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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

Christmas Stockings

 Springfield Leader-Press, December 22, 1971, page 24

Hand-Knitted Stockings Glorify Legend
By Liz Zay

"The first Saint Nicholas was a bishop in Asia Minor in the fourth Century, and is the source of our own St. Nick who fills the stockings of good children on Christmas Eve. The story is that the bishop heard of a poor man who was about to sell his three daughters into slavery because he could not provide a dowry for them. Saint Nicholas saved the daughters, one by one, with gifts of gold. Each time, because he wished to remain anonymous, he threw the gift into the house. One version of the story is that he tossed the gold down the chimney, where it fell into a stocking hung there to dry. And so it is that children still hang up their stockings, and often find in the toe, a tangerine to represent a lump of gold.

 "Mr. and Mrs. Wade Bradley, 527 East Loren, are Springfield’s answer to St. Nick. Having made her 77th Christmas stocking, Mrs. Bradley still is planning to make many more. While her favorite is a Santa Claus stocking, she has knitted snowmen and one of Santa Claus in his sleigh going over the moon. Stockings made by Mrs. Bradley are enjoyed each year by friends living in Japan, Thailand and many states.

"Mrs. Bradley’s interest in knitting dates back to World War I when her first attempt was a sweater for her brother.

"When Mrs. Bradley first began to knit the stockings the cost was around $2. Now the cost of the yarn alone is $7. Mrs. Bradley never sells her stockings but gives them away. Her accomplishments are many: Cookies, candy, afghans, dish clothes and many more too numerous to mention.

"Mrs. Bradley taught her husband to knit almost two years ago and she feels that he is just as talented as she. He is working on his second hooked rug, and between them , they have knitted more that 400 dish cloths."

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