Fred Rosenstock

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Fred Asher Rosenstock (1895–1986) born Selig Usher Rosenstock in 1895 in Biala Potok in Galicia then a province of Austria in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains was a prominent bookseller, book and art collector and publisher in Denver, Colorado from the 1920s through the 1970s. His family emigrated to America in 1904. The family lived in Rochester, New York.

During World War I Fred moved to Washington, DC and worked both as a civilian and later in the US Army as a stenographer. After the war he worked for a billboard company, but became ill. He was advised to move to a dry, desert climate such as California. He went west but never got past Denver.

Fred had been interested in books from his youth, and by the time he was in Washington was a collector haunting the book shops and building a small collection. In Denver he continued collecting and in 1922 opened his first bookstore, the Denver Book Shop, an antiquarian book store. It was not a success. Later after marrying Frances Goodman in 1928 he purchased an existing book store in a good location on 15th Street in Denver and renamed it the Bargain Book Store. He continued to collect and sell rare books but the main business of the Bargain Book Store was selling school textbooks. This line got the business through the great depression. The store burned in 1948 and was rebuilt.

Meanwhile Fred continued his interest in rare books developing an interest in western history. By 1960 he began liquidating his general book business and in 1962 opened Fred A. Rosenstock Books on East Colfax Avenue in Denver specializing in western history. Fred had also developed an interest in western art and had collected many of the paintings and sculptures of Charles Marion Russell which he displayed in his bookstore.

Fred Rosenstock became recognized as the leading bookseller in the field of western history and located and sold many books to the important western history collections, notably to the library at Brigham Young University and the Denver Public Library.

He was also a publisher operating as the Old West Publishing Company, issuing about 30 significant books.

By the 1970s Fred was still active, but ready to reduce his activities. His extensive art collection was sold at auction (with disappointing results) and he closed his magnificent bookstore.

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