by Delia

People are already sending photos for the Who’s a Hoosier? Who and What Makes Indiana Great Bicentennial Image Collection. This one comes from Kevin Roe of Fort Wayne. Kevin has lived most of his life in Fort Wayne. Some of us here in The Genealogy Center knew him as an Allen County Public Library Page-turned Clerk-turned Librarian in the 1970s and 1980s as he worked his way through college and graduate school, then began his career. He’s now with Fort Wayne Community Schools, but keeps in touch with us. Kevin is sending a number of family and group photos, but this one shows Kevin (a great Hoosier) with Santa in 1963, when Kevin was 3½ years old.

This Santa is Phil Steigerwald, the famous Wolf & Dessauer Santa Claus. Born in 1927 to Phil E. and Vera Hurst Steigerwald, Phil began his Santa career in 1943, when he was still in high school. In the mid-1950s, his service became a profession at the Sears Store on Rudisill. He became Wolf & Dessauer’s Santa several years later and remained there until W&D closed in 1979. Along the way, he was a realtor and a Fort Wayne City Council member from 1963 to 1971. Phil died in 2004, but his legacy lives with the many children who still treasure their pictures with Santa.

Join us in defining Who's a Hoosier? Who and What Makes Indiana Great by submitting images for the collection!