Ted Richmond's Wilderness Library


Down Twilight Trail

The Ted Richmond Story


What you are reading is the beginning of the book on Ted Richmond and the Wilderness Library. It is a work in progress (raw) and if you are reading this, you can actually see and participate in the creation of the book as it is being written and developed live on the internet.

Comments, corrections, etc. are welcome and very much desired. I've written computer programs and software documentation before, but never attempted to write a biographical story. Please bear with me and don't be afraid to jump in and help.

Who was "Twilight" Ted Richmond? In the following pages, you will learn who this man was and what he was about. How was he described by people who knew him?

  • Dedicated
  • Walking-Talking Newspaper
  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Positive
  • Productive
  • Humble
  • Noble
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Imaginative Conversationalist

Who wouldn't want to be described by those words?

He was also called a dropout; what some referred to as a hippy that was way ahead of his time.


Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly
    ~ Langston Hughes

Summers in the late 1950's were often spent on my grandfathers farm on Mount Sherman in Newton County, Arkansas. I loved staying on the farm. It was not always fun because we were expected to work for our room and board -- grandparents were very different in those days.

Jefferson Leroy Raney, was a self made man of the mountains. He was one of thirteen Raney's raised in the hills of the Boston Mountains.of northwestern Arkansas. Born on October 13th, 1906 he was 35 years old when he joined the Navy in World War II. After spending his time in the pacific, he returned to Arkansas and seized the opportunity to homestead 160 acres of land at the cost of $1.00 per acre. The only requirement was that he develop and live at least six months of the year on the land. So he built a couple of small cabins on the prime spot of land on top of the mountain. He would spend months of his time in the Kansas City area working for the rail roads earning enough money to live on for for the rest of the year. He also spent sometime on a farm (Garastana Farms) in Stillwell Kansas working for a doctor who owned harness racers -- that is another story.

Jefferson eventually built a stone two bedroom house on the property. When I say built, I mean he personally designed and built the home. He even used lumber milled on the mountain from his own trees. He even had a heated bathroom floor -- way ahead of his time. He also had a well location water witched (it worked for him) and dug his own well in the front yard. He also ran a water line to the house and installed a pump to keep pressurized water throughout the home. The well never went dry, even in the driest of drought years -- of course he used water conservation during the driest of times.

I would spend many summers there with him and my grandmother, Flora, helping around the farm and exploring the mountain top wilderness.

He was a devout Christian and all of my religious teachings came from him through bible study and stories. He knew his bible.

As long as I could recall, there was a small cabin that sat on the southeast side of his property about 100 yards from his home. It was filled with books and magazines. It was known as the J.L. Raney branch of the Wilderness Library. He would tell me stories of the man named Ted Richmond who started the library system and who he revered. I never met Ted personally that I can recall, as he left the area in 1956 when I was only five years old.

I was fascinated by the stories he would tell me of this man, with no job, no known sources of income other than a few goats that he would raise and yet established a mountain library that at one time had branches throughout northwestern Arkansas years. This was long before anyone had ever thought of the need for free reading material for this part of the country.

I would often see people drive up to the library to get books and more often drop off books and magazines for others to read -- it was a wonderful place to explore as it was filed with a jumble of reading material. Nothing was really organized at that time and as best I can tell never really was. No Dewy Decimal system there as one person could not possibly keep up with all of the donations -- that was part of it's charm.

I would spend loads of my free time at the library sorting through all of the facinating material and always remembered by grandfather telling me to be careful, because there were often snakes hidden behind the books, yikes! Not your typical library of today, eh? I never saw one, but did find a shed skin once -- most likely a black snake that was hunting the mice that would often nibble on the books over winter months.

There was also an old megaphone speaker in the library. It was just the old cone speaker from an old turntable phonograph. Jeff said that when Ted had visitors or new books arrived at the library, they would use it to "holler" down the hill side for Ted to come up to the top of the mountain. That was cellular phone service for the 1940's and 50's.

The library never required cards to checkout books. You simply came and took what interested you, logged your name and if you wanted, a brief note to Ted in a ring binder he kept in the library. It was strictly an honor system and it worked.

