Harper, Iowa Centennial
                         NOT TOO BIG. . . BUT NOT TOO LITTLE




May 18, 1944


Nine Couples in Town of  210 Wed From 50 to 60 Years


When the couples in this long and happily married group grew from seven to nine in recent weeks, the Rev. J. J. Schoenfelder, pastor of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, decided to wait no longer to tell the public. He invited the press to meet them at his parish house, doubly proud because all were members of his parish.


Father Schoenfelder plans a special Mother's Day Mass today for the nine couples and two widows and afterwards will have them in for breakfast at the parish house.


Honnas Smith 88, and wife Mary 82, married 63 years, have 5 children, 33 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren.


Henry Striegel 87, and wife Mary 82, married 64 years, have 8 children, 41 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.


John Peiffer 82, and wife Anna 77, married 57 years, have 11 children, 40 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.


Mike Peiffer 78, and wife Barbara 71, married 51 years, have 8 children and 28 grandchildren.


Matt Weber 80, and wife Lena 80, married 52 years, have 6 children and 20 grandchildren.


Mike Adam 81, and wife Mary 78, married 57 years, have 6 children, 23 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.


August Klein 75, and wife Minnie 72, married 52 years, have 6 children and 9 grandchildren.


Joseph Clarahan 72, and wife Yetta 70, married 50 years, have 6 children, 32 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.


Mike Sondag 73, and wife Mary 74, married 50 years, have 3 children, 16 grandchildren and 7 great grand children.


Now we find 35 years later we have eleven couples who will have celebrated 50 years or more of married life by the end of the year. All of these couples belong to St. Elizabeth's Parish except for Zeno Hammes who belongs to St. Peter & Paul, which is a mission parish of Harper.


John Redlinger 89, and wife Clara 89, married 65 years May 5, have 8 children, 38 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren.



Mike Redlinger 87, and wife Margaret 85, married 63 years Feb. 15, have 8 children, 43 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.



John Vittetoe 78, and wife Irene 73, married 54 years Feb. 10, have 8 children, 40 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.



A. J. Adam 76, and wife Loretta 74, married 54 years Aug. 26, have 4 children, 20 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.



Francis Linnenkamp 75, and wife Pauline 73, married 53 years May 25, have 7 children, 24 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.



Stephen Jaeger 73, and wife Nina 70, married 52 years May 24 have 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.



Richard Merz 75, and wife Margaret 75, married 52 years Feb. 8 have 6 children, 27 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.



Raymond Linnenkamp 73, and wife Margaret 74, married 53 years Nov. 25, have 8 children, and 32 grandchildren.



Zeno Hammes 81, and wife Edna 82, married 61 years Sept. 3, have 5 children, 34 grand- children and 12 great grandchildren.


Virgil Smith 76, and wife Helen 70, married 50 years Dec. 4, have 6 children, 24 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.


Robert Singmaster an wife Elizabeth married 50 years June 1.






Mrs. Mary Sondag (now deceased) celebrated her 100th birthday October 25, 1969, at the Maplewood Manor in Keota. Rev. Wm. Snell celebrated the Mass at 3 P. M. in the presence of 93 relatives. Following the Mass cake and coffee were served to guests, residents, and personnel. Special guests were her sister, Mrs. Theresa Fritz, 89 of Mason City and her brother Pete, 87 of Sigourney.


Mrs. Sondag was born October 25, 1869 at Clear Creek, daughter of Michael and Margaret Peiffer. She married Michael Sondag April 17, 1894, and were the parents of three daughters. Mrs. Pete (Pearl) Adam of Keota, Mrs. Richard (Veolet) Clarahan of Harper and Mrs. W. J. (Thersa) Clarahan of Sigourney.






Mrs. Minnie Besser celebrated her 100th birthday with a dinner, October 4, 1970 at the Willows Supper Club, Washington. 110 relatives and friends gathered for this occasion. On October 6, 1970, a Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Rev. John W. Schmitz at St. Elizabeth's Church, Harper, followed by an open house at Maplewood Manor, Keota. She had remained on her farm until 1969. Congratulatory messages and cards were received from President Richard Nixon, U. S. Senator Jack Miller, U. S. Rep. John Kyl, Gov. Robert Ray and many other dignitaries of our state.


Mrs. Besser was born October 6, 1870 at Baden, the daughter of John and Susan Adrian Salm. She married Frank Besser in 1895 and they lived all their married life on a farm north of Harper. Mr. Besser died, January 31, 1924. They were the parents of six children, Mrs. Veolette McClean, of Cedar Rapids, William Besser, Sr., Francis W., and Mrs. Ed (Vivian) Aller of Harper, Mrs. L. G. (Marjorie) Striegel of LaPorte, Ind. and Mrs. Clem (Ursula) Adam of Washington, (now deceased). Mrs. Besser died September 18, 1971.

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