Stadem Reunion 2009,

April and August Samtalerens, with Account by Rennard Svanoe,

Stadem Family Historian

May 23, 24, and 25, 2009 is being planned as a work weekend at Plain View Farm. It also may spill out on either or both sides of the weekend. The plan is for Bernie Iserman to come with scaffolding and necessary tools so that the shingling of the house can be finished. The front porch and south side of the house are the portions of the roof left to finish.

Anyone who would like to come to the farm and help with shingling and/or other projects is welcomed and encouraged to come and help. Another project to work on is the site preparation and foundation work for the barn. Please call Steve Stadem, so that plenty of food will be available for the workers, and also have accommodations worked out as well.

We are looking forward to making exciting headway at Plain View Farm this year.


Then reunion this year will be held June 26 -29. This is the weekend prior to the 4th of July weekend. As it is an off year there will be no preplanned programming. If it is like other "off year" reunions, the attendance may be down, but a good time will be had by those attending. Work projects will again be on the forefront, but a special recognition time will be planned regarding the "barn project".

Prints of the Barn painting are still available. Please contact Steve Stadem on that also.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, there will be a few "Decade Birthdays" to acknowledge. Four will turn 50, Lori Ginther=Hutt, Jeff Wilken, Tim Stadem, and John Brown. Marylou Ginther will turn 70. And most fantastic - we all know that Pearl Stadem Ginther will be turning 100 years old September 13, 2009. Pearl loves to attend the reunions, but as yet hasn't confirmed her plans. But there will be a Celebration in WA worthy of someone having a 100th birthday. Read further for your invitation to the party!


Dear Relatives and Friends of our Mom, Pearl Stadem Ginther,

Pearl seems chosen for this honor as God is not thru with her yet. Pearl's days are full of praise, prayer, and perseverance. She is forever alert tot he needs of others, especially the greater Stadem Clan - praying God's love and blessings on each one. There is so much to share and celebrate that two full days of festivities are planned near her home in Puyallup, WA for Saturday, September 12th, and Sunday, September 13th. You and yours are invited, as family being here at that time would mean so much to Pearl. Some relatives have already in formed us that they will be here. There will be seven people coming from Mandal, Norway (the birthplace of Bergit, Pearl's mother). All eight of Pearl's children {Darrell, Gloria, Lorin, Wayne, Ronald, Joyce, Roberta, and Jerry], all grandchildren and great grandchildren will be here, as well as Pearl's brother Leroy and Liz Stadem, and niece/cousins Eloise and Ron Hefty. We hope many others will also plan a fall trip to the Northwest.


Pearl eagerly awaits her mail each day in anticipation of a greeting from one of you. Perhaps you have received a card from her on your special day, as thousands have received remembrances from Pearl over the years. To help make this entire year special for Pearl, would each one of you send one or more cards or letters, including a picture of yourselves (printer copy is ok) sot hat she may feel Stadem Family love each and every day until her birthday. We plan to post all of these greetings with pictures at her Birthday Party as an inspiring tribute and vehicle for local friends to meet her family with a face to match. Please being to send these cards now, so she can be enjoying them for many months, and hopefully be able to open one each day until her birthday.


Sept. 12, 13, & Sept. 14-17. (to be added later--Ed.)

Let's remember 2009 as the Year of Our Pearl. Pearl's favorite statement to break the ice with strangers is to ask them if they know that to get to Heaven, they must pass thru the Pearly Gates. She soon knows if they attgend church, or are in need of a back adjustment. (Contact info omitted, no longer needed--Ed.). For The Ginther Family, Lorin Ginther


Mim Rinderknecht writes that Chad has finished school and will be graduating in May. "I'm so proud and excited to announce that Chad will be graduating with a BS in Flight Operations with a minor in computer Science. He has reached the level of commercial flight, after flying/piloting for seven years already. There was a special Westminster College ceremony on April 24th for the families of the graduating pilots. The speaker, who now runs Southwest Airlines, knew the challenges these students faced in getting to this point. It was a wonderful honor for Chad, after all he has been through in the last years. I hope someday he can tell his own story.

You are all invited to Park city, Utah for Chad's graduation. It will be May 30, 2009 at the "E" Center, at 1:45 pm. Consider it a vacation, and stay at Mimsie's, board and room and transportation will be free once you get here. Our family from CA will be coming. I am looking for a repeat of our reunion gathering here last summer! Invitations will be sent out later with more information, also working on a picture collage of Chad. There will be plenty of room (overflow at Grandma Cherie's).