One of the early lessons I learned was when I found a paperback book I liked. We had a hard days work schedule clearing and setting up a road on the property. I took the book with me to read during breaks and kept it in the back pocket of my jeans -- I thought it was cool. Granddad saw the book and complemented me on my choice (I don't recall the book now), however, he said you are not taking very good care of the book by placing it in your rear pocket. He was obviously correct, because it was bending the corners and stressing the bindings. From that day forward, I knew to take better care of items that would eventually be used by others.

If you use it, return it to where you found it in the same or better condition, when you borrowed it. A simple lesson that will make life better for you and those around you.

Now, as I also learned, this branch of the library was not the only one. Ted's cabin (Wildcat) I was told, was the original and Official Wilderness Library. Yes Ted's epiphany that lead to establishing the library did occur in a small cave on his property. He even placed the few books he had on a small shelf he built in the cave, however, he soon realize that the humid air of the cave and the difficulty of accessing the cave was a real negative.) Ted's would leave his cabin open for anyone to visit and check out or return reading material.

Ted's cabin eventually filled to the point that he built a second (much smaller) cabin nearby and moved into it. There were two physical libraries later established to house the books and magazines that I was aware of; the JL Raney Branch and the Wilderness Library on the Camp Orr Road near the valley. The Library on the Camp Orr road was vandalized and burned down sometime in the mid-60's as I was witness to the aftermath of it's destruction -- a terrible waste of historical value. I recall my grandfathers complete disgust of such wanton destruction of a mans life work.

I hope you can understand my fascination with this learned man of the wilderness. The untrusted interloper who arrived and won the hearts and minds of the mountain folk. A man who called this place home for thirty years and later was held up to ridicule by the nearby towns people who never really knew or understood the man.

Nebraska Frontier

Theo was born on May 26th, 1890 in Ogallala, Nebraska. At the time of his birth, his family was living in the nearby town of Brule, Nebraska. Brule was the local native name for the indigenousness Sioux Indians that originally roamed this area of Nebraska.

The area was known for it's extremely hot summers and bitterly cold winters. The area was largely grassland that was easily turned into pasture. Ted father was what could best be described as a frontier doctor. At that time in America, a common motto was "go west young man" and so Albert Richmond did just that and pulled up stakes and headed west with his pregnant wife, until that landed in Brule, NE.. Ted states1 he was "born in a sod house"

Life in the 1890's was not easy and was even tougher on the frontier. Drought, coupled with Albert's growing desire to learn more and become a practicing physician led him to pack up the family once again and return to Fort Madison, Iowa. There he could care for his growing family and advance his formal medical training.

1Modern Shepherd of the Hills - Hartzell Spence

Fort Madison, IA

On their return to Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1894, Ted was a young lad of about four years of age. During his time in Iowa, Ted excelled at outdoor activities like camping and scouting -- he even helped organize a Boy Scout troop.

Summers were often spent following migrant harvest workers and preaching to them. He also taught Sunday school to the local children. It was during this time of pre-teen years that he started to envision his future career as either preacher, doctor or writer. With his intellect, he could have easily been successful in any of those fields of expertise.

Memphis, MO.

To be completed.


Please note: I'm still verifying these dates, times, and places... so take them with a grain of salt for now.

Ted moved to the Chicago area and attended the University of Chicago. It is not sure exactly when he moved to Chicago, however, he did work briefly for the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1912.

An article he edited for them was found dated April 21, 1912. The title of the article was a contest for a $5.00 prize for the best story "Have women a sense of humor -- What Proof can you give?"

The stories submitted and published could at best be called a little racist. I'm not sure of what Ted's feelings where about this at the time, however, I can tell you that I don't think he had a racist bone in his body.


A little boy was invited out to dine one day. His host, being a man of gentle breeding, said grace before the meal. The lad listened in amazement and then exclaimed: "Why, that isn't the way papa says grace."

