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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This Anniversary was contributed by: Kay Reitberger
The Plymouth Reporter - 1918

Golden Anniversary
Celebrated by Mr. & Mrs. Richard Phalen on New Year's Day
Parnell Couple

Event Observed at Home of Couple With Relatives and Friends

Passing the fiftieth milestone in their wedded life, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Phalen, old and highly esteemed residents of Parnell, observed their golden wedding anniversary last Friday, December 28th. With their children about them and a host of relatives and friends present, the worthy couple celebrated the event on New Year's Day. Festivities took place at the East Side Hall at Parnell and at their home. During the afternoon the guests began to gather and at about four o'clock the party, numbering more than sixty in all, journeyed to the East Side Hall, where they partook of an elaborate supper that had been prepared in honor of the occasion. The hall was prettily decorated with a host of pretty things appropriate of the occasion and the table fairly groaned under the wealth of good things to eat. Occupying a prominent place on the festal board was a huge wedding cake, which proved to be an exceptionally fine example of the art of cake-making. Across its frosted surface was traced the date of their marriage fifty years ago and the date of the fiftieth anniversary. After the viands had been disposed of, dancing and other amusements served to make an hour pass happily and then the party of merrymakers headed by Mr. and Mrs. Phalen adjourned to the Phalen home where the festivities were resumed.

The celebration at the home was replete with many features principal among which was the presentation of numerous gifts to the honored couple. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Phalen pre- {article appears cut and part is missing]

... free of obstruction and dove to her rescue. The helpless girl came up beneath the logs and was unable to reach the surface. Phalen expecting this again, dove, going beneath the logs this time and reaching the woman whom he pulled to shore. On shore willing hands lent aid and she was revived. That he earned her deepest gratitude through his heroic rescue there is no doubt, and the presentation of the medal more than a half century after the occurrence started a train of memories concerning the rescue and the people that played a part in the little drama. Mrs. Phalen was not forgotten by the woman who owes her life to Mr. Phalen for she sent the aged lady a gold bar pin set with a pearl and this was also deeply appreciated. Following the presentation of the gifts the company turned its attention to social diversions of different kinds. There was music, both instrumental and vocal, there was games and many passed the time quietly with social converse. Patriotic songs were a feature of the festivities and Thomas Heraty gave a talk that was much enjoyed. Mr. Heraty paying a fine tribute to the worthy couple and expressing the hope of the community that they might have the pleasure and the community the honor to gather for their diamond jubilee.

Mrs. Phalen, whose maiden name was Miss Adelia Martin, was born September 3, 1844 in Canada and was a daughter of Tomas and Margaret Martin. When she was but three years old her parents moved to this country, first settling in Waukesha. After four years residence in that city, the family removed to Friendship, Fond du Lac County, where she resided until her marriage to Mr. Phalen occurred. Mrs. Phalen is a woman who has many friends here, of a kind and loving disposition she has endeared herself to all the community. She is of a nature that loves home life and has always made her home, her castle. A devout worshiper in the Catholic church and a true Christian in every sense of the word she is one of the most highly esteemed residents of the community.

Mr. Phalen, the son of Richard and Catherine Phalen, is a native of New York, having been born in that state on November 15, 1836. When he reached the age of fourteen years the family moved to this county and settled in the town of Mitchell on the farm now occupied by Mr. Phalen and his wife. At the outbreak of the Civil War he answered the call foe volunteers and enlisted in Company E 17th Wisconsin Infantry. Soon after he enlisted he was appointed commissary sergeant, holding the rank for two years. Later he gained the rank of First Lieutenant in the Quartermaster's Division of the 17th Infantry and served in that department until the close of the war. He followed Gen. Sherman in his famous march to the sea and participated in many engagements during the war of the Rebellion. Mr. Phalen also bears the honor of being one of the original committee named to look after indigent soldiers and held the post for many years resigning only last fall when advancing years compelled him to relinquish his duties. After being mustered out, he returned to Mitchell and his marriage to Miss Martin occurred on Dec. 28, 1867 at Fond du Lac. The couple came to Mitchell and settled on the farm of his parents, where they have since resided. In spite of his advanced years, Mr. Phalen is very keen mentally and takes of great interest in all that transpires. He is very active for his age and gets about a good deal. He is a man of genuine worth, who, after serving his country, turned to serving himself and did so successfully, amassing a sum sufficient to enable him and his good wife to live in retirement as they journey toward Life's Sunset. Honest and a believer in the Golden Rule, he has many warm friends who will join in expressing the hope that the couple be spared to the community for some time to come.

Mr. and Mrs. Phalen have six children and all of these, and the families of those who are married were present during the holidays to help celebrate the golden anniversary. The children are Thomas Phalen, living in the town of Forest, Fond du Lac County; Mrs. John (Mary) Humphrey, Unity, Wis.; Mrs. Ben (Katherine) Butler, town of Mitchell; Mrs. W.J. (Margaret) Murphy, Milwaukee; Richard J. Phalen, Parnell and William of Fond du Lac. There are thirteen grandchildren. The Reporter joins in wishing the worthy couple all the happiness in the world and hopes that as they journey onward hand in hand as they have done, in the past half-century, that their pathway be ever lighted with the sunshine of happiness and good cheer.

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