When reading the “Letters to Santa” we see the innocence of childhood in its purest form.  Their undertones can express a range of emotions from sadness to funny stories. Notes sent to Santa are an unlikely lens through which to understand the past, offering a peek into the worries, desires and quirks of the times in which they were written. They serve as a “snapshot in time” representing that moment in a child’s life where hope, faith and the promise of the Christmas season, come together as the crescendo of anticipation.

Today we want to share the unselfish “Letter to Santa” written by Cephus Homer Odom.  Cephus was born in the Swift Creek Community of Darlington County in 1919.  We know that Cephus was a member at the Swift Creek Baptist Church and was likely a student at the Swift Creek School.  At the age of 8 the Darlington News & Press reprinted his letter.

Dear Santa Claus:

I am a little boy eight years old, and going to school and like it fine.  Please bring me a drum if you have one to spare and some fruits and candy and anything you have to spare.  Hope you have a plenty for all boys and girls.

CEPHAS ODOM (Swift Creek Community)

We know that Cephus went on to serve in WWII and was later employed with the Coca-Cola bottling company for nineteen years.  He went on to work for the Darlington County Detention Center and retired in 1979 as Chief Booking Officer.



Cephas Homer Odom at his desk at the Darlington County Detention Center prior to 1979.

Attached in the photos you will find a photograph of Mr. Odam as well as a pedigree chart showing his ancestors.  Mr. Odom died in 1994 and was laid to rest in the Swift Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.


His unselfish letter to Santa caused us to look into his life and we found a man who answered the call to serve his country during the world’s time of need.  His work history shows him to have been a hardworking provider and his dedicated service to the Detention Center as a citizen who served his community.



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