The folks of Chattanooga, Ohio, have always been a close-knit community with a knack for making the best of the times. Even during the Great Depression. They worked hard in the little village but they also knew how to have a good time. And they enjoyed kidding around with each other.
Some of this good-natured kidding was in the “Chattanooga” section of the weekly local newspaper, The Willshire Herald, back in the 1930s. Perhaps it was because the country was in the midst of the Great Depression that the residents looked to the fun newspaper items as a diversion.
Individuals [or probably one person in particular] wrote Dear Santa letters in 1933 and they were published in the Christmas edition of The Willshire Herald.
These Dear Santa letters are not what you might expect. They were not written by the children of Chatt, but were written by the adult Chattanoogians. These were probably based on funny incidents that we will never know about.
So read about some good old-fashioned Chattanooga fun at Christmas time. Many of you will recognize some of the names.
WHAT CHATT FOLKS EXPECT OF SANTA CLAUS
Dear Santa: I have been a very good little girl and I would like some nice curls to pin in my hair, a toy piano, some oranges and grapefruits. Orville would like a red wagon and a story book about “The Tree Bears.” Your little girl, Ruth Hoblet.
Dear Santa Claus: Guess you didn’t receive the letter I sent you last year so I’m asking you again, dear Santa, please! Bring me a new car. I feed the cow and chickens every day and have been making buckwheat cakes for Carl’s breakfast since the first cold day we had last fall. If you still think I am asking too much just leave a stick of dynamite and a match and I’ll take care of the rest. Your little girl, Marcella Schroeder.
Dear Santa: I would like a story about “When Man Was Boss.” If you do not have a book of such an early edition then send me the popular book of the day, “Woman, the Queen over the Land, Air and Water.” Bud Smith.
Dear Santa: Please bring me a compass so I can always find my way home. Fred Wick.
Dear Santa: We are two little boys just out of school and would like to correspond with lady friends about seventeen years old. Our dad lets us drive the family cars now and then so we could go to a few movies. Your choice will suit us OK, Santa. Your little friends, Glenn Schaadt and Reginald Fisher. P.S. Did you help Luther Egger and Warren Weisenborn find their lady friends?
Dear Santa: I would like a violin that can be played by just turning a crank. I promise never to play the same tune twice if I have to buy a hundred records a year. You may also bring me a Jersey cow. Your little boy, Ivan Johnson. P.S. I haven’t told a lie this year.
Dear Santa: Please send me a brand new beau, a string of beads and a ring. With love, Margy Wendel.
Dear Santa: I would like a tall and broad-shouldered farmer boy, if you please. Berniece Bollenbacher.
My Dear Santa: I want another bottle of dog medicine (Floyd drank the last I bought), some more Michigan potatoes, another permanent and some oranges. Your own little Hazel Vining.
Please Dear Santa: Bring me a License of Leisure of the year 1934. Hod Becher.
Dear Santa: I would like to trade wives for one of small stature and less power. Your little boy, Andy Myer.
My Dear Santa: I would like a baseball mask and a chest protector. Your little friend, Lewis Wendel.
Dear Santa Claus: I never argue with my husband and always cook his favorite dishes so won’t you please bring me a new coat, a new hat, (I made a beautiful black dress out of some material I found in the rag bag so you don’t need to bring a dress). If you have plenty of jewelry please leave me four strings of beads with earrings to match. Dot Smith.
Please Dear Santa: Have all the chickens yell for egg mash Christmas morning. Francis Bollenbacher. 
Marcella Schroeder was my second grade teacher at Willshire School and I have heard that she wrote the fun Chatt items for the paper. If so, she probably wrote these Dear Santa letters, too.
 The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 22 December 1933, p. 8.