New book chronicles the history of Wentzville through vintage images

Wentzville is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The book is written by local authors Deborah Bowman and Larry Marshall and is set to release on March 5, 2018.

Wentzville, Missouri, was founded in 1855 by William M. Allen, a tobacco farmer and state senator. Allen knew that the new railroad would run through Missouri, so he used his senatorial influence to convince railroad engineers, particularly chief engineer Erasmus Livingston Wentz, to lay the tracks through his farmland and build a station with a promise to name the town after Wentz.

The tobacco industry became a driving force for Wentzville’s early growth. Since 1983, when General Motors built its plant on the outskirts of town, the population has exploded. Yet the Wentzville historic area maintains a small-town feeling that charms anyone who takes the time to explore.

The majority of the images in the book came from the archives of the Wentzville Historical Society, donated over the years from pri-vate collections of local residents.


• The only known photo of the man for whom the town was named, Erasmus Livingston Wentz, is included in the book.

• Learn about early innovative Wentzvillians who used Ford auto-mobiles to grind meat and do laundry.

• Learn about the town’s notorious potato soup murderer and how she disposed of at least five husbands.


Deborah Bowman has lived in the Wentzville/Lake St. Louis area since 1986. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from Purdue University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, as well as certification from the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences. She is currently Senior Managing Editor of Clinical Publications for the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and serves on the Board of the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors.

Deborah is currently Vice President of the Wentzville Historical Society and has been a member of the city’s Downtown Committee since 2013. She is also a member of the Crossroads Arts Council and belongs to two writers’ groups, The Project and Scribes Tribes.

A former substitute teacher in the Wentzville School District, Deborah is also co-owner of ImagineInk Publishing and former founder and co-owner of Echo Magazine. In her spare time, of which there is little, she likes to read and write and spend time with friends and family.

Larry Marshall has lived in Wentzville for 15 years. He immediately became interested in the town’s rich history and began studying it shortly after his arrival. He joined the Wentzville Historical Society and soon became the President, a position he has held for over 13 years.

Marshall is a graduate of the University of Missouri and is a retired Design Engineer in the aircraft and medical industries. He is current co-owner of ImagineInk Publishing and former founder and co-owner of Echo Magazine.

In addition to his work with the Historical Society, Larry is the Vice President of the Wentzville Main Street Association. In his spare time, he enjoys building model aircraft and reading books about history.

Recommended for you