If you can make it to Park City, feel free to drop Chad a note at his address or at Mim's.

Recently Sis Debbie, Jeff, and son Miles, 8, were here for a week ski vacation, and stayed with me. We had a wonderful time. Miles knows all the kids in the neighborhood, and they were so excited about him coming for a visit (they actually counted down the days until he arrived). When they left, they also left a large payment. After objections and discussions, it will be called "Paying it forward" for the next guests that come to this house. Rachel said, " maybe you can use this house for the purpose it was intended..." I love it. On another matter, I would like to mention my brother, Victor. I know he is going through a challenge, and would appreciate it if any of the family would send him any correspondence. Aunt Pearl and cousin Ronnie write to him, through me, but now that he is in one place, he can receive mail directly [contact info no longer current, so is omitted.--Ed.].

One note of wisdom. I'm in the process of getting a reverse mortgage on my house. If anyone out there would like more information on this, please call me. They will pay the mortgage off, and I will get to stay here until I die! (They don't realize I'll probably live to 150!) Love you, Mimsie


Bonnie (Spilde) Hilt had cataract surgery on April 22, 2009. In a month she should be seeing better, when the eye has healed, and when she can again use corrective glasses. Bonnie also mentions that her step-daughter, Debra Hilt will be moving to Rap[id City soon. She has had a nursing career with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for many years. Mayo has initiated a program for offsite work. Several persons, who each have area(s) of expertise will be able to work from home via computer, answering questions, and doing other educational work. This pilot program will be tested for one year. Debra's area of expertise is "Asthma". As it does not matter where her computer is located, she is moving it to Rapid City, where she has many other loved ones.


A baby boy, Andrew Jace Stensaas, 8 pounds, was born to Bradley and Traci Stensaas, on April 27, 2009 in Sioux Falls, SD. Andrew has two big brothers Nicholas and Ryan. Ron and Eloise (Spilde) Hefty are the proud grandparents.



When the nine of us offspring were kids, the granary stood where the present SPISE HUTTE stands now. The building was constructed very well, as granaries needed to be, to hold grain which is heavy in large quantities. Even though the building stood on large stones (not a poured foundation), I recall how mice (no rats) would get into the structure. They gnawed holes that we would cover up with tin - sometimes old license plates.

Since the building stood on stones, chickens would occasionally lay eggs under the granary. It was up to us kids to retrieve those eggs. Papa, our Dad, told a story that no doubt came from one of those egg gathering episodes. One of the sisters, (I think Pearl would remember which one) hurriedly backed out from her crawl under the building while checking for eggs, with the comment, "Han ser pa meg sa!!!" (Meaning, he looks at me so.). A further investigation revealed that it was a MR. SKUNK, who had invaded the granary hideaway. Well, it turned out OK, he kept his eyes trained on that little girl, so no sp0raying took place.

What happened to the granary? It actually became the structure over the hog house! Papa got the idea, why not dig into the hillside just to the east of the basement barn and the old well, and then after building a foundation, move the granary over it to form a warm home for the pigs!


The straw shed took shape just to the east of the hoghouse, where years before a silage pit had been dug. The silage pit was used during the dry years when the planted corn seldom got enough rain to produce anything except the stalks. The straw shed was also used as a place to put the car during the bitter cold winter days and nights. Starting the car was always a challenge on the farm. Some tricks which made it easier were: by jacking up the back wheel to make the crank easier to turn; by heating the radiator fluid, and by pulling the automobile with horses to get the flywheel to turn fast enough so that the engine would start. These tricks would work sometimes built, oftentimes were met with frustration. So the straw shed was designed to be a place of warmth for the cattle and also the car. There was an extra length on the north end for the car, and enough room for the livestock on the south part. The warmth of the cattle did the trick, but once in a while the car still wouldn't go - the tires were slipping a little and y9ou can guess why!

When electricity came to the farm, engine headbolt heaters also came, so again - REA to the Rescue! [Rural Electrification Administration].


There were two ways we got baby chicks. Often we ordered them and they came through the mail in boxes with air holes [was this a "cheep, cheep"ailing them back then?"--Ed.] Sometimes setting hens and their nests of eggs would be brought into the southeast corner of the house basement. There the hens would set until the eggs hatched. Baby chicks needed to be kept warm, so a brooder house was built. What a small little building, but, oh, how serviceable. Lumber from the leftovers of the original barn was used to build a double walled building. The walls were packed with straw for insulation. Heat for the building was provided by a small oil burner at first, then later, of course, electricity was used.

