Prisoners of War

1976 Exhibit Brochure
In 1944 the captured Italian Prisoners of War were incarcerated at the Defense Depot Ogden. They formed work details in crop harvesting and other like industry in Weber County.

2023 Exhibit Guide
Thousands of World War II prisoners were incarcerated in Utah camps. In 1944, approximately 7,000 Italian and 8,000 German prisoners of war were held at the Utah General Depot, now Ogden Defense Depot. Most prisoners worked on farms or as hospital clerks and received a small wage.
Other German and Italian prisoners were held at Bushnell Hospital in Brigham City, and Camp Hill Field, now Hill Airforce Base. Thousands of Japanese prisoners of war were imprisoned at the Central Utah Relocation Center in Topaz, Utah.

Kaysville Area Connections
In 1941, many Japanese Americans from the west were transported to Utah. Some prisoners were located in Davis County to work on farms that supplied peaches, cherries, sugar beets and tomatoes for the war effort. When interviewed, the Green family told of German prisoners picking cherries in Fruit Heights. When they asked a guard if the prisoners were dangerous, he responded that his “gun was not loaded.1”

Ken Baxter (1948-Living)

Ken Baxter grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah where he expressed an interest in art from an early age. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah, Baxter became a high school art educator for a brief period while he pursued a Master of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University.
Eventually, Baxter left teaching to pursue a career as a full-time artist. Baxter’s favorite approach to painting is the “plein-air” technique, which is the practice of painting outdoors within a landscape. Baxter has painted scenery backdrops for Ballet West productions, and his work has appeared in many national and international publications and exhibits, placing over 1,500 paintings in various collections.


  • “Bicentennial Historical Art Collection.” 1976 Exhibition Brochure, Special Collections, Weber State University. Spelling and grammar corrected.
  • Eyes Toward the Past. DVD.
  • Karras, Marilyn. “Reality of War Real When Italian Prisoners Arrive”. The Ogden Standard Examiner, 27 Feb 1977, Sun.
  • Bradford, Kathleen. “Bushnell Hospital.”  Utah Historical Encyclopedia: Allan Kent, ed., Salt Lake City, Univ of Utah Press, 1994


  1. Larkins, Dorothy Green. Interview conducted by Fawn B. Morgan, Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum, Fruit Heights, 5 Mar. 2019.

Copyright owned by Weber State University Storytelling Festival. All rights reserved. Painting shown by Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum with permission. Painting number 26 in the 2023 exhibit guide.