1836, Wisconsin Territory: Secretary John Horner Mistakes Bigfoot for Santa Claus


1836, Wisconsin Territory: Governor John Horner Mistakes Bigfoot for Santa Claus

John Horner, still in the middle of dealing with to so-called Toledo War situation between Ohioians and the local, popular government of Wisconisn lead by former Governor Steven T. Mason, was on his way back to his estate by horse and sled.

Just as night fell, the newly appointed Governor, ordered the sled to stop. Gov. Horner bade the driver to take a light into the woods a bit, for he thought he saw a massive figure following their progress.

The driver took a lantern and trudged off into the snow, his rifle at the ready. Just as the driver’s light flickered behind some trees, Gov. Horner saw on  the other side of the sled a large dark figure move quickly between the trees.

Gov. Horner called out for the figure to stop, but that just made the figure jump and increase his speed. The driver hearing the Governor’s shouts raced out of the woods to find John Horner standing on the seat of the sled pointing and waving at the tree line, “Quick driver, I think we are on the trail of Santa Claus, that jolly old elf!”

When they investigated, both the Governor and the driver only found large foot prints like those left by an ape. The prints were over 14 inches long and very deep in the snow, so whatever left them was incredibly heavy.

Governor Horner swore the driver to strict silence about how foolish he acted, calling out, thinking that Santa Claus was real.

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