Well, now the list of buildings is complete. Oh, Oh, not quite complete. We always had (and there still is) an outhouse! Sometimes it was called "The first Home Freezer"! During the night, we were able to use the pottie, which was stored under the bed. One of its nicknames was the "white owl". Also, it was well known that the boys would sometimes stand or squat in the barn or chicken house, but there were no catalogues to use, and the corn cobs were usually not very clean to start with. This has reminded me of an old story that is too cute to pass up telling. When using the outhouse [parental discretion is advised to continue.--Ed], a person would use three corn cobs as toiletry for cleaning up. One would be white and the others could be brown. The person would use the brown one first, then the white one to see if you needed the other brown one. UFTA!!


Pearl has said, "What is a farm without a windmill? [a windmill has been erected by Lorin Ginther and the Eloise Hefty and Bonnie Hilt (the Spilde family's girls] and Steve Stadem on PVF since this report, and she would have been overjoyed to see it, no doubt, as it is beautiful with the prairie around so lush and green and photogenic with the windmill in the center!--Ed.] Well, there are some stories that come to mind. Pearl can also tell a few. One is quite unbelievable. Pearl actually climbed the approximately 50 foot mill to the platform and stood there to close down the wheel shut off mechanisms that had become detached in a hard South Dakota wind. That is another UFTA!

It was in that extra hard blowing South Dakota wind, that not only took the original barn, but also took the windmill We never did put it back up in that place by the barn. Papa and I did do a lot of repair and made a 20 foot mill tower, and put up a wind mill in the pasture across the road. Prior to that, we always pulled the water up by hand to water the thirsty herd of cows. What a job that was. We also had a well just to the south of the barn. I recall helping to dig that one, and put in the curbing. We did manage to get an old pump, which took the place of pulling up buckets of water, but you needed good arm strength to pump the water with the handle.

We were just thankful to have enough water. Any extra water would go on Mama's large vegetable garden. We even hauled water on a stone boat from a pasture well southeast of Plain View Farm, on Norman and Ben Stadem's farm. If we ever got a sudden downpour of rain that filled up the road ditch, we had a much shorter trip for garden water.

We had two cisterns. One by the house still exists. That subject will be discussed another time.

It needs to be said again and again, that Papa and Mama labored very hard to raise their nine children; and that included sending all of us to Augustana Academy to undergird the faith in the Lord that the Holy Spirit had worked in us. Papa and Mama lived their lives in Christ and made sure that we were fed by God's Word in our home and in Church! Praise God!


Dear Stadem Relatives,

News from Brazil tells that Mother Cora is doing, well after her pneumkonia experience these past months. Carleen and Ken Newton have sent all the needed papers into Brasilia to apply for their Permanent Visa so they can care for mom without having to leave the country for six months every year. May the Lord sway the hearts of the decision makers. Our brother Hudson taylor was there for mom's 94th birthday. He later told of the Pataxo tribe that he and his wife Resa work with. he said that eleven Pataxo believers have requested baptism. This was to take place April 12th. Five hundred years ago, in 1500, Brazil was discovered by a Portuguese sailor right where this tribe now lives, Santa Cruz Cabralha, Bahia. These believers are the first of their tribe to hear and understand the Gospel. Hudson and Resa are thankful for electricity which has just been connected [they truly lived like our pioneer grandparents and ancestors, without electric and power shop tools and electric dishwashers and power toothbrushes and hair driers and the many other appliances seemingly we cannot live without today! Imagine, if we can a life without electricity, well, that is how Hudson and Resa had to live for years and years among the Pataxo tribal people. Does that speak of genuine sacrifice or not to us? We have it so very, very comfortable, we give it no thought, or just think they love the area so much that they are in a tropical paradise like Eden, and are not hindered and even threatened by lack of essential things for life at every turn. Excuse this ranting or sermon, but we need it very much, I am afraid, or we will beginning assuming we are entitled to what we have been given in trust by God not just for ourselves but for others' benefit..--Ed.].

Several months ago prayers were requested that President Lula from Brazil would not sign a document prohibiting missionaries to work among the tribal peoples of that country. When the bill came to him in December, he said that missionaries would have to give their opinion on this bill before he would sign it. Just recently that opportunity came and the Minister of Justice receive three representatives of Tribal Mission Boards, including Edward D. Luz of NTM of Brazil. The Bible says, "Men ought always to pray!"