"Is that so/. How does your papa say it?" "Well, he comes in, sits down at the table, looks all around all over everything, and then he says, 'For God's sake, what a meal!' "

"Yas, sah, prar am am all right." said an old negro. "Wy, de oddeh day I dun made up my min' foh a chicken,' an' nex' day chicken didn't come. So I dun prayed again. 'O, Lor, bring me a chicken.' and still chicken didn't come, so at las' I dun thought as how my prar might not be plumb all right so dat night I prayed. 'O. Lor' bring me to a chicken.' an sho nuff de Lor' heard dat trip an' next mornin' I dun had a chicken right in my han.' "

Most of the collection of humor stories used Jews, Irish, African American's, Germans, and men, as the butt of their jokes -- and all submited by women of the Chicago area.

Also, Chicago in 1912 was experiencing the rise of organized crime, most notably the "Black Hands" Knowing the gentle nature of Ted, his dislike of violence, coupled with the fact that selling advertising for the newspaper was not to his liking, he soon left Chicago and returned to his family in Texas County, Missouri (Evening Shade).

Evening Shade, Texas County, MO.

In 1917, Ted's father, Albert, once again pulled up roots and moved the family to Texas County, MO near Evening Shade and setup practice. By this time, their son's were gown men and younger brother Frank was well on his way to becoming a practicing physician.

Ted spent a great deal of time living on a small farm owned by his brother Glen. It was during this time on the farm that Ted was drafted in the US Army on June 6, 1917. He was assigned to the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) and would soon deploy to France.

World War I

In 1917, Ted's father, Albert, once again pulled up roots and moved the family to Texas County, MO near Evening Shade and setup practice. By this time, their son's were gown men and younger brother Frank was well on his way to becoming a practicing physician.

Ted spent a great deal of time living on a small farm owned by his brother Glen. It was during this time on the farm that Ted was drafted in the US Army on June 6, 1917. He was assigned to the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) and would soon deploy to France.

Life after the war

These were the years that finalized the making of the man known as "Twilight Ted".

Return to Evening Shade, MO.

After WW1, Ted returned to his family and home in Evening Shade, Mo. Ted's younger brother Glen on a farm near Evening Shade. During this time little is known of what he did to occupy himself. There is a story that circulated around (by Ted's own words) that he helped start a small church in the community with few pennies.

He also stated that he also started a neighborhood library at Evening Shade where he loaned books and presented "educational programs".

Ted's desire to write and teach could not contain him in the small village and he once again returned to school in nearby Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield, MO.

Ted moves to the Springfield, Missouri area and attends what was then known as the Southwest Missouri State Teachers College (now Missouri State University), where he graduated and served as the Editor and Chief of the schools paper, "The Southwest Standard". for two years.

It was during these years that we first see Ted using the pen name of "Twilight Ted".1

A Christmas letter published in the "Melting Pot" letters to the editor section of the SW Standard reveals and confirms some background information on Ted...

December 18, 1923 A Real School Paper: "The Southwest Standard, " published by students of Southwest State Teachers College, at Springfield, is one of the real interesting school papers of the state. The editor, James T. Richmond, of Texas County, known among writers as "Twilight Ted," has had rather wide experience as a writer and newspaper man. While a soldier he assisted in the publication of a soldier's paper in France and the World War. Under Mr. Richmond's guidance the Southwest Standard is doing a valuable service for the school it represents.                  -- The Polk County Advocate

There was one hint of trouble while Ted was residing in Springfield, MO. As stated to Vance Randolph by Otto Rayburn:

Rayburn tells of the time TR was thrown in jail at Springfield for passing a bad check. May McCord2 got him out.

Whether this incident happened and the exact circumstances of the arrest is unknown and could be considered hearsay. May McCord was a good friend of Ted and I don't doubt that she would help him in time of need -- that was the type of person she was.

1Missouri State University, Digital Collections

2May Kennedy McCord, a writer and well-known popularizer of Ozark folkways.

Kingston, Arkansas, Ozark Life, Otto Rayburn

In 1925, Ted worked with Otto Ernest Rayburn as managing editor of "Ozark Life: The Mirror of the Ozarks" magazine.

In 1931, Otto and Ted sold the magazine -- in 1930, Ted was already living in Winslow, Arkansas and working for Maude Duncan's printing office.

The story of the "shoes" is an interesting one and is recalled by Otto in a letter recalling the incident with Ted.

