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William Horne-Ernest Hemingway papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Horne-Hemingway

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly correspondence, most of which relates to Ernest Hemingway. There are eleven letters from Hemingway, two from Mary and Ernest Hemingway together, and one from Mary with a short notation by Hemingway, all to Horne or Horne and his wife Bunny, and two transcripts of letters Horne wrote in reply. The rest of the correspondence consists of letters between Horne and a range of acquaintances and scholars about his friendship with Hemingway, including one letter from Hadley Richardson Mowrer, Hemingway's first wife, plus a long series of letters from Horne's Princeton roommate P.D. Norton. Also, writings by William Horne about Hemingway as well as the American Red Cross ambulance corps, a World War I Red Cross ambulance service scrapbook with photographs and four other loose, undated photographs. Also, xeroxes of a number of articles and clippings, several research papers and a typescript of a thesis by Peter Griffin, all about Hemingway, and a box of periodicals containing articles on Hemingway.

See Information File for copies of the correspondence between W.D. Horne and Ernest Hemingway, together with related material, from the Ernest Hemingway Papers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts.


  • Creation: 1913-1985



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The William Horne-Ernest Hemingway papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum, and items in each folder will be counted before and after delivery to the patron (Priority I).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The William Horne-Ernest Hemingway papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Ernest Hemingway

Nobel Prize winning American author.

In 1918, after leaving his hometown of Oak Park, Illinois, followed by a short stint as a cub reporter at the Kansas City Star, eighteen-year-old Ernest Hemingway enlisted as a volunteer in the Red Cross ambulance service. The volunteers were sent to be stationed in Schio, Italy, and there Hemingway began a friendship with William Horne (whom he always called "Bill.") which lasted throughout his life. Hemingway, of course, became an internationally renowned writer and Horne went into business, but they shared many common interests, particularly hunting and fishing.

Biography of William D. Horne

Chicago businessman.

William Horne grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., graduated from Princeton University in 1913, and in 1918 went to New York City to volunteer for ambulance service with the Red Cross. Sent to Scio, Italy, Horne became friends with several Chicago-area young men including Ernest Hemingway.

After the war, Hemingway turned to Horne's friendship when he received a "Dear John" letter from Agnes von Kurowsky, the Italian nurse he was engaged to. The two men shared an apartment in Chicago during the fall of 1920. Horne was working for the Eaton Axel Company, but soon began a career in advertising. In 1929 he married Frances "Bunny" Thorne, and they lived in Barrington, Illinois for over fifty years, raising four children. Over the decades, the Hornes took occasional vacations with Hemingway and his latest wife in Colorado, Montana, Key West and Cuba. Horne died in 1986.

When Hemingway married Hadley Richardson in September, 1921, Bill Horne was in the wedding party. When Hemingway died in 1961, Horne was an honorary pallbearer. The two men had remained in touch until the end.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 2 oversize boxes)


Correspondence, works, articles, clippings and memorabilia relating to Ernest Hemingway and William Horne.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1913-1985
Boxes 1-2
Series 2: Works, 1918-1985
Box 2
Series 3: Miscellaneous, 1918-1985
Box 3-5

Collection Stack Location

1 22 4


Gift of Frances "Bunny" Horne (Mrs. William D. Horne), 1986; Theodore L. Horne, 1992.

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2003.

Inventory of the William Horne-Ernest Hemingway papers, 1913-1985
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States