Wolf and Dessauer’s Santa
Fort Wayne, Indiana
1927 – 2004
Phil Steigerwald was just a sophomore at South Side High School when he was first asked to dress up as Santa Claus in 1942. That started a long and storied career for this Fort Wayne native.
From the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s he was Santa for 100’s of thousands who came to visit him at Wolf & Dessaur Department store. Phil was always pleasant and welcomed his visitors with a heartfelt “Hello there!” He appeared at many other venues in northeast Indiana but for those who lived in Fort
Wayne, he was their Santa. During his time with Wolf & Dessaur, Phil had his own local television show called Santa In Wanderland. WKJG 33 would broadcast a live half-hour show, five days a week during the Christmas season. Children hurried home from school to watch.
For several generations, parents of Fort Wayne were able to bring their children to see the wonderful Santa they grew up with. A wonderful memory for all!