Hello Forest County Residents!
This week’s featured woman in local history did not spend her entire life in Forest County but she was a pioneer as a career woman throughout her life. Ida Dutcher was born in Waupaca, Wisconsin to Heber and Mary Ann West in 1857 and she received her high school diploma while residing in Waupaca (Carpenter & Milbury 1914). She became a school teacher until she married a Civil War veteran, Henry Dutcher, in 1880 (Plover 1938). Ida and Henry moved to Forest County in 1888 where they developed one of the most profitable and beautiful farms in the region. Ida assisted her husband in his abstract business. They were also active in religious and community organizations in Forest County. While living in the area Ida gave birth to three children and buried two of them (Forest Republican). The Dutchers moved to California in 1901 where Ida maintained and operated an insurance and real estate business for thirty years. A woman owning her own business was very rare at that time. She also had a enormous impact as a Library and School trustee and a founder of the local PTA ( Forest Republican). Ida Dutcher was one of the first pioneers in the Forest County area and a trail blazer as a woman entrepreneur and her accomplishments should certainly be recognized.