Springfield Daily News - May 10, 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.

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