In the Vance Randolph collection in Washington, DC., there is the following comment related to Vance by Otto Rayburn:

Rayburn remembers the time TR stole his good shoes, and left a wornout [sic] pair in their place. Rayburn said nothing, got himself some more shoes. TR wore Rayburn's shoes everywhere after that, without any explanation or apology. Never mentioned the incident, and neither did Rayburn. But Rayburn never forgot it.

Twila Stoffer, Ted's niece offered his explanation of the event as related to her father:

Theo was not one to ask for much. He could have asked for help from my Dad or my Uncle Art,, both younger brothers... but he never did, unless he was asking for something to give to others. When he was working for the Ozark Gazette, I believe it was (I don't have the article in front of me) he was not making much money & he had little to spend of clothes to wear to work. He didn't want to ask for a raise, & it was apparently not going to come easily... & he wore the only pair of shoes he had till they were worn out, crossing his leg once in a while so that his boss would see the holes in the soles... but to no avail ! He was not a man to ever steal anything from anybody, in fact he often gave things that he needed to others. This time he 'made a trade' ... my shoes for yours (perhaps tweeking the biblical "you never know a man till you've walked in his shoes"). And I'd like to say that I knew the outcome... did he get a little raise,,, did he finally buy another pair of shoes? But I think the paper was sold not long after. (I do know my Dad sent him a pair later... but I think that was after we had visited him up on the mtn.)

Apparently, Otto was mad about the "swap" and never forgot the incident, yet never brought it up to Ted.

Kingston, Arkansas
Kingston, Arkansas November 2011

Winslow, Arkansas, Winslow American Newspaper and Maude Duncan

In the 1930 census, Ted was listed as a resident of Winslow, Arkansas; boarding with John and Emma Osborn. His occupation was listed as "Editor-Writer".

Maude Duncan and was the only printer in small village of Winslow. One can only assume that Ted along with a Charles W. Hopper, printer and born in England, were employed by Duncan's printer and newspaper office.

From the University of Arkansas Collections of Isabel France

Maud Duncan material. Duncan, often referred to as Arkansas's dean of women journalists, was a print shop owner and a publisher of The Winslow American newspaper. Duncan was born in Washington County, Arkansas, and was educated by her father, Dr. Albert Dunlap, a celebrated early physician and churchman of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and by private tutors. She attended Cane Hill College, and later received a teacher's certificate. She also studied pharmacy and became the second woman pharmacist licensed in Arkansas. She began practicing pharmacy in Winslow in 1906. Duncan and her husband, Gilbert Nelson Duncan, founded the The Winslow American in 1908. They worked side by side in the printing business until Mr. Duncan's death in 1918. Maud Duncan continued printing the newspaper singlehandedly almost until her death in 1958. She was an honorary life member of the Arkansas Press Association. Her papers consist of correspondence, The Winslow American newspaper, photographs, and miscellaneous papers.

Maude Duncan was also the topic of the film trilogy of Ozark Films by Norman Weissman, titled "Ozark Newspaperwoman" in 1952. Weissman's third film was titled, "School of the Ozarks". Much like Ted, Norman Weissman was also quite taken with the pioneer woman and the hard work ethic she showed after the death of her husband in 1918. Another unsung American heroine.

Winslow, Arkansas
Winslow, Arkansas November 2011

The Wilderness Library years

President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation late in 1941 supporting libraries as "essential to the functioning of a democratic society".

In 1956, the Library Services Act was passed allowing federal funding for libraries.

By the time President Roosevelt issued his proclamation, Ted had been operating his library for almost ten years and by 1956 he finally abandoned the project after the failure of his newly incorporated library organization. Penniless by now and no promised donations coming in, he was left with few options and spent his remaining time with his newly wed wife.

Ted was often criticized for the un-organized structure of his library by "Librarians" and it was said that legitimate libraries were available to the mountain residents long before the Wilderness Library was established. However, the central regional library system of Arkansas was only established in 1944 and did not offer free books to the mountain folks who had no means of traveling miles to the nearest town of Harrison, AR.

Jefferson L. Raney continued operating the JL Raney branch of the library until his death in 1977. Jefferson was the libraries biggest supporter.

The "Great Depression" affects many lives, including Ted Richmond's.

