Centerville : An Historical Novel

Centerville : An Historical Novel


Centerville is a personal venture into the author, Richard Weigand's past, based in Town Centerville in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin where he grew up. The book adds a powerful but fictitious love story. There is a time-travel to the mid-1800s and then to the year 2000.

Considerable information from the 1800s is included covering German culture, immigration stories, religious practices, political thought, clearing of forests, farming, early building construction, and various challenges and tragedies of the time. It was the author's intention to honor the contributions of his ancestors and their neighbors, and to illustrate their struggles settling in the New World. It is a reminder that what we have today was built upon the sacrifices and foundations established by those who came before us. The book is both informative and entertaining.

Much of the book centers around the Wiegand farm, the author's home farm, established in 1848, and the immediate neighborhood. The farm, called the Wagner farm in the book, is still owned by the family. The author maintains, "Although I have considerable knowledge of the history of the farm and the neighborhood, I had to use my imagination for many of the details in the narrative."

Most of the events and some of the persons portrayed were either real or had some basis in reality. However, the names of people have been changed and the events have been obscured to provide confidentiality. The names of local businesses have been changed or omitted. Events have been altered to fit the narrative and the time period. Real place names are used, however. Those who want to know the exact history should contact the author or other local sources.

Part One of the book details the main character's mission traveling from the present back in time to visit his ancestors in 1858. He planned to only stay for a few months. The mission becomes complicated and extended to a dozen years by the fact that he falls in love with Elsa, the Wagner maid.

In Part Two of the book, I bring Elsa to the present to renew our relationship and give her a chance to experience another, more-modern life, which she accepts. Elsa's recollections, comparisons of the past with the future, and commentary, in general, are valuable historical lessons.

My hope is that this book will someday be made into a movie. A percentage of the net proceeds from the book and movie are to be used as a fundraiser for a library for Centreville Settlement Inc, a historical preservation organization in Town Centerville that I helped to establish in 1982. The library, mentioned near the end of the book, does not yet exist but is a dream of mine.

Download Centerville : An Historical Novel (9781732217171).pdf, available at for free.


Richard Otto Wiegand
Paperback | 226 pages
140 x 216 x 12mm | 268g
Publication date
02 Jul 2019
Richard Otto Wiegand