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St. Clair Shores

Looking back: Roy Kaul and Santa Claus c. 1940s

December 19, 2013

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Source: Cynthia Bieniek, librarian and archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library

During the 1940s, the children in the village of St. Clair Shores enjoyed Santa’s arrival in a horse-drawn sleigh driven by Roy Kaul. Icy roads, dark starless nights and bitter cold weather never stopped Santa from greeting the residents and cheering them up during hard times. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, Roy Kaul was born in Mount Clemens on October 20, 1896.  He was a mortician in the funeral business. At that time, he lived with his wife, Blanche, and daughter, Donna, on Jefferson Avenue.

The 1927, Nellis Newspapers Pageant of Progress edition described Roy Kaul as a veteran of the Great War, who served a year with the famous Michigan Polar Bear unit in Russia. After the Great Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, these troops were sent to the Arctic Circle near the Russian border and fought an unsuccessful attempt to unseat their new Communist government.

In 1927,  Roy Kaul was the treasurer of Lake Township and was associated with the Harry P. Pequignot Company in the undertaking business. Later, the family owned the Kaul Funeral Home on Jefferson Avenue. He was a member of the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows, founded in December, 1926. This photograph and other images are available to view through the Digital Media Archive on

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