Christmas in Warren County, ’40s style

Posted 11/7/19

Christmas decorations in Warren County add to the beauty and spirit of the holiday season, but they didn’t always look like they do today.On Dec. 27, 1940, out-of-town judges toured Warrenton for …

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Christmas in Warren County, ’40s style

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Christmas decorations in Warren County add to the beauty and spirit of the holiday season, but they didn’t always look like they do today.On Dec. 27, 1940, out-of-town judges toured Warrenton for the purpose of determining the winners in the contest sponsored by the Warrenton Booster Club for the best decorated homes and businesses. After making a tour of the town, the judges announced the following winners:For residences: First prize, $10, to Mr. and Mrs. Theo. N. Lindquist and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Henderson; second prize, $5, to Mr. and Mrs. Ira C. Kent; third prize, $3, to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Burggrabe. Honorable mention to Dr. and Mrs. H. Walter Eyermann, Mr. and Mrs. John Mayfield, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Poisse.Businesses: First prize, $3.50 to Colonial Hotel; second prize, $2, to Mildred Bros. Hatcher; Third prize, $1, a tie between Dr. H. S. Henckler and Warrenton Bakery. Honorable mention, Eddie’s Barber Shop, Main Street Restaurant and Lillian’s Sewing Shop.About 50 homes were appropriately decorated for the Christmas season. Display windows of the business houses were also decorated for the Christmas holidays.Monday evening, Dec. 23, 1941, out-of-town judges visited Wright City and awarded the following homes prizes sponsored by the Wright City Chamber of Commerce.First prize, $5, to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Nieburg; second prize, $3, to Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Mueller; third prize, $2, to Mr. and Mrs. William Keller.In December 1942, housewives found that turkey for Christmas or dinner for the New Year would cost no more than housewives paid for the Thanksgiving bird. The Office of Price Administration officials said surveys revealed the price of top-grade turkeys at Thanksgiving season averaged 50 cents a pound, or about $6 for a 12-pound bird.Santa Claus arrived by airplane in Warrenton in 1946. Santa was met by his sponsors, the Warrenton Rotary Club. Members of the State Highway Patrol escorted him down Main Street to the Vita Theatre, where he spent three hours interviewing children. All children 12 years and younger were invited to a free picture show and free souvenirs.December 1949 brought the arrival of Santa Claus from an unknown destination where he was met by the Warrenton Fire Department. He spent about an hour in town and distributed gifts to all grade schoolchildren. One highlight of the 1949 Christmas season in Warrenton was the lighting of the beautiful Christmas tree on Main Street at the intersection of East Street. That tradition continued for many years.This story was provided by the Warren County Historical Society, which is funded by donations and run by volunteers.The museum is located at 102 W. Walton in Warrenton, and is open from 10 to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.For more information, to attend an event or to make a donation, call 636-456-3820 or email museum@warrencountymohistory.com. Online, the historical society can be found at warrencountymohistory.com and www.facebook.com/warrencountyhistoricalsociety.

The Warren County Historical Society museum has historical photographs of Christmases past, like this one, taken in a home during the early 1950s. Decorations during the midcentury were done on a smaller scale than they are today.

Submitted photo

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