Albion student says legacy of Charles Howard lives on today

Posted 18 May 2015 at 12:00 am


Back in 1937, our little town of Albion wasn’t a town; It was a city. There was a man who opened a school named the Santa Claus School. His name was Charles Howard, and he did a lot for our community. I believe people in Albion should know about him.

Charles Howard wasn’t always Santa; He was a farmer for his first 40 years. His side job was playing Santa in storefronts from here to Buffalo and to Rochester. That sparked an interest that he wanted all Santas to dress the same and sound or say the same thing. So he opened up his first Santa School in 1937.

Believe it or not, stores all over the country sent students to learn how to be Santas! At first, he taught the Santas in his living room. Then he made the three barns behind his house part of the school. He had three classes a year in the spring, summer and fall.

He was Santa in the winter, and he went from Buffalo to Texas. One time in 1965 he was asked to teach a class in Australia! In addition to the school he added an amusement park called “Christmas Park” that drew families to his school.

People came from all around the northeastern part the USA to see it. It included carnival rides and carnival games. It was a mini-carnival of Santas.

In summary, Charles Howard wasn’t just a teacher. He was known as “The Dean of Santa Clauses” and he’s the one who made Santa as we know him today. Charles Howard may not be alive today, but his dream still lives on.

Ben Hickman
Albion sixth grader