"Stadems Pass Half Century Marker," The Hamlin County News, Bryant, SD., August 22, 1958, and Part II: "Reminiscences of Alfred Stadem of the 50th Wedding Anniversary" by Alfred and Bergit Stadem



"Stadems Pass Half Century Marker," The Hamlin County News, August 22, 1958,

and Part II:

Alfred J. P. Stadem's


of the 50th Wedding Anniversary"

The weathered, old edifice of the American Lutheran Church of Bryant is no more, abandoned to the elements for years long past and then torn down and replaced by a modern facility, which is named Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, but the old American Lutheran church shines forever in precious memories as the sacred home church of the Stadem Family, and where Pearl their eldest was married, and many other event of Stadem family record took place, including the grand 50th Wedding Anniversary of Alfred and Bergit Stadem, Aug. 17, 1958.

This page is dedicated to Rennard Svanoe, eldest surviving Grandson of Alfred and Bergit Stadem and eldest surviving son of Myrtle and William Svanoe. He has turned 77 years of age, and that is the same age his Grandfather Alfred passed to Glory, if we have it correct. God bless Rennard with many more years! And may this page bless him and many others too. I wanted to copy a page of Alfred Stadem's I already had on-line, only to discover with happy surprise that this page had Grandfather's own reminiscences of the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration! How "fortuitous"? No, it is a God-thing really. Rennard has reached a true milestone, his beloved Grandfather's terminal age on earth, and we ought to be very proud of him, this most worthy cousin, brother, nephew, father, uncle, great-uncle, husband to Petra Svanoe, and friend. Enjoy!--Ed.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Stadem of Bryant were honored on their golden wedding anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 17, when about 200 relatives and friends from far and near assembled at the American Lutheran church to celebrate this festive occasion.

A son, Pastor Leroy Stadem of Platte, S.D., occupied the pulpit at the morning service, preaching on the theme "Honor Thy Fatherand Thy Mother". The Svanoe children, grandchildren of the Stadems, sang "At the Foot of the Cross".

Members of the Ladies Aid served the noon meal to the family and immediate relatives.

"Harbored in Jesus" was the them of the Ship of Life anniversary program held in the church auditorium at 2:30. Mr. William Svanoe of Minneapolis, son-in-law, acted as Commodore. The first part of the program--Embarking On Life's Ship--began with the call to song as the audience joined in singing "A Blessed Anniversary", followed by the anniversary theme song, "Onward Christian Soldiers".

The local pastor, Rev. H. Johanson, led in the Call to Arms as he read from Eph. 2: 4-10, and led in prayer. The Call to muster in the form of a toast was given by Rev. Andrew Holbeck of Ray, N.D., a brother of Mrs. Alfred Stadem. He gave an interesting historical sketch of the honored couple and spoke briefly on the home.

In the Call to Sea, the Rangen grandchildren sang "O That the Lord Would Guide Our Way".

The second part of the program--Sailing on Life's Ship--was begun by Rev. J. Rangen of Moorhead, Minn., son-in-law, speaking on the theme "Port of Life," bringing out the importance of relationship toward God, toward each other as husband and wife, and toward the family and friends.

As the event approached the Port of Anchor the Svanoe grandchildren quartet sang "My Anchor Holds" [Victor, Rennard, and Alfred Svanoe with Joe Nystuen?--Ed.]. The group was brought to two "Ports of Lights" with greetings from the president of the American Lutheran cnhurch, Harold Goldseth, and Walter Kloster of Clark, president of the Lutheran Fellowship League.

At the Port of Refuge, a daughter of the couple, Mrs. Hans Spilde of Sioux Falls, sang "Children of the Heavenly Father."

The closing part of the festive service was Debarking from Life's Ship. In "briefing", a grandson Victor Svanoe, read a poem "On Recalling Past Voyages" which he had composed [oh, if this can be retrieved somehow--for Victor sill might recall the poem or at least some features of it! It would be a true treasure if it can be restored.--Ed.]. At Port Duty, all the grandchildren present sang "Tenderly He Watches Over You".

A brief time of "Reporting" began with the oldest daughter, Mrs. Pearl Ginther of Puyallup, Wash., reading a poem entitled "50th Anniversary." An impromptu greeting was given by Mrs. Katherine Lundring of Beresford, sister of Mrs. Alfred Stadem. A daughter, Mrs. J. Rangen, read a poem she had composed, relating several incidents that came to mind as she thought back on the Plain View Farm, the Stadem homestead [we must find this special poem too!--Ed.].

Daughters Ruth Stadem of Watertown, Mrs. Russel Schaefer of Santa Ana,Calif., Mrs. William Svanoe of Minneapolis, and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Leroy Stadem of Platte, read excerpts from the many telegrams, letters and memorandums which were received by mail preceeding the day.

The audience then joined in as Voices on Ship, singing "The Sailors' Prayer, Search for a God." [Best we could make out from the few letters remaining of the script.--Ed.]. At the Port of Receiving, Hans Spilde, son-in-law, presented the honored couple with a 35 mm camera, a gift from their children.

"I Will Pilot Thee" was the Echo From Shore, sung by the Svanoe quartet.

Brief responses by Mr. and Mrs. Stadem expressed their gratitude to God and to the many who had remembered them on this day.

