Article Image Alt Text

Howard Dutcher speaks to Wautoma Kiwanis

On Oct. 3, the Wautoma Kiwanis welcomed Howard Dutcher as their guest speaker at their monthly dinner meeting held at Silvercryst, Wautoma. Howard spoke on a part of history that many Kiwanis members never knew about, and that was in 1943 World War 2 German prisoners were housed in Waushara County and other parts of Wisconsin. Howard told the club that in 1943, there were 20,000 German prisoners housed at 38 branch camps in Wisconsin and 5,500 Japanese prisoners housed at Ft. McCoy. Howard’s father was the Waushara County Sheriff and took care of the German prisoners that were in Wautoma, helping work the fields picking crops. Prisoners earned 18 cents per hour. Howard’s mother did all the cooking for the prisoners and Howard told how one time she learned it was one of the prisoners birthday so she made him a German Chocolate cake. Howard remarked how the rest of the time those prisoners were in this area it was always another man’s birthday to enjoy another German Chocolate cake. Howard came with a book written by Betty Cowley with first-hand accounts from Wisconsin residents who remembered working with or living near these prisoners. Betty also has many pictures in the book of their life at these prison camps. The book is titled Stalag Wisconsin inside WWII Prisoner of War Camps. Follow the Wautoma Kiwanis on Facebook to find out each weeks speaker. Guests are always welcome to attend any meeting.