Wildwood History Book - Final Edition

Buy the Book!

Purchase your book online and pick-up at City Hall.

All proceeds from these direct, local sales support preservation efforts in your community, including projects like Essen Log Cabin reconstruction, Route 66 Revitalization/Route 66 Roadside Park, Poertner Park, the Historic Community Markers Program, Wildwood Points of Interest Map, and more!

*Hardcover, Signed Limited Edition 

This special hardcover version of the book is printed in premium color with glossy pages, and comes to you signed by the author, and with a custom bookmark (limited number of signed copies, first come, first serve).  

Book Price: $55.00 (List Price $59.00)

ORDER HERE (Select Wildwood History Book Hard Cover - $55 from drop down menu and fill in the amount where indicated)

*Paperback Edition

The paperback version of the book is printed in standard color.

Book Price: $35.00 (List Price $37.00)

ORDER HERE (Select Wildwood History Paperback - $35 from drop down menu and fill in the amount where indicated)

*Both books are size 8.5" by 11" and have 272 pages and include an extensive bibliography and index.

The City is happy to offer bulk rate pricing of the book to local businesses, realtors, schools, churches, and whoever else may be interested.   Please contact  robyn@cityofwildwood.com if you are interested in making a bulk purchase.

About the Book

The Historic Preservation Commission, the Department of Planning, and the Wildwood Historical Society have spent nearly eight years developing Wildwood's history book and are excited to be getting rave reviews of it from experts all over the state and region!  It is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book (PDF) formats.

This book is inclusive of the area's history from prehistoric times all the way up to year 2022 and contains a treasure trove of oral histories from area residents and their descendants.  

The book is included in the Missouri Bicentennial Collection.

If you have any questions, contact Robyn Keefe at robyn@cityofwildwood.com and leave your name, and preferred method of contact, i.e., telephone number, email address, or mailing address.

About the Primary Author

Jill F. VonGruben, MA, is the Archivist, researcher and writer for the Wildwood Historical Society, Wildwood, Missouri. Her book, Before It was Wildwood: The Early Churches of Meramec Township, was nominated for the 2019 Missouri History Book of the Year. In addition to her work with the Wildwood Historical Society, she is the Historian for the WWII 324th Regiment of the 44th Division, US Army, Veterans Organization.

WW History Paperback book cover


Celebrate the History of Wildwood, Missouri, a collaborative effort involving the Wildwood Historic Preservation Commission, the City of Wildwood Department of Planning, and Jill F. VonGruben from the Wildwood Historical Society, is an invaluable resource that will benefit researchers at all levels who explore its contents. Organized into seven chapters, Celebrate the History of Wildwood, Missouri traces the evolution of the Wildwood area from 7900 BCE to 2022. Drawing from a wealth of sources, this book provides well-cited information for local historians, genealogists, and researchers seeking a deeper understanding of the history of the far western reaches of St. Louis County. Visitors to our library seeking information about prominent families, communities, or events that shaped the Wildwood area can be confident that they will find Celebrate the History of Wildwood, Missouri as the definitive source for Wildwood-related history.

- Brent Trout, Manager, History and Genealogy, St. Louis County Library

Celebrate the History of Wildwood, Missouri is a wonderfully engaging look at the heritage of a place from prehistoric times to present. It situates Wildwood in a national and international historical context, and then drills down to the captivating stories of the specific people, organizations, and sites that have shaped the history of this special place. Packed with colorful illustrations and images, the book is easy to read from cover to cover or browse through sections of particular interest. You will not regret picking up this fascinating read!

 – Rena Schergen, MSLIS, CA, Archivist, Archdiocese of St. Louis 

It is evident that much time and devotion was given to the development of this book. The references and cross references were excellent. So many of these folks I remember stories about. Many were family members. Truly a job well done and is much appreciated by those who are interested in the history of Wildwood.

– Charles "Charlie" St. Onge 

Celebrating the History of Wildwood is not the story of skyscrapers and titans of industry. Rather, the book weaves a rich tale of a community that grew up on the edge of the great metropolis of St. Louis, and tells the stories of the people and places, some of which have vanished, and some that are still here, in the forests and valleys of Wildwood. Celebrating the History of Wildwood places the suburb's history within the context of the wider St. Louis region, beginning with Native American settlement to the present day.

– Chris Naffziger, St. Louis Historian

I read through Celebrate History of Wildwood. I love how you went from local to global to understand the region from a historical perspective. 

– Donna Rogers-Beard, author of "Clayton's First Postmaster," published by the Missouri Historical Society, and retired history teacher 

This is a ‘must read’ for all Wildwood residents. 

– Bob Wardenburg – resident of the area for 77 years

 It is obviously a labor of love and takes the reader on a comprehensive journey of the people and places that make Wildwood what it is today. While Wildwood is a fairly new incorporated city, this book clearly shows that its people and places have deep historical depth.

– John Peterson, Certified Local Government Coordinator, Missouri State Historic Preservation Office

Audio Clip Previews of Book Content


Pendleton Brothers - WWII

Read by Bruce Hadley, a long-time friend of the Pendleton family

Dad receiving Bronze Star

Elmer "Mick" Schott Receiving Bronze Star for Service During WWII

Read by Terry Schott, son of "Mick" Schott


Korean War - Sergeant St. Onge

Read by Charlie St. Onge, son of Harold Charles St. Onge


Tavern Early-Mid 20th Century

Read by David VonGruben, grandson of Edward VonGruben, the tavern owner


Stories from a Rural Mail Carrier

Read by John Schnarr, J. Edward Schnarr's grandson


Life in Grover

Read by John Schnarr, J. Edward Schnarr's grandson

Metro-West LogosORIGINAL VECTOR_FullColorLogo

Volunteer Fireman

Read by David VonGruben, son of Edward "Dutch" VonGruben