My grandfather founded Gem Publishing because no one would publish his books. He taught himself how to write. He went back to his roots in the Ozarks and wrote about ‘His People’. He considered his writing – art. He taught Erl Stanley Gardner how to write and type in the Rosamond home in Ventura California. I keep encountering rude folks in Springtucky who think they are the Salt of the Earth Rednecks, and just may kill a man to prove what liars they are.
Above are the four books I own written by my grandfather, Frank (Royal) Rosamond. On page 71 of ‘Ozark Moonshiners’ Frank says he moved to Lurton, or Moore. It is not clear, because this move may have never happened. Franks says he got arrested for moonshining and was sent to the State Penitentiary, where he did not stay long. He had moved into a house that may have been owned by Sam Rosamond, who was secretly making moonshine in the secret cellar of said house.
“He bought a rifle and a neighbor gave him an old squirel dog.”
Here is a hunter with a Blue Tick Coonhound.
Above is my grandfather, born Frank Wesely Rosamond, who adopted the pen names, Royal Rosamond, and Roy Reuben Rosamond. I will be adding to this page over a period of time. So, check back. Above is Royal reading his newspaper/magazine ‘Bright Stories’. If anyone has seen a copy, let me know. All Royal’s books are self-published by ‘Gem Publishing’. Below are letters exchanged between, Royal, and his friend Otto Rayburn.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Jimmy Rosamond who has encouraged amateur authors to put down their genealogical tales, that are eloquent, and to the point. The University of Arkansas want these letters from men who blazed a very old trail, and put the Ozarks on the literary map. Then, there are the Country Churches. These folks did not own much. But they agreed they can afford to own The Word of God. This is the value that made America Great, and a Land of Equality.
The Rosamond family owned and ran Lurton’s saw mill, thus it is safe to say all the first buildings were built with Rosamond lumber. Drussilla Pierpoint appears to be the daughter of Sir Isaac Hull, the Captain of the U.S.S. Constitution. Frank signs his letters ‘Frank Rose’. His mother was Ida Louisiana Rose, and his father was William Rosamond. There is a genealogy for Ida Rose below, and a page from Moonshiners where Rosemary appears. Is this my mother?
Frank is estranged from his wife, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, and their four beautiful daughters, June, Bonnie, Rosemary, and Lillian. I am deciphering historic-fiction. I never met Frank who has a deeply sad ending to his life. The price writers pay for their art, can be rejection and utter isolation. Even folks telling a simple family tale, orally, can come down on the wrong side of a Family Feud. Is there ever is a right side? After his mother Ida Rose died, Frank was “bound” out to his uncle, James Taylor, who married, Laura Rosamond, Ida’s sister. At twelve, he worked as hard as a slave, thus the title of one of his books ‘Bound In The Clay’. He took up writing to better himself, a Great undertaking.
What is truly astounding (to me) is the mention of ‘The Decameron’ on page 88 of Moonshiners. I am going to save this for my book, for it is the hinge pin that opens the door to the Visual Arts – and so much more! In 1967 I declared myself a New Pre-Raphaelite and shared these male and female artists with Christine Rosamond, whose ‘Story Teller’ series resembles Waterhouse’s painting ‘The Decameron’. Did Christine see this Pre-Raphaelite painting? This connection puts to rest our family feud, being, I was Rosamond’s Mentor who was inspired by Royal. There exist so many creative ways to go with this, such as a Ozark Romeo and Juliette, as well as a Ozark Tale of Lancelot and Guinevere. I am talking about a play, or musical. We got one of the greatest villains of all time, whose phantom can come and go on so many stages.
That Frank’s granddaughter, Christine Rosamond Benton, walked on to the stage of Art, and became one of the most successful female artists in history, is a testimony to Royal’s belief, there is art in that name ‘Rose of the World’. Here is my niece, Drew Benton’s kin engaged in creating a family legacy. Thomas Hart Benton and his family were friends of Otto Rayburn and Vance Randolph. Thomas illustrated Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’.
In the late summer of 1939, Benton took his son Thomas Piacenza (T. P.) to Arkansas for two short vacations. The pair spent time floating and fishing the White and Buffalo rivers. Benton also sketched and painted the scenery there, resulting in the lithograph Down The River, which featured his son. Another product of these trips was a painting and lithograph of a White River scene, Shallow Creek.
Benton returned in the spring of 1940 with a group of his advanced students from KCAI. They spent about ten days sketching and painting in Newton County, near Jasper. The following year, Benton returned with yet another group of students.
It was about this time that Benton became acquainted with various Arkansas artists and writers. He met poet John Gould Fletcher, who introduced Benton to the artist Adrian Brewer in 1938. Benton knew artists Louis and Elsie Freund and was a periodic visitor at their home in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). He also knew Ozark writer Vance Randolph and illustrated some of his work.
Otto Rayburn and Vance Randolp
Fred Rosamond owned lot 4,5,6,7,and 8 on Jefferson St. Road in block No.1
Royal’s uncle was Nonimus Rosamond, who got murdered by Yates Standridge.
William Thomas Rosamond
|Death:||(Date and location unknown)|
|Immediate Family:||Son of Samuel Rosamond and Frances C. Morrison
Husband of Mildred A. Rosamond and Ida Rose
Father of <private> Rosamond; <private> Rosamond and Frank Wesley “Royal” Rosamond
Brother of Laura Rosamond; Benjamin F. Rosamond; John J. Rosamond; Nonimus Nathaniel Rosamond and Frances J. Rosamond
“When the old school house became too dilapidated for holding church services, the local citizens banned together and built a new church house. Their inspiration derived from the Bible Scripture of Haggi 1: 8-“Go up to the mountains, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.”
Walter and Mima Light donated land for the church site, which is just west of the present Community Center, while local people donated labor and material. The result of the community effort was a beautiful white Church House which opened it’s doors to welcome one and all to worship services. This friendly neighborhood Church House was dedicated April 17, 1954. Church services were held in the building for the next few years, but with families moving, different ministers coming and going, a state of apathy developed in the community. The Church House finally closed it’s doors for a few years. It has recently been renovated and reopened by Vernon and Velma Awbrey Rosamond, after returning to their native area. The church is Pastored by Vernon Rosamond, grandson of Nonimus and Rosa Rosamond, son of Ed and Dullie Woodard Rosamond. Velma plays the piano for the services and teaches Sunday School classes; she is the daughter of Johnny and Mary G. (Gertie) Ray Awbrey.”