Monument to Indiana soldier, hero of 1898 fire, to be moved

Indiana
Heroic Soldier-Monument

This undated photograph shows a monument in Terre Haute, Ind., to Claude Herbert, a young soldier who died in December 1898 after rescuing children and workers from a fire at a Terre Haute department store where he was portraying Santa Claus. Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the granite monument will be moved next spring from its longtime location near city hall to the former site of the Havens & Geddes department store. (The Tribune-Star via AP)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A monument to a young soldier who died in 1898 after rescuing children and workers from a fire at a western Indiana department store where he was portraying Santa Claus will be refurbished and moved next year to the site of the fire.

The Tribune-Star reports that Claude Herbert, a 19-year-old U.S. Army soldier, was two days into a job portraying Santa Claus at Terre Haute’s Havens & Geddes department store when the fire started on Dec. 19, 1898.

While still in costume as Santa Claus, Herbert saved more than 30 children, as well as store workers, but he died after reentering the building, mistakenly believing other workers were still inside.

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