“Keeping Santa’s Traditions”
St. Henry, Indiana
1916 – 1992
International Santa Claus Hall of Fame Charter Member â€“ December 2010
Replacing a legend is often a very hard thing to do, even in the world of Santa Claus. Ray Jochum began playing Santa Claus at the age of 22 in 1938 in St. Henry, Indiana. He was widely known as Santa in the communities around Santa Claus, Indiana but was never known nationally like Santa Jim Yellig.
Jochum appeared in parades in Huntingburg, Jasper, and numerous other communities in Dubois County, Indiana. When Santa Claus Land started closing at Christmas in 1978, Jochum filled the gap by using his own farm and creating a themed attraction during the Holiday Season. His wife, Frances, would prepare as many as 6,000 cookies to be given out to the children that would visit Santa Claus at Christmas at Lone Oak Farm.
After Yellig’s death in 1984, Ray Jochum became the official Santa Claus of Santa Claus Land. Jochum worked with the park until his death in 1992 at the age of 75.