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Musing about Witwen Hamlet


Ron Klotz-Zellhoefer

In 1941 my parents bought their farm near Witwen, which one must surmise was the homestead of Witwen/Luetscher. About this history I never had known. Luetscher is my GGGrandAunt, born 1829 in Graubuenden Switzerland, her husband was Rev John Massaeguer, according to my source.

I hope this will add a bit to WISAUK's store of knowledge. The hamlet of Witwen in Troy Twp was our store for staples, and had back in those days:

                      a general store owned by Clifford & Naomi Meyer, with groceries, paint, overalls, gas pump 'n such. My parents even bought their first TV there about 1953.

                      Next door was the shop of blacksmith shop of Ferdinand Patke, a very hardworking and talented man who added to his facilities a planning and sawmill run via pulleys and huge belts, I think powered by big electric motor(s).

                      Across the road was a garage, which was closed sometime in those early days, and I never saw it open again.

                      Next door to the garage, & across Honey Creek, the Witwen creamery and cheese factory. My parents sold their milk there for many years, which milk was eventually used as the creamery's starter for some wonderful Dell cheese.

                      Back across the road from the creamery and along the creek was a lovely "park" containing a tabernacle which held occasional revivals, a bandstand and concession stand.

There was always a huge 4th of July event there, with ball games, music and races, and wonderful fireworks in the evening "after chore-time". There was log-rolling in the creek, and one year (only?!) there was a tug-of-war across the creek, between the men of Honey Creek and the men of Troy.

Each 4th brought a wonderful parade, so great that it became a CBS national feature for several years! All this brought astounding numbers of people, latecomers from Madison and such having to park as much as a mile away!

So considering the many activities of John P. Witwen,(referencing the 1880 Biographies of Sauk County), I can well imagine that John & Elizabeth also had their land and their hands in the beginnings of Witwen, Wisconsin.

Contact Ron Klotz-Zellhoefer