An autobiography of the Stadems in which they share some of the most interesting experiences in their lives, written over a period of years and assisted by their children, was given out to all who were present for the occasion. [This is a true treasure and keepsake of the Stadems--for I have one of my own copies, and my Mother's, for the Archives of PVF eventually--Ed.].

Following the service, all the guests retired to the reception hall where refreshments were served by the neighbors and relatives of the Stadems.

The reception hall was decked out with a ceiling portraying a starry heaven. A pilot's wheel, a life saver and a ship's anchor framed the wedding picture of the honored couple. The centerpiece was a large and beautifully decorated wedding anniversary cake.

Some of the printed captions on the cake were "Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Stadem, Our Golden Wedding, August 17, 1958, Lutheran Church, Bryant, South Dakota." "1908-1958 Together We Two--50 Years on the Ship of Life". "Sweeter With the Years", "Married at Canton, South Dakota." "Pearl, Bernice, Myrtle, Cora, Alida, Estelle, Ruth, Leroy, Arthur." "Where the streets are paved with gold". "Jesus Still Leans On". "Hitherto Hath the Lord Helped Us (1 Samuel 7:12). "Blest Be The Tie That Binds our Hearts in Christian Love". "The Good Old Days Down On The Farm".

A miniature church was inset, as were the pictures of the honored couple, and gold rings as keepsakes. A barn, captioned with "Plain View Farm" was also inset. To top this cake, were numerous bells enveloped in golden ribbon [This cake was created by a state of the art, professional cake baker, a lady in Volga, SD, who had previously created a cake for President Harry Truman. As the things on it were so sacred to memory, nobody present would think of taking any of it to eat, so it was not touched. The cake went to the couple's home and was there for a long time, finally it had to be put out and given to the little sparrows and other birds.--Ed.].

Part II:

Alfred Stadem, in a letter:

"To all of you our unforgettable friends,-------Putting it very mildly, the least we can say: We are overwhelmed. Words are inefficient, it seems and we do not know how to put it together what is on our hearts that we want to say to you. Again we have had to humbly bow before Him who can supply all our needs and plead for His guidance.

Truly this experience in our little lives is, in a measure, a foretaste of what the prophet Isaiah experienced when he saw the vision of the Lord's Glory, (that is recorded for us in Isa. 6th Chapter) and when he exclaimed: "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips." (6:5-a)

Oh that we now could be shaken out of our state of apathy (privation of passion), and not only say what he said, in verse 8. "Here I am; send me," but also do as he did, by God's help.

Yes indeed, and by all means, we wanted you to rejoice with us for what God has done for us; Yet it humbles us as we know our unworthiness of it. Your kind thoughts, expressed through a brief greeting, even though you could not be present on that occasion; yes not the least you who gave vent to your participation of joy, days, and several days after the doings was over, when you could not be present because you did not know about it.

Then you who honored us with your presence--that too is immeasurable beyond our ability to express; the pleasant smile, well wishes and hand-shakes electrify our very being. Then the many who sacrificed time, energy in the many different ways and the means required in coming and long distances too; and in ways yet unknown to us.

Then too, the many exhibiting their good will, also in tangible ways--the beautiful presents, the very useful ones including books and the blankets. As to the total contents of the medium of exchange, it adds up to the sum of $160.00 that will be invested in a Wollensak 35mm projector with all the necessary equipment to show pictures of you friends who have already favored us with them, and all that we hope to get from the rest.

Then too to get slides and take picture slides of the Mexican Migrant Mission work carried on in So. Dak. and the mission field in Old Mexico, of which the Lutheran Fellowship League is supporting and vitally interested in--that all of you can be better enlightened and encouraged to pray for, that precious souls Jesus died for, also they may come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved for time and eternity.

With regards to the money gifts, especially a proverb comes to mind, and can readily be applied here, as it goes: "give, and give until it hurts, then give some more." This we will sanction when it comes to promoting God's kingdom cause on earth. But in this case we do not think you should have done it. All of this we have mentioned and what herewith follows are so utterly underserved on our part. But we do pray God will bless you for it.

..."Much more we would like to say about our dear ones. To us, of course there is none better, but if nothing better could be said for them then so far expressed, it would be an eventual failure, to say the least.

We hasten to explain--everybody has potentialities for good or evil, as we possess the power of free choice.

This writer is aware that we cannot judge others by ourselves, but all humans have some in common, such as a split personality, and as we apply the finer comb, results vary.

This writer finds four distinctive degrees in himself as follows:

I am the one you know (not so bad, perhaps),

I am the one my wife knows (and some worse),

I'm the one I KNOW (still worse),

I'm the one GOD KNOWS (hopeless).

What thrills us is that our dear ones have submitted to this scrutiny and accepted the only way out--God's way.

Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

Sincerely we pray,



Back on the Old Home Place, Plain View Farm, the two Golden Anniversarians relax a bit in the front yard.

Links to other sites on the Web

Plain View Heritage Farm Home Pages: The Introductory (or Front Door)

Alfred and Bergit Stadems' Silver Anniversary

"Holbeck Line Remembered"

25th Wedding Anniversary of Myrtle and Bill Svanoe, Remarks by Bernice Schaefer

Master Directory of Plain View Farm

Tribute To Pearl Ginther

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