Soaring unemployment left the brilliant and aspiring author/newspaperman, Ted, with little hope for a career in his chosen field of study. In 1933 unemployment peaked at 25% and there were many hungry mouths for every job opening. Ted had no wife or children, so he could obviously live on a meager sustenance and did just that.

As a former editor/writer of newspapers and magazines, there was little call for his talents in the "Great Depression" and some strange attraction brought him to Mount Sherman in the Boston Mountains. It's unclear if he had previously ventured into the area, even though he worked in a couple of nearby communities -- there were few roads in the Ozarks at that time and no railroads, so travel was limited to a few vehicles, horses and buggies.

Whatever brought him to the area, he was a stranger and the local mountain folk "didn't cotton to strangers", so to speak. The Raney family found him to be an honest, hardworking, and intelligent man and took him under their wings. They helped him build a small cabin to live in and provided guidance and food when needed. In return, he provided knowledge and education that was so desperately needed.

Ted Richmond becomes a homesteader

On May 5, 1937, James Theodore Richmond aquires 150 and 50/400ths acres of land in Newton County, Mount Sherman, Arkansas.

Soon after his purchase from the federal government, he located the building location and constructed his Wildcat Cabin.

USIA Film produced on the Wilderness Library

In 1952, Norman Weissman wrote and directed the film titled "Wilderness Library", along with two other films, "Ozark Newspaperwoman" (the story of Maude Duncan), and "School of the Ozarks".

The films had world-wide distribution and were very popular with foreign audiences.

Norman recalls Ted fondly,

"He was a dedicated veteran, recovering from TB and the impact of the war, bringing books to the "wilderness", encouraging literacy, was certainly a true picture of who we are as Americans."

Mr. Weissman continued,

"Ted was what later was called a "dropout". . . He gave up a conventional career in Chicago, I believe it was advertising and recovering from TB he contracted in the Army in WW1 he took to his beloved hills and found his role in life serving an isolated region without access to libraries, schools or newspapers"

On Maude Duncan, Norman said,

"Maude Duncan, a well-born Virginia lass followed her husband to Winslow, and after his death, ran the "Winslow American" setting type by hand as she wrote her stories, working the foot-powered rotary press by herself. A very special lady. Unfortunately forgotten."

Maude Duncan and Ted Richmond are two American's that would qualify for what Mr. Weissman envisioned as the "Anonymous Hall of Fame" for dedicated Americans who are never given the true credit they deserve in building our great country.

Incorporation of the Wilderness Library

Sometimes a dream is just a dream... more to come later...

Twilight sets on the Wilderness Library

The old saying,

No good deed goes unpunished

has proven to be so true and Ted's case is no different. How things unraveled and led to his demise and eventual abandonment of the 25 years of dedicated service to the residents of Northwest Arkansas and the Wilderness Library.

Continuing years of the Wilderness Library; post 1950.


May 10th, 1950

Library in Wilderness Gets Advisory Council
But Voluntary Director Loses His Dog:

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.

Richmond, a graduate of Southwest Missouri State College, who also has studied at the University of Chicago and is a former newspaperman, visited two weeks ago in Harrison, Ark. in regard to incorporation proceedings.

Accompanying him was his constant companion, seven-year-old Bozo, a mixture of German Shepherd, American Shepherd and rat terrier, according to Richmond—and “smarter than all three breeds.”

Bozo Lost
Jeff petting Bozo
Jefferson Raney petting Richmond's dog Bozo

Their host was John G. Wire, one of the incorporators, and while Richmond went to Little Rock and Mr. Wire to Indianapolis, Ind., on short trips, Bozo got lost.

It’s possible he may have tried to follow his master to Little Rock, but at any rate he hasn’t been seen around Harrison, nor has he returned to Richmond’s homestead in back woods country on the White River.

Bozo has shared fame with Richmond – who describes himself as a goat-raising hillbilly – and receives his own mail. “Lately I’ve been having to read the letters to him,” Richmond explained with a twinkle. “You see, Bozo’s eyes have been bothering him.”

Richmond, whose book collection totals over 10,000 volumes which he distributes from his back hills cabin, declared he wouldn’t take $1000 for Bozo. “Why, he’s saved my life three times,” he reported gratefully. “He goes to Church, too,” he added.

