SCHULTZ, William “Dutch”

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SCHULTZ, William “Dutch” (1886-1933) spent 20 years on Santa Cruz Island as a lobster fisherman. Described by his friends as “jovial,” Schultz was living in a cabin near Blue Banks when he apparently accidentally drowned when his small skiff capsized. He had been noticed missing since May 23, l933. Schultz's body was found “enmeshed in a thick bed of kelp” off the island three weeks later and brought to town by a Larco brothers’ boat. At the time of his death, it was estimated there were about 15 fishermen living around Santa Cruz Island’s shores. Schultz was 47. He is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery.



In the News~

June 13, 1933 [SBMP]: “A. E. Moller, who conducts many wild pig hunting parties on Santa Cruz Island, declared yesterday that while hiking on the island Sunday he encountered an elderly man whom he believes might have been Dutch Schultz, fisherman reported missing on the island. He said that he encountered the man in an isolated spot in the interior of the island, but that he was not injured nor in need of help. He also scoffed at the idea that Schultz's body might have been devoured by the wild pigs, declaring that the boars, unless cornered, would not attack a man.”


June 14, 1933 [SBMP]: “The body of William Schultz, hermit-fisherman known to his friends as the jovial ‘Dutch,’ was brought to the mainland which he had seldom visited in his 20 years as a craw fisherman on Santa Cruz Island, last evening aboard the Larco Brothers boat, the California. It is believed that Schultz met death by accidental drowning when his skiff capsized near the south end of the island. Missing since May 23, the finding of Schultz’ body last night by fishermen on the south end of Santa Cruz Island near his small cabin on Blue Banks ended a relentless search of nearly three weeks. The body was discovered enmeshed in a thick kelp bed 150 feet offshore. Time and the action of the ocean water had stripped it of all clothing. According to Frank Larco, operator of a fleet of fishing boats and to whom Schultz had supplied crayfish caught off Santa Cruz for 20 years, very little is known of Schultz. Larco said that his firm purchases catches from Santa Cruz fishermen during the four month season which starts October 15, and that Schultz was one of these fishermen. Schultz had not been to Santa Barbara for three months, Larco said. There are fifteen men living on Santa Cruz Island and earning their livelihood by fishing, according to Larco. Many of them, like Schultz, seldom come to shore, preferring the reclusive life where they maintain themselves the year around from the sale of crayfish, averaging from $500 to $600 for the season. Schultz absence was discovered on May 23 by Charles Carlson, a fisherman. Carlson found the door to Schultz's cabin open, but no sign of its occupant…”


June 16, 1933 [SBMP]: “Rites for William (Dutch) Schultz, aged fisherman who drowned in the ocean off Santa Cruz Island when his skiff capsized, were conducted yesterday in the Santa Barbara cemetery with his friends among the fishermen attending. Efforts to locate relatives failed.”