...the Hitching Post


Tavern Magazine describes Hitching Post Christmas parties

Over 1,700 children given gifts at 1957 event


The following information appeared in the November 1957 issue of the the “Buckeye Tavern,” which was a newsletter disseminated by persons associated with the tavern business in Ohio (see image of magazine below). The following is not the entire article, as it was originally published; the text was edited for brevity.


"The Hitching Post Christmas party began the first year that Earl 'Red' Huber bought the tavern (1949). It began as a party for neighborhood children and those of his patrons. However, the word spread over the years and last year’s (1956) annual gathering had children from Middletown, Hamilton, Oxford, Seven Mile, Camden, and various villages in Indiana. The state line is eight miles distance.


Mr. Huber finances the party; but, the red costume is worn by Walter Suldovsky, a Hamilton truck driver. 'Santa' passed out 1,700 packages to children, as fast as a production line of Huber’s friends could fill the socks.


The first 600 bags included, in addition to their toys and candy, an autographed National League baseball, from Walter 'Smokey' Alston, Darrtown resident and manager of the National League Dodgers. Mr. Alston wrote personal messages on many of the baseballs.


When 'Santa' ran out of the 1,700 packages and children continued to arrive, he began distributing new, crisp one-dollar bills. 'Red' had provided 1,000 of these for the overflow crowd.


Two Butler county deputy sheriffs were on hand to direct traffic and safeguard the children who kept running back and forth across Ohio Route 177, between the Hitching Post and the K. of P. hall, where Rev. Roy C. Whisenhunt, of St.John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church told the children Christmas stories and led them in singing Christmas carols.


Many friends of 'Red' pitched in; all worked without pay to help make Mr. Huber’s party a huge success. One man drove from Indianapolis, just to 'have a hand in this one.'


Webmaster Note: The image of the Hitching Post (above, right) was taken during one of the 1950's parties. People can be seen standing, in line, along the front of the tavern. The photo was shot from the east side of Main Street - looking southwest, toward the tavern.



Image of

Buckeye Tavern



The magazine article,

that appears immediately above,

came from the November 1957 edition

of the Buckeye Tavern, which is shown at the right.


The sub-title of the Buckeye Tavern

identifies itself as a

"Trade Journal of Ohio's Beverage,

Restaurant and Hotel Industry. "


A caption on the cover reads

"National Sports Figure

Helps Tavern Owner

Play Santa Claus"


This is an obvious reference

to Walter Alston, manager of

the Brooklyn Dodgers,

and Earl "Red" Huber,

Hitching Post proprietor,

as they combined efforts

to host a party for area children.


Walter Alston is seen "whispering"

into the ear of Santa Claus.

The mirror on the wall behind Walter

shows people watching this scene,

which was likely staged

for the photographer.

Earl "Red" Huber's Hitching Post Christmas Party - 1950

RIGHT: This image shows the earliest known Christmas party hosted by Earl "Red" Huber, proprietor of the Hitching Post. The photograph was contributed by Fay Dees and it was labeled "1950." A smaller version of this image appears below, with numerals to indicate the names of persons we have identified. If you can identify others in the photograph, please contact the Webmaster.

1. Clarence Dees

2. Marta Dees

3. Joanne Dees

4. Santa Claus (aka - Walter Suldovsky)

5. Sandy Dees

6. Charlie Menke

7. Jerry Quick

8. Bob Quick

9. Joe Quick

10. Linda Mee

11. _____

12. ____? Menke

13. Kirk Mee III

14. Harlan Miller

Another "Red" Huber Christmas Party (circa early 1950's)

RIGHT: This party, occurred after 1950, judging by how some of the persons are larger than they were in the 1950 photo above. A smaller version of this image appears below, with numerals to indicate the names of persons we have identified. If you can identify others in the photograph, please contact the Darrtown.com webmaster.

