Saturday, July 8th, 2006, at the Newton County Library in Jasper, Arkansas, Mary Lou Taylor presented a slide show on Ted Richmond to the Friends of the Library.
I was fortunate to attend this presentation, and it was most informative. Mary Lou did a fantastic job on her presentation. She captured the essence of what Ted stood for, how he worked to improve the lives of the citizens of the county and surrounding areas.
Especially informative was her discussion of the controversy that arose from the article by Hartzel Spence in the Saturday Evening Post.
While this controversy appeared to center around a few key individuals in the county seat of Jasper, many others in the area did not see the same problems and issues that were discussed.
A personal note written by Ted at the JL Raney branch of the Wilderness Library on October 3 - 1955 -
Wilderness Library is remembering quietly and prayerfully the birthday anniversary of the late Mrs. Etta E. Richmond, in whose memory "Wilderness White Christmas" was established in 1933 at the original Wilderness Library "in the cove", Mount Sherman, Ark., via Twilight Trail.
Mrs. Richmond lived at the Richmond homestead cabin with her son Ted til the time of her death, Nov. 25, 1933. "Wilderness White Christmas" has been major part of wilderness work ever since.
Ted Richmond, wiry, bright-eyed founder and director of the famous Wilderness Library near Mount Sherman Ark, was in Springfield yesterday and made two announcements to the Daily news.
First, an advisory council is being set up for the recently incorporated Wilderness Library and secondly, he has lost his dog. A mixture of good and bad news for Voluntary Librarian Richmond.
He is pleased that Gov. Sid McMath of Arkansas has accepted the chairmanship of the advisory council for the unique library. In Springfield yesterday, Mrs. May Kennedy McCord recently named Missouri Mother of the year, and the Rev. Floyd Hitchcock, radio pastor of KWTO, agreed to serve on the council.
Another member is Mrs. Bertha Babcock of Little Rock, author of Abe Lincoln books.
A good b/w picture of the handsome Ted Richmond:
Taken during the filming of "The Wilderness Library" by Cy and Norman Weissman.
What a glorious day in the hills of Mt. Sherman Arkansas! My two fellow travelers (my two sons whom I love with all my heart) Richard and Jeff, began our quest to find the original Ted Richmond Wildcat Cabin.
This is the cabin that Ted lived in when he homesteaded his land on Mount Sherman over 70 years ago. We knew the remains of the cabin were still there, we just did not know what shape they would be in after I had last seen it over 25 years ago.
After some good hiking through the rough and beautiful Ozark hills, we stumbled upon a spring that was flowing cool clear water from somewhere deep in the mountainside. As Rick and Jeff explored the spring I stood watching on a nearby hill. As I looked to my right, I noticed the hill had what appeared to be a well-traveled path at one time, the top of the hill trampled flatter than most of the area we had been over. As I started down this path, I reach a small hilltop and before me was the Wildcat Cabin. Thrilled, I hollered to the boys to come, we had found it!
Excitedly we quickly surveyed the area, that was littered with remnants of Teds existence here many years ago. There was not much left standing of the old homestead, but it was definately all his home.
The remains of Ted's original Wildcat Cabin & Wilderness Library
As I stood taking pictures, Rick bounded off over the hills exploring the surrounding area. The next I heard from him was, "Dad, come here, there's another cabin". I gathered a few things and went to see what he had found down the hill. This was indeed Ted's second cabin. After his original cabin filled with books, it became his 'full-time' library and he built this second cabin to live in. It was 19' by 10' with one door and two windows. This log building still had the remains of two walls standing.
Ted's second cabin (Built after the Wildcat was full of books, newspapers, and magazines.)
Behind the cabin, was this spring fed pool that would have been perfect for his goats to get fresh water.
Spring fed pool/pond behind the Wildcat Cabin
It was a great find and a fantastic day for us, needless to say. The cabin measured 17' deep by 16' wide. The second cabin was 19' wide by 10' deep.
What would you least expect to find in the Ozark back country? That’s what Ted Richmond is – a librarian. For 20 penniless years he has trudged the hills – a sack on his back – to give, not sell, books to people of the woods. This is his story.
A way back in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, where the hand-hewn log cabin is still every man’s dwelling and timber wolves howl by night, the best-known person is the one figure least likely to be found there – a librarian.
He was the first of four sons born to a pioneer physician from Ogallala, Nebraska, named Albert C. Richmond.
NOTE: There is a book about Albert C. Richmond, written by F.R. Richmond. If anyone can assist me in locating a copy of this book, please contact me.
His family moved to Fort Madison, Iowa when drought hit the area.
He organized the first Boy Scout troop in the city, and continued these efforts later when he moved to the Ozark mountains.
He wanted to be a preacher, a doctor, and a creative writer.
Two books influenced his life greatly, "The Shepherd of the Hills" and horace Kephart's "Camping in the Ozarks".
He worked his way through the Iowa Business College and graduated from Southwest Missouri Teachers College (now Southwest Missouri State University.)
He was a veteran of WW I and served with the AEF and attended one year at Toulouse University in France.
While in France, it is said he helped establish a library.