One of the curious parts of old newspapers is the advertizing. Ads changed a lot even in the few years we have of the Pierz Journal. At first, the merchants didn't bother with visuals. The ads were just type, with a boarder, on a page of type. But slowly they discovered illustrations, not only of products, but of funny or heart-warming ideas and even cartoons. (Actual photos seemed to be reserved mostly for political campaigns, tho).
The idea of Santa Claus is a case in point. This 1910 elf in the children's bedroom is quaint, Victorian, and a little scary. But the jolly-old-man-in-a-red-suit must have been popular in flashier eastern publications. Were German central Minnesotans really enamored of a more benign Santa bringing gifts to good kids? Or was that an advertising idea only? Santa Claus was a nicer version of St Nick, after all, and he came with reindeer, not a devil.
Like I said, this first ad is from 1910, but I didn't record when most of the others were published. ("Have you been a good boy?" was from 1921, and "The Man of the Hour" was from a non-local paper in 1936).
Just look at the amount of work that went into these illustrations!