1. Jerry Quick

2. Bob Quick

3. Santa Claus - aka Walter Suldovsky

4. Bob Young

5. Kirk Mee III

6. ___ Dees

7. ___ Dees

8. Irene Young

9. Linda Mee

10. Ronnie Wiley

11. Harlan Miller

12. Melva Jewell

13. Jerry Young

14. Louise Young

15. Charlie Menke

One more "Red" Huber

Christmas Party

(also, circa early 1950's)


The photo at the right is undated. It appears to be a different year from the Christmas Party images above, as the Christmas decorations appear to differ from those shown in other photos.


The girl wearing the white tam is believed to be Betty Jo Conrad - holding the hand of her brother, Fred. The woman in the white dress is Grace Thomas, who worked for Earl "Red" Huber.

If you can identify others in this photograph, please contact the Darrtown.com webmaster.


WEBMASTER NOTE: On Oct. 21, 2015, Maria Hoskins emailed that the woman in the white dress (above) is her aunt, Grace Thomas - who worked for Earl "Red" Huber, at the Hitching Post. The correspondence between Maria and the webmaster is shared here, as it displays the fondness that so many people hold for the little village.


From: Maria Hoskins / To: Fred Lindley / Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 9:08 PM

Hi …just wanted to say in the  “other Christmas picture” circa 1950’s the woman standing with the white uniform on is  my Aunt Grace Thomas who worked for Red .  What great memories it provided…Thanks…


From: Fred Lindley / To: Maria Hoskins / Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 2:31 PM

"Maria, thanks for writing. I added your aunt’s name to the image (at least I think I found the image to which you referred). Please check out my change/addition and confirm that I added the info to the correct picture. Also…I like to give credit to people (like you) who contribute info to the Darrtown website (see the link on the homepage that reads “People Who Shared.” If you will, please tell me the city/state where you live – so that I may include that info in the list. I think it makes the website more interesting to know where former Darrtown residents now reside – all across the nation. Best regards, Fred"


From: Maria Hoskins / To: Fred Lindley / Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 8:47 PM

"Fred, yes that’s the one….  Looked it up after I received your email and I still live in Hamilton, Ohio It was just the first time I had been on the web site. And…since at one time I went to one of the Christmas parties to see Santa when I little..it was a sweet memory. Thank you for adding her name and for your website. Respectfully, Maria"


"RED" HUBER CHRISTMAS PARTY (circa mid-1950's)


Paul Decker contributed this photo, when he attended the April 18, 2009 "Darrtown Gathering" at the Hitching Post.


Paul was only able to identify his grandfather, his sister, and himself (the three seated in the front, right).




In a May 30, 2009 e-mail message, Andy Popst identified the men in the above photo as:


(L-R front) Waldo Stumpf, Henry Popst (Andy's grandfather), Joe Shriever, and Doe Decker.

(L-R back) Glen Butterfield and Mark Nichol; the third man (back-right) is unidentified.

In a May 31, 2009 e-mail message, Freda (Stumpf) Derickson confirmed that her father, Waldo Stumpf, is the man standing at the left in the photo above. Freda reported that her father is holding his granddaughter, Linda, who is Freda's daughter.




The following appears in Recollections of Sandra (Ward) Jolivette: "On page 3 of EVENTS under the circa 50’s, Glenn Butterfield is holding his granddaughter, Sandy Ward Jolivette, (that would be me) daughter of Glen L. Ward and Maxine E. Ward (Butterfield)...that is Linda Hughes that Mr. Stumpf is holding. Linda and I went to Collinsville School together. Henry Popst is holding Andy. Doe Decker is holding Paul and Ruth."



Freda (Stumpf) Derickson contributed the photo at the right, when she attended the September 26, 2009 Darrtown Gathering.


This image was shot at Red Huber's December 1954

Hitching Post Christmas Party.


Freda's daughter, Linda Hughes Alexander, is seen sitting on the lap of Walter "Smokey" Alston and Carol Uhl is sitting on Santa's lap.





In the foreground of this photo, it appears that a young lad is headed toward the festivities at the annual Hitching Post event.


