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Ira R. Herr “Dear Coach” Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Letters to Ira Herr

Permissions Forms

Photographs and Clippings

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Ira R. Herr “Dear Coach” Collection, 1941-2008 | Earl H. and Anita F. Hess Archives and Special Collections

By Erin Krause '16 and Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh

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Collection Overview

Title: Ira R. Herr “Dear Coach” Collection, 1941-2008Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1941-1946

ID: MSS/MSS-0002

Primary Creator: Herr, Ira R.

Other Creators: Angstadt, Albert Warren, Delancy, Donald, Acker, Robert G., Althouse, George, Baugher Black, Louise, Boll, Edwin, Brandt, David L., Brightbill, Lena M., Brinser, Richard V., Buch, Guy R., Buch, John N., Caba, George, Coulson, Ross Harold, Day, William C., Disney, Helen Rebert, Disney, Stanley, Espenshade, John, Garber, Thomas M., Gerhart, Curtis, Gingrich, Walter C., Herr, Carl G., Herr, Ira L., Herr, Lois Kathryn (1941-), Herr, Roy L., Hess, Benjamin H., Hollinger, Paul Robert, Horning, Harry K., Hull, Perry, King, Ernest, Kingsbury, Robert D., Kiscaden, Russel, Lefever, Ernest, Leicht, Paul F., Leister, Herman M., Lowell, Philip R., Manbeck, Lester E., Meads, Leroy A., Meyer, Matthew M., Mumma, Annette, Posey, Carroll T., Raffensperger, W. Wilbur, Reeser, F. B., Reidenbaugh, Lowell Henry, Reinhold, LeRoy, Robinson, Sara Wilson, Rudisill, Roy H., Ruth, Austin S., Sauder, Luke, Schlosser, Woodrow D., Schreiber, Wayne O., Shaffer, Kenneth R., Shank, Ralph E., Shirk, Eugene Richard, Snyder, Anna, Speidel, John Howard, Spence, Carroll L., Stouffer, Emory E., Strite, M.J., Taylor, Leslie Dean, Walker, Charles C., Weaver, Wilbur E., Wilson, Charles Eugene

Extent: 1.25 Linear Feet


The collection is arranged into 4 series:

Series 1. Letters to Ira Herr

Series 2. Permission Forms

Series 3. Photographs and Clippings

Date Acquired: 01/21/2015

Subjects: Herr, Ira R., Soldiers--Correspondence, World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Ira R. Herr “Dear Coach” Collection consists of letters from various students that Ira R. Herr coached and taught at Elizabethtown College. A majority of the letters were sent to Herr from students who were on the frontlines of World War II. Ira Herr’s daughter, Lois Herr, compiled the letters into a book called Dear Coach: Letters Home from World War II (2009). The collection is organized alphabetically by correspondent. Each folder contains the letters and postcards sent to Coach Herr from that student and includes the photographs and biographies that Lois Herr was able to obtain during her research. In addition to the letters, this collection contains the permission forms that Lois Herr received from the families of the soldiers, photographs from her talk at the Golden Grads Alumni Reunion in 2003, and relevant pictures and newspaper clippings from her research.

Collection Historical Note

“Coach” Ira R. Herr was born near Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania in 1894. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College in 1916, he went on to become an Army First Lieutenant in World War I, a shoe salesman, a store owner, and a teacher. In 1928, Elizabethtown hired Herr as the college’s first athletic director and coach. That same year, Coach Herr started Elizabethtown College’s intercollegiate basketball program. From 1928 until 1949, Herr remained the sole coach of every athletic team at Elizabethtown College. He led the teams to enormous victories, including producing players with national records.

On December 25, 1937, Coach Herr married Kathryn Harper Nisley, a teacher and librarian at the local high school. In 1942, they had a baby girl named Lois Kathryn Herr. Ira Herr retired from Elizabethtown College in 1961, though he still taught and coached at Patton Trade School for ten years after his retirement from Elizabethtown. On September 30, 1970, the college opened a soccer and lacrosse field called the Ira R. Herr Field to memorialize Coach Herr. Then in 1975, Elizabethtown College opened the Ira R. Herr Athletic Hall of Fame to commemorate outstanding athletes from Elizabethtown sports teams. That same year, Coach Herr was elected into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Ira R. Herr died in 1986 at age 92.

Subject/Index Terms

Herr, Ira R.
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives

Administrative Information

Repository: Earl H. and Anita F. Hess Archives and Special Collections

Acquisition Source: Lois Kathryn Herr '62, daughter of Ira R. Herr and Kathryn N. Herr

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Letters to Ira Herr],
[Series 2: Permissions Forms],
[Series 3: Photographs and Clippings],

Series 1: Letters to Ira HerrAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1-43Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1-20Add to your cart.

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