Window to the Past
Fine toys to be given to Delphos needy
By BOB HOLDGREVE
Many Delphos children will be made happy on Christmas through the efforts of the American Legion of Delphos and the WPA sewing center and woodworking department. This project will provide toys galore for needy children in this city.
The finished products were on display in the council chambers at the city building and little room remained for spectators when the toys were arranged. Approximately 800 articles have been completed and this number will be greatly increased by next Friday.
The toys on display included: stuffed dolls, chickens, elephants, rabbits, clowns, etc.; doll beds and cradles with mattresses, hobby horses, checker boards, doll dressers, airplanes, Mickey Mouses, Popeyes, Wimpys, Donald Ducks, wagons, wheelborrows and various types of wooden games. There is almost every toy imaginable to make some child happy on Christmas.
The various wooden toys were made in the woodworking department of the WPA at the city building. The stuffed dolls and doll clothing were made in the WPA sewing center. A large number of other toys were donated by local citizens.
All of the toys constructed by the WPA laborers were made from cast-off materials. The wood was from old orange crates, spools, etc. The Legion members will distribute the toys to the children late next week.
Delphos Herald — Dec. 17, 1938
Christmas Basket Fund is Growing
Contributions for the Christmas basket fund are still coming in. Mrs. Frank Kaverman, president of the St. Elizabeth’s Benevolent Society, reports that a donation of $10 has been added to this fund from the Catholic Ladies of Columbia.
Dr. D.J. Clark announces the receipt of an additional $16 from the Kiwanis Club for this fund, bringing the total by the Kiwanians to $115.
The ladies will be at the city building on Saturday to receive donations for the baskets.
They are asking people to give clothing, food, candy, toys, cash, anything that will bring comfort and Christmas cheer into the homes of the needy in Delphos.
Delphos Herald — Dec. 21, 1922
How the Idea Started Christmas Stockings
St. Nicholas rides Woden’s horse on Christmas eve in Holland. There, the children put up their wooden shoes in the chimney corners as a stop signal for the merry fellow. Children of France followed the custom by placing their shoes for Bonhomme Noel by the hearth. In England and the United States, boys and girls improved on the idea by hanging up stockings. These can hold more gifts.
In ancient times, the Teutons regarded holly as a symbol of good luck. The custom was widespread of hanging evergreens in the interior of dwellings. Later, the legend was widely circulated that all growing things blossomed and bore fruit the night of the Nativity. Holly came also to symbolize the crown of thorns by Christ. The Puritans however, regarded holly and mistletoe decorations as pagan in nature, and they therefore were outlawed.
Christmas tree candles date back to the very earliest times in the Christian era. The Yule candle, of goodly size, lighted early Nativity celebrations. The lighting of candles is indeed a universal religious and national custom. Candle lighting featured the Norse mid-winter festival of the turning of the sun. The Jewish Feast of Chanuckah or Lights is also celebrated similarly at the same season.
Romans exchanged gifts during gay celebrations. But giving of presents goes back much earlier. The Romans, however, gave it clearer identity as a part of their festival program. Christmas boxes and cards of today have a link to the ancient Roman festivities. In France, gifts are distributed to children New Year’s Eve instead of Christmas. In England, Germany, Italy, and most everywhere else, the custom is like in the United States. Santa comes a-visiting at Christmas.
The Puritans predicted the disappearance of Christmas carols and did what they could to discourage the custom of singing them. But it has grown more and more a part of the Christmas tradition which began in early Christian days in Rome. The French Noel, dating to the 11th century, and the German Weihnachtslieder, have the same origin.
Delphos Herald — Dec. 3, 1940
Fine decorations in Delphos
Mayor and service director fail to find another city between Delphos and Columbus with decorations as pleasing as those now shown here.
The Christmas decorations in the business section of the city continue to receive favorable comment.
Mayor W.H. Taylor and Service Director A.E. Weger state that in returning home from Columbus Friday night, they failed to pass through a city which had Christmas lighting to compare with that now provided in this city.
Visitors in Delphos have also been commenting on the excellent decorations which have been placed on the streets here. These decorations are also more pleasing to people here in view of the fact that there were practically no Christmas decorations on the streets in Delphos last year.
These lighted trees are adding much to the Christmas spirit locally.
The individual stores also are doing much this year to make the business district attractive. Window displays and decorations are exceptionally fine and the interiors of the various businesses are decorated in good holiday style.
Reprinted from my year 2000 article From the 1930s
Reindeer vs. Locomotive
The Pennsylvania Railroad Company has issued an advertisement announcing Christmas excursions between all stations on its vast system of railways. The hand-bill is embellished with a winter scene in the foreground of which appears a figure of Santa Claus standing in a sleigh attached to a locomotive, which he is driving, and under which is this legend: "Old Kris Kringle has adopted modern locomotion and taken the Ft. Wayne Route." He approves of this effort to dispel the fondly cherished but old fogy notion that reindeer continue to surpass in speed the steel track flyers on the "shortest routes."
Delphos Herald — Dec. 22, 1881
The light hearted men who run over the tops of swaying freight cars on the railroads are sympathetic fellows, and their hearts always go out to anyone, especially a comrade in distress. Hence, the injury that befell Clover Leaf brakeman Frank Starner, in the wreck at the shops recently, having his ankle broken, was not forgotten by his fellow trainmen, and as he lay at his home on Washington Street, slowly recovering from the injury, the boys were at work preparing to give him substantial evidence that he was not without friends by any means. Mr. Starner was held up some weeks ago on his train and robbed of his money and other valuables, and the misfortune to be injured followed closely on the first piece of bad luck, and when the world looked dark for him, a gleam of light like a sun beam from above, shed its rays into his home.
A number of the boys were instrumental in securing, as a Christmas gift, a purse amounting to nearly $60, which will be a help to the family until Mr. Starner is able to resume work.
Delphos Herald — Dec. 20, 1901
The Story of The Christmas Tree
It is that there was a window in the stable at Bethlam through which the infant Jesus could look out to the stars.
On the first Christmas night the trees held a consultation.
Said the Palm: I will drape my leaves over him as a protection from the winter winds.
Said the Olive: I will bend over him and perfume his cradle with my fragrant oil.
The Fir said nothing. It has nothing to offer. The stars looking down, took pity on it, and so they descended and fixed themselves upon its branches. The Babe was delighted and said, "It is beautiful. It shall be my own."
And so the fir tree became the Christmas tree.
From Frank I. Niedecken, fruit stand ad
Delphos Herald — Dec. 3, 1940
This greetings ad was in the Delphos Herald on Christmas of 1942
Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society
December 18, 2004 Delphos Herald Newspaper