Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Hess mss., 1919-1963, are the papers of Fjeril Hess, 1893- , author. They are primarily for the period of her service as Director of Sports for the American Y.W.C.A. in Prague and Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 1919-1921.

Career: born, August 27, 1893, in Omaha, Nebraska, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred M. Hess; father an official of the Union Pacific Railroad; A.B., MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois, 1915; taught in Nevada's Big Smoky Valley; foreign community work in Passaic, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh; 1919 went to Czechoslovakia for three years; then managing editor of Woman's Press Magazine; became editor for the national Girl Scout organization, 1931. Author of High Adventure, a story of Slavic pioneers in America, 1925; The Magic Switch (a fairy story), 1929; Buckaroo, a story of Pinon Ranch, 1931; The Mounted Falcon, 1933; The House of Many Tongues, 1935; Castle Camp, 1938; (the last three books on social service in Prague); Sandra's Cellar (on bookselling as a career), 1934; Saddle and Bridle (a story of Sugar Loaf Butte), 1936; Shanty Brook Lodge, 1937, and Toplofty, 1939 (both on Girl Scouts); Leather Pants, 1941; Handkerchief Holiday, 1942; WACS at Work, 1945; and Fly Away Home, 1947.

Biographical material from Stanley Jasspon Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Junior book of authors, (1951), pp. 157-159.

The collection contains a journal kept by Fjeril Hess, July 28-September 3, 1919, while she was en route to and during her stay in Czechoslovakia. Appended to this are poems, September-October 28, 1920 and accounts. Included also in the collection are letters from Miss Hess to her family, July 24, 1919-February 3, 1921, concerning her work as Director of sports for the American YWCA in Prague; her report of service with the American YWCA at Bratislava, March 15-April 1, 1921?; carbons of two letters related to Czech girl scouts written by Miss Hess on July 12, 1945; words and music of three Czech songs; and some printed material.

Collection size: 27 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.