel/Evangelistic Meetings and prayer
groups/Church group retreats, seminars, Bible studies, and recreation, Child Evangelism, Youth Retreats, Sleigh Rides and Christmas Carolling, Exhibits & Classes in Quilting, Needlework, Scandinavian Cusine and Delicacies, Norwegian Customs, Plain View Farm Heritage tours of farm and Bryant/DeSmet/Vienna areas.
Purpose & Goals:
Pass on the Torch of Faith, Strengthen
Christian Spiritual Life of individuals and
groups and families, while refreshing bodies and souls, inspire
and train the younger generation, so that they will
possess the particular, proven, and
encuring values and beliefs that will best help them meet the
stiff challenges of the secularist and sectarian-torn
21st Century. Whether Young or Middle-aged or Old,
everyone can find great meaning and purpose
in Christ, in order to pass the Glory of Christ
and the Torch of Faith in Him to the wider world
that so sorely needs the truth and love and salvation
THIS IS OUR HERITAGE, AN ON-GOING VENTURE,
A VOYAGE OF FAITH AND FAMILY VALUES AND THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION CENTERED IN CHRIST ALONE. For this we thank
our ancestors Sjur and Oline Olsen Stadheim/Stadem and
the Holbeck (Holbek) line, who were faithful and passed the GLORIOUS Torch to us.
"May His Light Shine Through Our Heritage!--To God Be The Glory!"--Plain View Farm Motto
This Amended or Amplified Timeline is done humbly with prayer and with the expectant hope that it will be a blessing to all. It is so important, and so right, that our great and awesome God be ascribed the glory in all the events described on the timeline. Maybe the world or the worldly minded person can still look at PVF and the events thereof and see nothing really of the glory of God. That is barely possible for anyone who knows the family and the
events described here, but
it is so wrong and mistaken and blind a view. We want to correct the view,
in that case, for the sake of blessing that person! We are reminded
of this too: Most of
the Jews and Romans in Jesus' day looked at him, the "carpenter's son", and did not see anything
of God either--missing the glorious Savior of the World sent by the Father to save them. Even to this day most of the world has continued to reject Christ the world's
only Savior, and seek
an alternative in their own political plans and human intelligence, when Christ is
already seated in heaven as Ruler
over the whole earth, and He is the Lamb of God sent to save all who will
believe in Him from sin and eternal damnation. Could it not happen, if it
happened with Christ Jesus,
in our much smaller context, that people also look at our humble
beginning and their outworkings in the near 100 years following, and
smile with condescension at our claims of God's glory visiting us?
Well, we know the truth even if they do not. We would hope they will see the Light, given further opportunity and God's free and abundant grace.
--Ed., April 2013
Special thanks to Barbara Vorseth Benson, for her
genealogical and historical account of the Stadems, from which we have
drawn much vital information, names, and dates. She contacted Stadems in Vik i Sogn, Norway, visited them during two trips, and gathered information from the local archives for her genealogy book.
(c) 2013, Butterfly Productions, All Rights Reserved