Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Sherwood mss., 1917-1972, consist of the letters, diary, and newspaper clippings of Elmer William Sherwood, 1896-1979, author and insurance executive. Sherwood was born in Linton, Indiana, son of doctor Elmer Tip and Hattie (Price) Sherwood. In 1917 he joined the American Expeditionary Forces and sailed for the European front as a member of the Rainbow Division. After the war Sherwood returned to Indiana to attend Indiana University where he served as an editor/reporter on the Indiana Daily Student, and in 1920 was elected to the State Legislature while still a student. Following graduation Sherwood returned to Linton to teach high school and enter into business; in 1927 he became clerk of Greene County, a post he held until 1935. Sherwood remained very active in Indiana local and state politics and with the American Legion until 1955 when he left the area for Sebring, Florida.

The collection contains Sherwood's letters home to his parents and family while on the battle front, and the diary he kept during that same time period. (The diary was later edited and published as The Diary of a Rainbow Veteran; written at the front. Terre Haute, 1929. (Lilly D570.9 .S554).) Also included are a group of photographs relating to World War I, and clippings of Sherwood's letters home that were published in local newspapers, of his column in the I.D.S. called "Familiar stories about famous students," and of excerpts from his diary that appeared in papers as "Ten years ago today - diary of a rainbow veteran." Clippings about events of the war, some miscellaneous clippings dating from the post World War II era dealing with national political events, and a transcript of Sherwood's diary prepared by Indiana University Professor of History Robert T. Ferrell, complete the collection.

Collection size: 63 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.