If anyone has seen Bozo, Ted Richmond would appreciate knowing about it.

Return Imperative

Mr. Wire, who was in Springfield with Richmond, emphasized that return of the dog was imperative. {Missing paragraph due to newspaper destruction...)

In addition to Richmond as the leader, other incorporators of the Wilderness Library, which has been the subject of articles and pictorial layouts in national magazines, are John G. Wire and B.N. Wire of Harrison; Mr. Cora Pinkley Call of Eureka Springs and Woody Murray of Harrison.

The Incorporation marks the end of the first 20 years of Wilderness Library’s History, and the beginning of enlightened days to come. Mount Sherman will continue to be the home of the founder-superintendent Richmond, who inaugurated the library with a New Testament and prayers spoken in an Ozarks cave on his homesite.

A field office in Harrison is planned. Through the years branch offices have been established and 5000 to 7000 books are in circulation through these with the remainder crowding Richmond’s cabin. Sometimes hollow trees are used as depositories with cafeteria-style operation.

Little slips of paper are left indicating who has borrowed. There are no charges or fines.

More books are needed and there have been many offers. One of the largest contributors has been Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A major problem is transportation for the Wilderness Library proper is truly in the Wilderness, some seven and a half miles from Jasper. Two miles of the last part of the road is strictly walking country. Richmond travels by foot or by horseback.

His principal income has been derived from raising pigs and dairy goats. His one-time herd of 150 to 200 was reduced by predatory wolves and he now is trying to build up the herd.

He devotes full time – free – in the library and nine-tenths of his resources, he says. Richmond hopes to acquire a jeep or two for extending service that would include 100 counties of the Ozark region in Arkansas with the nucleus in Newton county, and in southwestern Missouri.

Spreading learning and enjoyment through his novel enterprise, Bookman Richmond may remark that years ago he “got lost in the Ozark Wilderness” on a trek from metropolitan life, but in view of the deeds performed, it would seem he found himself there.

October 3rd, 1955<

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.


This was written by Ted during one of his many visits to the Raney Branch from his new home in Texarkana.

Ted Richmond's final resting place - Rose Hill Cemetery

James Theo Richmond is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery, Texarkana, TX. (Bowie County)

Military Veterans section

Theo's headstone


Remembrance of Etta Richmond, mother of Ted

Etta Richmond

The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Henrietta Raney in 2005.

We had a good neighbor near. His name was Ted Richmond. He was a well known writer, sold a lot of his books. He was the first to start the Wilderness Library - people sent books from far away to him. Ellenore Rosevelt pres - wife sent a lot. She knew him. He was a very smart man but had been shell shocked in the war. He had a little cabin - one dog and cat.

Later years he bought more land and had a cow and lots of goats. They roamed the free grange anywhere they liked - when he needed milk he got a bucket and found the cow and milked where she was.

Later years his mother came to live with him. She was a small lady, very nice like Ted. She enjoyed everything just like Ted. Our first child was born while we lived there. Of course he was very special to alll of us. Our neighbor Ted though he was the most wonderful thing he had ever been around. Ted wrote the weekly news to the Jasper paper. I don't think Ted had ever been around a baby before. Each week he told all about Bobby Dean . Each new thing he did - looked. Such a nice smile he would give him. He just knew he knew who he was. After us moving away from Ted he always came to see Bobby as long as he could.

While living there Teds mother pasted away. It was so sad. Two of her other son's came to take her back home to be buried. The son's had never been there before,. They had no idea the kind of place he lived - they came and made all the arrangements. So sad the way they had to get her out of that cove. They took her out in a wagon. The road was a it's worse (if possible). The horses pulled the wagon with casket in it. Several men helped lift - pushed - and help horses pull to ge to the top of the mountain.

The ambulance met them there. The brothers looked to be very wealthy and big business men. They were very careful and easy what they did and said. They made all the arrangements - seemed very nice men.

Etta loved the children of the Mt. Sherman area and was instrumental in the establishment of the Wilderness "White Christmas" project that brought toys and clothing to the needy children of the area. The Wilderness "White Christmas" carried on until sometime in the early 1950's.

