CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS IN SEYMOUR - 1950
Celebrating Christmas in Seymour – 1950
Sixty years ago Seymour was a much different city. With a population of 1,760, it was about one-half the size of today. However, this small rural community claimed four grocery stores, five automobile dealerships, and practically everything that was needed from shoes and shirts to home furniture and household supplies. Agricultural related businesses were abundant, and several banks and Insurance companies served the flourishing farmers in the surrounding area. Seymour was the shopping hub for northern Outagamie County.
It was a joyous time for excited children when Santa Claus came to town. This was the only Santa most children would see, and in 1950 all attendance records were broken as over 900 tots flocked to see the jolly old man. The Seymour Press provided a vivid description of the excitement generated by Santa’s visit.
December 13, 1950
“Last year the Firemen and the Legion had over 800 bags for the kiddies and they ran short. This year they had well over 900 bags and from all reports, there was a shortage. Last year everyone wondered where they all came from, this year they have just given up wondering.
The Legion and Firemen, who sponsor the Christmas party, regret that some children had to do without bags of candy. Over 925 bags were packed, but it still wasn’t enough as the number of children
broke all previous records. Santa again this year called on R. Kuehne and Sons to furnish a truck and came into town about 1:30 P.M. Santa drove through Main St. and then back to Legion Square where the many, many children were waiting for him.
Last year the bags were packed with a little over 34 cents worth of candy, nuts, apples, and oranges in each sack. This year the group packed over 100 more bags than last year and averaged about 32 cents per bag.
The Firemen and Legion hopes that there will be no ill feelings because of the shortage. If you are one of the kiddies who didn’t get a bag, come back next year and there will be even more bags to distribute.”
During the Christmas season stores were open until 9:30 P.M. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. In the December 20, 1950 Seymour Press the following businesses offered “Seasons Greetings” to area residents.
Berry’s Floor Service, Brusky Clinic, Bunkelman Motors, Conrad’s Tip Top Bar, Consolidated Badger Cooperative, Cook Motors’ Cumicek’s Jewelry’ Dunbar’s Food Market and Service Station, Economy Store, F. W. Brick and Son, First National Bank, Groat Oil Company, Gustman Motors Inc., Guyon’s Seymour Packing House Market, Hallada’s Market, Hartland Cicero Mutual Insurance Company, Hotel Nelson, Huettl Transportation, Huth Insurance Agency, Johnson Burt Lumber Company, Khant’s Store, Kraft Shoe Store, Krahn’s IGA Store, Kurly Top Beauty Shop, Len’s Electric, Lotter Machinery, M. E. Babbitt, Maass Motors, Melchert Brothers Garage, Mielke’s Motor Service, Miller’s Department Store, Miller-Piehl Lumber Company, Morning Glory Milk, Muehl Furniture Company, Olsen’s Café, Pasch Grocery, Paul Kuehne Tailor, Progressive Farmers, R. Kuehne and Sons, Red Owl Store, Reese Dairy, Saraffe Studio, See-More Theatre, Seymour Bakery, Seymour Canning Company, Seymour Cooperative Exchange, Seymour Creamery, Seymour Farm Equipment, Seymour Flour Mill, Seymour Hardware, Seymour State Bank, Sutliff K. W., The Mart, Vanden Heuvel Motors, VFW Tap Room, Wickesberg Standard Service, Windau Motors, Woodward’s and Wurtzel’s Drug Store.
The next two pages provide the reader with a brief overview of life in Seymour during the holiday season in the early 1950s. A person could shop at a variety of downtown stores, dream of a new car with four dealers available, take in a movie at the See-More Theatre and stop for the big “Christmas Scoop” of delicious ice cream at Reese Dairy. How many of you remember attending a big dance at the Pinecastle Ballroom?
Scouting has always played a big role in Seymour. Notice how many present members of the historical society were recognized for their accomplishments as Boy Scouts. The Scout leaders went all out with the winter Court of Honor at St. John’s Hall including a Christmas tree, an Indian tepee, and a campfire. A few years later (1953) forward thinking community leaders led the drive to construct the Scout building.