Several Brazilian missionaries have been working at establishing relationships with the Tapeba tribe in northeastern Brazil, not far from Hudson and Resa. They have taught the Tapeba people everything imaginable as to spend time with them: sewing, agriculture, sanitation, cooking, grade school and adult education, painting and drawing. now they are teaching the evangelistic lessons to all the 177 people. They have written asking us to pray so much for them and the Tapeba families.

Several years ago Cora gave the book, "Stranger on the Road to Emmaus" to many Stadem relatives at a reunion. Later the book was translated into Portuguese, and will soon go into the third printing. The English website has received about 14,500 visits a month from 177 different countries. This month many hits have come from Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Recently we hosted a family in our home who will be going to Paraguay. They have completed the NTBI and missionary, language, and culture courses. They also have worked in a number of churches helping to challenge them for missions. Eight of the 2500 unreached tribes in the world are there in Paraguay. When you pray, remember this family, Travis & Renee Whitman, Canaan, and Isaiah. They hope to be there by July after learning the Spanish spoken In Paraguay.

Gwen and I have spent time working with college students on various campuses. We participated in a conference at Bran College, which was totally set up by the students. The Next Steps at Liberty gave us two students to mentor who desire to do tribal church planting. The vision on their hearts comes by much challenge and testimony from missionaries. Tennessee Temple Univ. will begin their Next Steps program next fall, and both of us plan to participate. Last year we encouraged "Tiffany" to attend the college level course ion missions at our Jersey Shore, PA campus. She wrote, "Wayumi Team, Thank y 0ou very much for the amazing week of experiencing a little taste of tribal missions! Your course changed my life from "maybe I can do this", to "With God all things are possible!" It was way more than what I thought NTM was about - it is a team, a relationship with other believers for the sake of the Gospel. By far this is what I have been looking for - Wayumi definitely exceeded my expectations!!"

Also we recently had the privilege of preaching the Word at a local church and found it very useful in passing on a lot of information to so many at once. Every one of us needs challenging on a regular basis. Yours in Christ Jesus to reach the unreached, Calvin and Gwen Taylor


The following words were spoken before a House Judiciary subcommittee by Darrell Scott, whose two children attended Columbine High School. His son witnessed the shooting of two friends, and his daughter was dilled. These words are powerful and courageous, and need to be heard by parents, teachers, politicians, sociologists, psychologists, and other "experts". Even if you already believe these words, it is good to have reinforcement of our beliefs.

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The deaths of those who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded set of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used (or any weapon or gun). The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at group-s such as the NRA. I am not a member, nor a hunter, do not own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe they are responsible for my daughter's death. They do not need to be defended. If I thought they were responsible, I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air.

You've stripped away our heritage, You've outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die.

You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question "Why?"

You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed.

And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is an historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. The killers would not have been stopped by metal detectors. no amount of gun laws can stop- someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and aro9und the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"--[Father of a Murdered Daughter at Columbine ].


SOMEDAY - TODAY by Grace L. Young

Someday our heartaches will be o'er; Today He comforts me. Someday our pain will be no more, Today I have his grace.

Someday we all will understand; Today I trust His will. Someday we'll enter heaven's land, Today I walk with Him.

Someday we'll feel no pull of sin; Today he does forgive. Someday we'll be all pure within, Today he cleanses me.

someday we will no burden bear; Today I have His strength. Someday our Savior's rest we'll share, Today I'm in His arms.

Someday we will the earth possess, Today I live by faith. Someday we'll feel no loneliness, Today Christ walks with me.

Someday we'll bless Him face to face, Today he blesses me. Someday all cares will be erased, Today He cares and keeps..


Thank you to all who provided news for this issue.--Eloise Hefty, Editor of the Samtaleren



by Rennard Svanoe

A family website on the internet was responsible for reuniting long lost branches of the Sjur and Oline Stadem family, who first immigrated to Northwood, Iowa, and later, in 1993, moved to the Bryant area.

Sylvia Yuge of Wilmington, California knew that her great grandmother, Kristine, was born in Iowa of immigrant parents with the last name of Stadem, but failed to locate anyone named Stadem using the usual genealogical resources. According to her husband Tom, Sylvia was on a search for her spiritual, as well as family roots.

