Remembering RoMere Darling (Part II)

Posted By BrokenClaw on February 2, 2007

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Life After Hollywood

In 1950 RoMere moved to Tiff City, Missouri, on the Oklahoma border, but she did not completely leave the entertainment field. She organized the Turkey Ford Dance Group in the community of the same name in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, which received good publicity in the news. By now she was married to Julius Martin, so she dropped her showbiz name and became Mrs. RoMere Martin. RoMere started a home business making Indian design shirts for men and women and employed some of her neighbors. Her business was featured in an article in the Tulsa World newspaper.

In 1952, RoMere started a program to help needy Indian families at Christmas by collecting and distributing donations of food, clothing, and toys. The program became known as Box 14-A, simply named for her Post Office box in Tiff City. The charity continued to grow each year, so that by 1978, she was helping more than 300 Indian families, representing more than 10 different tribes, in the quad-state area of southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas.

RoMere Darling Martin

Real photo postcard by Devolite Peerless, c.1950, “Romere Darling (Martin) – Pottawatomie Indian”. Original card in the Dailey family library.

Julius Martin had died in 1968. RoMere later married the widower, Ovando Collman, who died in February, 1979. She had outlived three husbands, but a month later, RoMere Darling, nee Rose Marie Grinnell, died in a Joplin, Missouri, hospital on March 26, 1979, at age 67, after a long battle with cancer. She had no children. Her obituary was carried by the Associated Press.4 She was buried at the Bassett Grove Cemetery in Delaware County, Oklahoma, as RoMere Martin.

» Read about how I made the discoveries, completed the connections, and compiled this biography in Finding RoMere Darling.


  1. RoMere’s extended family genealogy may be found in the Chippewa-Munsee Genealogy database.
  2. “PIC” magazine, IV (10) published by Picpix Inc, New York, NY: 14–15.
  3. Excerpts from the Indian Center of Los Angeles newsletter, Talking Leaf, accessed online from the Helen Dagner forum.
  4. RoMere Darling Martin. “Indian crusader dies in Joplin” (AP). The Morning Sun. Pittsburg, KS. 27 March 1979: 8. Courtesy of the Crawford County Genealogical Society.


10 Responses to “Remembering RoMere Darling (Part II)”

  1. Donna Grinnell Galland says:

    My grandfather is Rosa’s brother, Joseph Grinnell. The majority of the information presented is correct. I am happy to provide corrections if needed.

    • BrokenClaw says:

      I’d be happy to make any additions or corrections, but since I don’t know what they are, you’d have to tell me.

  2. Sharon says:


    email me I would love to see u.


    (cousin’s Rosie)

  3. Becky says:

    My greatgrandparents were Frank and Josephine Grinnell. I remember as a child seeing “Rosie” as they called her at their home when she would come to Mayetta, Kansas to visit.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi.Becky… Insteresting… This is my great-Uncle Frank Grinnell. I met “Rosie” twice. My uncle and my aunt, cousin and I went to Tiff City, OK to spend the night with Rosie. She was wonderful lady. Rosie came to a Mayetta funeral I went to over at Murray Shumway’s house. Rosie was there for visit in 1967-68. I lived in Mayetta growing up… now I live in Hoyt.

  4. cheryl says:

    Hello, I am looking for more information about the TurkeyFord Dance Group. My dad (Homer Snell) was a member and attended the trip they made to New York to be on the Ted Mack Amature hour telivision show. It would mean a great deal to me if you could help. I would like to find this to have something for his grandchildren. My grandparents taught at chillocco after leaving TurkeyFord. John Snell and his wife Easter (Bomberry) Snell. My grandmother was and still is on her journey as a Faithkeeper with the Seneca-Cayuga Nation in OKlahoma. Thank you Cheryl (Snell) Ellius

    • BrokenClaw says:

      I do not have any further information about Turkey Ford Dance. I came across it while researching RoMere Darling. As I’m sure you’ve already done, I couldn’t find anything about it online. Perhaps if someone else sees your inquiry, they will write here as well.

    • Denise Lundin says:

      There is some very limited information about the Turkey Ford Dance Group in the historical files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If you send a written inquiry to the Horton Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Horton, KS referencing Ms. Grinnell and your reasons for needing the information, you might have some success.

  5. sharon daniels says:

    My mother was Lundin, my grandmother Maude, My great grandmother Mary Grinnell, my great uncles Ona & Frank. Ona Grinnell’s daughter Little Rosie.. “Romere”.

  6. celia kinder says:

    my ex-husband was the step-grandson of romere darling martin..she herself had no children as i recall, but steve lasswell, the step-grandson made his home with them for awhile while he was a small child..this was very interesting reading…i never got to meet her but i think she must have been a remarkable person…steve’s grandfather would have been julius martin whose daughter mary was married to steve’s dad, glenn lasswell.

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