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Clarence H. Wetter

1902 - 1971


Watertown Daily Times, 06-28-1971


Clarence H. Wetter of 310 Emerald Street, a lifelong resident of Watertown’s Sixth Ward and a veteran newsman and for over half a century a columnist for the Watertown Daily Times, died June 27, 1971 of an apparent heart attack.  He collapsed at his home.  He would have been 69 years old on July 2.


His oft-repeated request that his funeral service be private will be adhered to. There will be a requiem mass at St. Henry’s Catholic Church followed by interment in the parish cemetery.  There will be no sermon and no eulogy, also at his own request.


The Schmutzler Funeral Home is in charge of the service arrangements.  There will be no visitation.


Wetter was born in Watertown on July 2, 1902, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank M. Wetter.


In 1921, five days after graduating from Watertown High School, he was engaged as a reporter for the Daily Times.  It was to be a summer job, but extended to Dec. 23, 1967 when he retired.  He had the longest newspaper career of anyone in the history of the city.  At the time of his retirement he was city editor of the Times, a position he had held for 20 years.


He became best known for his columns, which he began writing as far back as 1919 while still a student in high school.  His column, “In Times Square”, was continued following his retirement.  He wrote it at home after giving up his position with the Times. 


As a columnist he was highly opinionated and frequently the center of controversy.


He “created” the character of Joe Pinkie and often rhapsodized about “tankards of ale”.  This amused his most intimate friends because they knew that during his entire life he had never as much as tasted ale.  He garnered the expression from the novels of Sir Walter Scott.


In 1967 the Milwaukee Press Club honored him by devoting a full page to his newspaper career in its annual publication – “One a Year”.


Wetter’s chief interests were music, literature and history.


His music library of classical recordings, which he began in 1916, covered most of the great musical masterpieces.  He also had a vast library but in recent years had greatly reduced it by presenting books to the local library, as well as several out of town institutions and making gifts of individual books to friends.


He was a voracious reader and was seldom without a book, newspaper or magazine, even while attending meetings which he covered during his years as a member of the Times’ news staff. For years he read the editorial pages of 14 different newspapers each day.  His interests were wide and were reflected in his column, the oldest daily newspaper column in the state.


There are no immediate family survivors.  An aunt, Miss Elizabeth M. Wetter, resides in Wauwatosa.  There are numerous cousins, of whom two reside in Watertown – Mr. Walter Schuenke and Mrs. E. E. Ruegg.


Wetter was a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church and a life member of Watertown Lodge No. 666, B.P.O.E.  In the early years of the Watertown Rotary Club he represented the Daily Times membership in that organization.