Notice the number of people in the background; standing outside, waiting to get into the party.


Also, note the Butterfield home in the right background. This residence stood across the street from the Hitching Post, on the east side of Main Street (St. Rt. 177).


FYI: The car in the foreground is a Chrysler.


Image donated by Linn Weiss.



In February 2010, Rick Martin, a life-long resident of Darrtown, contributed a guest registration list from the 1957 Red Huber Christmas Party. Rick said that, some 20 years ago, he had an opportunity to photocopy the list from a book that belonged to Earl Stang. Rick suggested that Earl may have retrieved the original book at the auction of Red's property.


The image at the right shows the top part of the first page of registered guests. The page is numbered as "2." We do not know if page "1" ever existed.


The 1957 Guest Registry consists of 26 handwritten pages, which contain the names of 669 guests. That data has been converted to a printed list (see link at the right).


When viewing the registry, please bear in mind:

    (1) Question marks indicate that the handwriting was not legible.

    (2) "NA" indicates that the item was not provided on the original.

    (3) If you think that some information needs to be altered or removed, please contact the Darrtown.com webmaster.


Click the following link to access

the printed copy of the

1957 Hitching Post Christmas Party Registry.


List of

Post Offices


by the addresses

of the 669 guests

who registered

at the 1957

Hitching Post

Christmas Party

Helicopter Brings Santa Claus to Darrtown on December 21, 1958 - Thanks to Earl "Red" Huber


The photo below, left, shows Santa descending into Darrtown. The photo below, right, shows Santa’s helicopter, as it touches down across the street from the Hitching Post, in the vacant lot just north of the Knights of Pythias Hall. The K. of P. Hall is visible at the right edge of the photo. Closer examination of the photo at the right shows that Santa’s aerodynamic sleigh was labeled as “Santa’s Private Whirly Bird.”

Red Huber gave gift bags to all children who attended the annual Hitching Post Christmas party. Typically, the gift bags included candy, popcorn balls, and oranges (fresh from Florida, which was a special treat in the 1950's). On at least one occasion, the gifts included baseballs, which carried the name of the Hitching Post.


Bill Weiss received one of the baseballs that Red Huber gave as Christmas gifts. Bill's baseball appears, in the following photos. Bill was fortunate to have the ball signed by Walter Alston, Red Huber's good friend, Darrtown resident, and manager of the Dodgers baseball team.

ABOVE: The gift ball displays the message “Compliments Earl “Red” Huber above the stitching. The Hitching Post name appears at the bottom, below the stitching

ABOVE: By rotating the baseball, we can see that it is inscribed: “To Bill, Best Wishes, From Smokey Alston.”







Good Friends Create

Generous Event





In this photo, Earl "Red" Huber (left) and Walter "Smokey" Alston are seen standing outside the Hitching Post tavern in Darrtown.




Although the news clipping is undated, we calculate that this photo was taken in 1955, because the photo caption refers to Alston being the manager of the "World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers" and the Alston led the Dodgers to their first and only world championship in 1955.


Two years later, the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.



This news clipping was donated by Darlene Chafin in November 2013.



Santa's Helpers:


Earl "Red" Huber


Walter "Smokey" Alston




This image shows

Earl "Red" Huber and

Walter "Smokey" Alston

during an undated Christmas party at the Hitching Post.


Notice how small the baseball appears in Smokey's grip.





Hitching Post Christmas Party Photo

Discovered On eBay!


The caption to this image reads "Pamela Sue Tubbs not only met Santa Claus, but the Brooklyn Dodgers manager, Walter Alston, who is helping her stand on a table to get a better view. At right, Earl Huber, a bachelor and owner of the Hitching Post Tavern here, sponsored his tenth annual party for children."


In October 2013, Bill Beeler discovered the image in an eBay auction and alerted the Darrtown.com webmaster of its existence.


Ron Wiley, Darrtown native and member of the Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee, purchased this image and donated it to the Darrtown website.





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