It is rumored that Santa Claus made his first visit to a dry goods store, J.W. Parkinson’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1841.
The father of the modern department store Santa is without a doubt is James Edgar of Brockton, Massachusetts. In December 1890, Edgar dressed up as Santa Claus based on an 1863 illustration of Santa by artist Thomas Nast. Appearing at the Boston Store, Edgar’s portrayal as St. Nick helped spread the concept of a live Santa quickly across the country.
Over the years, many fine men and women have contributed to the Legend of Santa Claus. We honor them for their outstanding contributions.
James Edgar - The father of the modern department store Santa
Bill Strother - Miller & Rhoads department store Legendary Santa
Nathan Doan - 2nd Dean of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School
Robert George - Official Santa for six United States Presidents
Doug Mellor - Nationally known commercial Santa
Carl Hansen - Original Santa for Santa’s Village Corporation, California
Isabella Yellig - Mrs. Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Indiana
Ruth Howard - Mrs. Santa Claus, Albion, New York
Harry Bloomers - Longtime Santa Claus in Western New York State
Leroy Scholtz (Santa C. Claus) - North Pole, New York
James D. Rielly - The truly remarkable Santa from Rhode Island
Edmund Gwenn - Academy Award winning Santa actor
Victor Nevada - Canadian Santa Teacher