Anderson Family History

Sundays in 1930s Center, South Dakota

Swedish Lutheran Church, Center, South Dakota
Swedish Lutheran Church, Center, South Dakota

Swedish Lutheran Church, Center, South Dakota

Sundays, at noon, as soon as church was over, Dad & Mom would hurry to the store in Center, South Dakota to open up for customers. There were always a few people that needed fuel for their automobile, or some grocery items, and it was usually a very busy half-hour or so before everyone was on their way. Sometimes, during hunting season, the store would stay open most of the afternoon.

It seems like most Sundays were never spent at home alone. Invariably, if not arranged sometime beforehand, someone would invite our family over for dinner, or Mom would invite some people to our place for dinner. Mostly, these dinners were spur-of-the-moment things and there was always plenty chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh garden vegetables. Home-made bread usually was always part of the menu, and no one left the table hungry.

Then, after dinner, the old folks would sit around and talk while the kids played outside. Later in the afternoon, everyone would have to head for home to do the chores, which were always a seven-days a week schedule.

Also, one Sunday a month was always Swedish Sunday. The entire church service was conducted in Swedish, including renderings by the Swede Choir. I think by the mid thirties or so, these Swede Sundays were fazed out because so many of the young people didn’t speak or understand the language. The Swede Choir did continue for quite a number of years and performed occasionally at special events like Midsummer Picnic, or a funeral for one of the pioneers of the Center community. After our pastor Nels Lindau retired, none of his successors could speak Swedish fluently enough to conduct services in that language.

 By Merland D. Howe, 2000.

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