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Since 2013, Kankakee Valley Historical Society President John Hodson has compiled Dear Santa letters from the past, which were sent to The Times by Region children.

This year, Hodson compiled letters from 1909, giving us all a glimpse into the desires of Northwest Indiana children and Christmas long ago.

Enjoy this view of the past, and Merry Christmas to all of our readers.

Whiting, Dec. 4, 1909

Dear Santa: How are you? I hope you will be good to us. I wish you would bring my sister some A B C blocks and a picture book. For me, a folding doll go-cart (doll baby carriage) and a fur set and a clock. I am 9 years old and like to go to school. Don’t forget to bring me some nuts and candy. I am going to speak a nice piece for Christmas Eve at church. I hope you will bring us a nice Christmas tree.

Your dear little friend

Ann Fuss, (1900-1945), 534 Front St.

Hammond, Dec. 6, 1909

Dear Santa: I am a little girl of 6 years, and I am very sorry to tell you my dolly’s head is broken and would you be so kind to bring me one and a tea set, too. And be sure to bring my baby sister a rattle box. And bring me a go-cart for my dolly. Bring some nuts and candy and a nice Christmas tree, if you please. I would be very glad to get this if it is not too heavy for you to carry.

Goodbye, dear Santa.

Lillian Sass (1903-1999)

Hammond, Dec. 8, 1909

Dear Santa: Hope you have not quite forgotten your true, affectionate friend. For Christmas will ask you to bring me a wig for my 5-year-old doll, a story book, a gorgeous robe of satin on my doll. Would like some jewelry if you think I am not robbing you, a box of bon bons and best of all, a Christmas tree. Hope you did not forget that I live at 746 E. State St.

I remain your affectionate friend,

Helen Praunge (1899-1963)

Hammond, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I am 12 years old now. I am a poor girl. Would you please send me a little present? I will be satisfied with what I get. I have only two brothers, and they are the ones that support my mother. I hardly ever get presents on Christmas Eve.

Yours very truly,

Lucy Zimmerman (1898-1978)

Hammond, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I am a little boy 6 years old. I go to kindergarten. I love dear Santa Claus. My mamma is alone to support the home, and she works very hard. She tells me she can’t get much for Xmas, so I ask for a sled or a box of tools.

With love to Santa Claus from,

Francis Warner, 249 Truman Ave.

East Chicago, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I saw some letters in The Times last night, and I don’t want you to forget me. I would like you to bring me a magic lantern, a pair of gloves, a train of cars and a new wheel for my Irish mail, and some nuts and candy.

William Quinn (1903-1969)

Hammond, Dec. 9, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl 10 years old. I go to the Wallace School. I write you a letter but forgot to tell you my number. Please Santy, get the piano at Straube’s. I don’t care what kind it is, so you buy it there. The factory is by the Conkey Plant. I don’t want everything. Give the other little children that haven’t got any pappas lots of nice things. Goodbye Santa from,

Clara McCoy, 736 Merrill Ave.

Hammond, Dec. 9, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I thought I would write you a few lines and tell you what I would like to have. I would like the biggest doll and go-cart you got and a sweater coat and a pair of gloves, a story book, a post album book and some little things yet what you think are nice for me. I am going to be 7 years old, and I am trying to be a good girl, too. And please Santa, don’t forget my brother Willie. He is 3 years old. He wants a drum and a horse and some building blocks. Dear Santa, I am learning my piece to speak for you when you come. Do you remember the one I spoke for you last Christmas when you were over to our house. You can find us easy; just get on the interurban car and it will take you to our backyard gate. You need not be afraid of our Sport for Papa will have him chained, and don’t forget to bring a Christmas tree. So goodbye dear Santa Claus.

I remain as your little friend,

Frieda and Willie Lohmeyer, 26 W. Gostlin St.

Hammond, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: Thinking that I might win the $5, so I might be able to get my mamma and papa and my little sisters some Xmas gifts, as my papa is out of work for a long time and we need the necessary things. I do not expect any gifts for Xmas. The only thing I want is a violin. Hoping this will reach you in good time, I remain as ever, your little friend,

Annie Freeman, 429 Pearl St.

Whiting, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: I have been dreaming of you last night. I thought I heard your sleigh bells ringing, and I thought I heard the reindeer trotting in the snow and stopping at 636 New York Ave., but I hope this will not be a dream on Xmas Eve, but really and truly happen. I wonder, Santa, because you are a year older this Xmas if you are getting cranky. I hope not; wouldn’t that be too bad for the little girls and boys if it was so. Now be sure to stop on New York Avenue and leave me a doll buggy, sled and a lot of nuts, fruit and candy...

Nellie Duff

East Chicago, Dec. 7, 1909

Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a hat and coat, for I am 12 years old. And my little brother, who is 5 years old, would like to have a little boy’s suit of clothes as he never had one yet. And be so kind to bring a toy if you have it to spare. I would go to work for these things, but I have to go to school and help my mamma at nights. And wishing you a Merry Christmas and all little girls and boys, and hoping you won’t forget us. Yours truly,

Beatrice Siproski, 390 S. Deodar St.



Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.