Sylvia Fjelstad Yuge is the 4th of 10 children of the late James and Helen Fjelstad. James Fjelstad was born in Bryant in 1915.

Sylvia came upon the family website [PLAINVIEWFARM on a new domain:] maintained by Ronald & Jerry Ginther, and found that the midwest Stadems were not extinct as they had been told and thought.

After visiting with the Ginthers in Puyallup, WA, Sylvia realized that they had the same great-great grandparents as she did.

Sylvia and Tom Yuge first drove to WA where they met Ron Ginther and his mother Pearl Stadem Ginther. Later they drove from [from Pearl's home in Washington] to attend the Stadem reunion held at the farmstead northwest of Bryant, SD.

They brought gifts from her extended family members to contribute toward the construction of a new Heritage Center for the farmstead.

At Our Redeemer Lutheran Church on Sunday, she heard the Stadem family sing, "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", and "Marching In The Light Of The Lord", and she knew she had found the spiritual roots for which she was looking.

The site of the new Center was cleared, and dedicated during the reunion by Rev. Leroy Stadem, youngest child of Alfred & Bergit Stadem, and current owner of the property along with his wife Elisabeth, and their five children, Peter, Stephen, Timothy, Mary, and Thomas.

All of their 18 grand children were in attendance at the reunion.

Artist Stephen Stadem had painted a picture of the former barn, built in 1939 [and finished in the early forties by Alfred Stadem]. A framed copy [framed with beautifully aged barn wood] was prepared for presentation to Joseph B. Sebring, Pres. of the John Morrell Co., Cincinatti, Ohio, as a thank you for the donation which was made to the new Heritage Center in memory of Robert Ginther.

Mr. Ginther worked for Morrell's in Sioux Falls during the 1930's and '40's, prior to dying in a crash of a small plane near Baltic, SD in 1947. Ron Ginther, son of Robert, made the presentation.

Former owners of the Stadem farmstead, Tom & Ruth (Stadem) Harrington began the process of fixing up the buildings and yard to hold family reunions, and maintenance continued every year.

This year 50 members and friends returned, primarily to reshingle the roof and back porch of the farm house, repaint the original garage which has been called the Heritage House, and beautify the yard by creating two raised flower/rock gardens. The gardens were designed by Mary Stadem Coats.

The original garage was used until 1919 as living quarters for Alfred & Bergit Stadem and six of their children while the house was under construction.

The reunion was not all work, those in attendance enjoyed a fireworks display given by Minnesota family members, Frisbee football was so enjoyable it continued through the Friday evening rainstorm; several went swimming in the Bryant pool and at Lake Norden; there were nightly campfires and sing-a-longs accompanied by guitars and a conga like drum.

The drum was a djembe played by Fayet Munchikpu, of Yaounde, Camaroon, Africa. Mr. Munchkipu is currently residing with Tom & Judy Stadem, Tea, SD.

Other foreign visitors in attendance were Mariano Quintana, and Stadem grandson, Rennard & Grace Svanoe, from Chilhuahua, Mexico.

Fish caught in Dry Lake by Steve Stadem of Sioux Falls were offered to the group at the Friday evening meal.

Milestones celebrated at the reunion included the 14th birthday of Jace Stadem, son of Rev. Tim Stadem. Rev. Stadem was also presented with a 150th anniversary commemorative plate from Trinity Lutheran Church of Mobridge, SD. Tim had been a son of the congregation, was ordained there, and now serves at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, CO.

Visitor Ann-Marie Bendickson of Minneapolis recalled days from April 1970 when the late Myrtle Stadem Svanoe and husband Bill started in their home what has now become the City Hill Church of Eden Prairie, MN.

Three older family members were recognized at the reunion. Rev. Joe Rangen, husband of the late Estelle Stadem Rangen, was sent greetings which were hand delivered to him at the Moen Nursing Home in Fergus Falls, MN by Ron Ginther.

Also Pearl Stadem Ginther will be feted during two full days of festivities planned for her in Puyallup, WA on her 100th birthday on Sept. 13, 2009.

Cora Stadem Taylor was recognized as a collection was taken among the attendees for her support as a missionary in Brazil.--Rennard Svanoe, Chilhuahua, Mexico

Links to the Plain View Heritage Domain and other sites on the Web

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

Stadem Reunion Central Page

Plain View Farm Home Page on Angelfire


Butterfly Productions Home Page on Angelfire

Stadems Saga Continues Home Page

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