I have found numerous connections to Santa Claus, Indiana.


  1. 1816-1830 Abraham Lincoln lived about four miles away as a boy on Pigeon Creek Farm (Santa Claus didn’t exist yet).
  2. 1847 The Hannings settled there and helped found and name the town.
  3. 1852 The Freyhofers settled there from Seymour at the invitation of the Hannings.
  4. 1854 John Hanning cofounded the Santa Claus United Methodist Church
  5. 1858 Interesting connection between Rev. William Weiler and the Freyhofers: In 1855, Ulrich Schroetter graduated from Theological Seminary in Berea and became a German Methodist Preacher. He pastored in Santa Claus, Indiana where he met and married Mary Freyhofer in 1858. Mary was the daughter of Jacob Freyhofer. In 1902, a young German immigrant William Weiler will graduate from Theological Seminary (Baldwin Wallace) in Berea, Ohio, where he will meet his wife, Addie Hanning, who will attend there for music. William will also become a German Methodist Preacher and later pastor in Santa Claus, Indiana where Addie will be born in 1875. Neither family had any previous connections to each other.
  6. 1862 Henry Freyhofer was buried in Santa Claus, Indiana after succumbing to Typhoid in the civil war.
  7. 1875 Addie Hanning was born in Santa Claus
  8. 1912-1917 Rev. Weiler and wife Addie Hanning moved there to preach in the Santa Claus United Methodist Church, the same church Addie’s grandfather John Hanning started in 1854.
  9. 1917 Rev. Weiler was accused of being a German sympathizer during WWI by the Postmaster in Dale who sent a letter to the FBI about him.

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