Horner, Harlan Hoyt, and Henrietta Calhoun Horner. Papers, 1865-1968 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of the personal papers and research material of Harlan Hoyt Horner and Henrietta Calhoun Horner, as well as the acquisition information for their collection of Lincoln materials that they donated to the University of Illinois Library in 1951.
Both Harlan ("Jack") Hoyt Horner (1878-1965) and Henrietta Calhoun Horner (1880-1964) graduated from the University of Illinois in 1901. Harlan was born in Appanoose County, Iowa. After graduating, Harlan served as a secretary to Andrew Sloan Draper, the president of the University of Illinois from 1894-1904. Harlan married his first wife, Gioga Gaston Horner, in 1904. The couple moved to Albany, New York, after Andrew Sloan Draper began working for the New York Department of Education. Harlan later worked for New York State College, where he received his Ph.D. in 1918. Gioga passed away in 1926, and Harlan and Henrietta married in 1928. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Henrietta became a high school and university science teacher. She received her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Michigan in 1917 and then taught at the University of Iowa. After marrying Harlan, she relocated to Albany, New York. Both Henrietta and Harlan were scholars of Abraham Lincoln. They donated their personal library of Lincoln material to the University of Illinois Library in 1951. It formed as the nucleus of the Lincoln Room, which opened in 1953. The Horners also established an endowment to expand and maintain the Lincoln Room. They lived in Albany, New York, until their deaths.
This collection contains personal papers, including biographical files and photographs; personal and professional correspondence; publications and non-Lincoln writings; and Lincoln-related scholarship and research material for Harlan and Henrietta's personal Lincoln interests, including Harlan's study of Lincoln and Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune. Also included are scrapbooks of Lincoln clippings and ephemera compiled by Henrietta Calhoun Horner. Removed items include an original letter from Horace Greeley to a would-be reporter (now MS 1099) and the research material and manuscripts for Henrietta’s scholarship on Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of Abraham Lincoln, and her ancestor in colonial Virginia (now MS 1201). These collections were moved to form new archival collections in October 2021.
Integrated into the collection are personal Horner items, including Henrietta's scrapbook of college pictures preserved by her niece, Roberta Smith. Series 1 of the collection includes material belonging to Harlan Hoyt Horner, while material belonging to Henrietta Calhoun Horner form Series 2. Acquisition information, including correspondence regarding the gift of the Horner’s Lincoln collection to the University of Illinois, comprise Series 3 of the collection.
Roberta Smith, niece of Henrietta Calhoun Horner, donated the first materials for the Horner Papers in 2008. Pat Bove, grandniece of Henrietta, donated Henrietta's college scrapbook to the Library in 2011. The scrapbooks compiled by Henrietta Calhoun Horner were donated to the Library by the Horners circa 1952.
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