James Theodore Richmond Time Line

T. W. Richmond (Alberts father) (birth date and name unknown) Captain of Company A, 19th Iowa Infantry1, in the Civil War. Listed as Captured - released on paroled at the Battle of Prairie Grove on Dec. 7, 1862. 953 Union Sosldiers lost their lives in the battle. Confederate losses were unknown. (1. The Iowa GenWeb Project) Over 2,700 total casualties were suffered on both sides. Reference: Arkansas State Parks, Prairie Grove Battlefield)

At the close of the war the family moved to Scotland County, MO.

Memphis, MO. is the county seat of Scotland County. Notable people from Scotland County, include the imfamous Tom Horn.

Albert attended country school and high school at nearby Memphis, followed by attendance at Kirksville State Teachers College and the University of Missouri.

Dr. Albert C. Richmond (Teds father) born in Keosaugua, IA.

Albert C. Richmond (Age 11)
At the close of the war the family moved to Scotland County, MO. Memphis, MO. is the county seat of Scotland County. Notable people from Scotland County, include the imfamous Tom Horn.

Albert attended country school and high school at nearby Memphis, followed by attendance at Kirksville State Teachers College and the University of Missouri.

Albert C. Richmond (age 34) family is living in Brule, NE.

James Theodore Richmond is born in Ogallala, NE., second of five sons.

Albert C. Richmond (age 38) moves the family to Fort Madison, IA. Reference: Twila Stoffer interview.

Albert C. Richmond (age 44) graduates from the Keokuk Medical College and begins practicing medicine in Fort Madison, IA.

Albert C. Richmond is credited as being one of the first doctors to pioneer1 the use of aspirin and bread mold (Penicillin to treat fevers and infections in 1900(1. Journal of Iowa State Medical Society, September, 1952)

Census Record: Albert & Etta Richmond, Elmer (son), Theodore (son), Frank (son), and Glen (son) Madison, Lee County, Iowa.

Ted attended the University of Chicago and was also working for the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Albert C. Richmond (age 63) moves to Texas County, MO. and sets up practice until his death.

Ted Richmond is drafted as a private in the infantry at Houston, MO. Residence listed as Evening Shade, MO.

Dr. Frank Richmond (age 30) (Ted's younger brother by two years) completed pre-medical studies at Iowa State College, Ames, and graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Ted Richmond (age 35) is named associate editor of "Ozark Life", a monthly publication founded by the late Otto Ernest Rayburn.

Albert C. Richmond (age 75) passes away.

Census Record: James T. Richmond (age 39) listed as a roomer in Winslow, Washington County, Arkansas. Listed as an Editor-Writer, currently working at a printing office. Listed as currently working and a WW1 veteran.

Ted Richmond (age 40) moves to Mt. Sherman, Arkansas and envisions the beginning of the Wilderness Library while cave exploring and praying for direction in his new life. A rebirth of serving humanity instead of a self serving life.

Etta E. Richmond (age unknown) passes away at the Wildcat Cabin -- the day before Thanksgiving. (Ted's mother.)

Ted Richmond (age 46) purchases 150 acres of land on Mount Sherman, Arkansas, under the Homestead Act of 1862. He often refers to the property as the "cove".

Wilderness Library is incorporated as a benevolent, non-profit organization.

Ted Richmond (age 63) marries Edna Garner (age unknown). Edna has one daughter from a previous marriage.

Edna Garner Richmond (age unknown) passes away. (Ted's wife).

1975.12.03 James Theodore Richmond (age 85) Passes away in Texarkana, TX.

Ted Richmond Google Map of his places of residence, work, and school. Ted Richmond Map

View James Theodore Richmond Places in a larger map


Reference Material List

  • Personal email messages from Ted Richmond's niece.
  • Springfield News Leader
  • Arkansas Gazette
  • The Ozarks Mountaineer
  • Saturday Evening Post - Modern Shepherd of the Hills by Hartzell Spence
  • Springfield Daily News
  • Fellini-Dukewits Motor Co. Ford Dealer, Springfield, MO.
  • Personal Letters from Ted Richmond
  • Norman Weissman - Producer/Director/Writer of "The Wilderness Library" for USIA
  • US Census Records
  • US Military Draft Records
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