By Paula @ Holiday World

Thanks to Hilton for emailing me about an interesting story from our Santa Claus Land days.

Hilton won a nation-wide contest. His prize? He was named Town Marshal of the town of Santa Claus for the entire year of 1959.

Mayor of Santa Claus Land

Well, lookee here … Jerry, our archivist par excellence, found a photo and some articles about Hilton:

According to newspaper articles from December 1958, the Santa Claus Chamber of Commerce held a nationwide contest. The search was on for children who had been born on Christmas Day.

The two winners were Hilton, from Mount Vernon, Indiana, and a lad named Michael from Hastings, Minnesota.

That’s Santa Claus’s Postmaster for 1958, Elbert Reinke, pinning the official Town Marshal badge on Hilton’s shirt. (Postmaster Renke looks a bit like Andy Griffith, don’t you think?)

Brace yourself for the headline that showed up in Michael’s local paper:

Minnesota Red-Haired Namesake of Arch-Angel Will Reign As Honorary Mayor At Santa Claus

(Whew! They don’t write like that anymore!)

Michael, on the other hand, was named Mayor of Santa Claus.

Hilton got the cool job, though. Since he was born on December 25, 1946, he named was Town Marshal for 1959.

I think Michael was a tad jealous

1959 Mayor of Santa Claus and Town Marshal

There’s a rather poetic quote from Hilton in the newspaper article.

During his weekend in Santa Claus, he invited all those he met to “visit Posey County, home of the famous watermelon patches, and where the Ohio River blows a breeze of freshness.”
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