The Ernie Pyle Site is now owned and operated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle. The Site is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. through October 2011. For additional information call 765.665.3084.
Ernie Pyle Home
On the Pacific island of IeShima, a group of World War II soldiers gathered to pay tribute to their friend, Ernie Pyle, who had been shot by a Japanese soldier. These words, taken from a simple plaque, reveal much about a man whose sensitivity, humor and easy-going style endeared him to the American soldier.
Ernest Taylor Pyle was born August 3, 1900, on the Sam Elder farm, just southwest of Dana, Indiana. Pyle served in the Naval Reserve after graduating from high school near the end of World War I. Having studied journalism at Indiana University, he became a cub reporter for the LaPorte Herald. Four months later, he was offered a $2.50-per-week raise to work for the Washington Daily News. He wrote a daily aviation column for four years before becoming the paper’s managing editor.
Pyle loved to travel and succeeded in persuading Scripps Howard executives (the company that owned the Daily News) to allow him to be a roving reporter. The five-year odyssey that followed took Pyle and his wife, Jerry, across the United States and to Central and South America. Pyle wrote about the ordinary; human-interest stories attracted him. His unpretentious pieces received the attention of people everywhere.
In 1940, with war raging in Europe, Pyle went to England to report on the Battle of Britain. By 1942, he was covering America’s involvement in the war. During the next three years, battle campaigns took him to North Africa, Italy and the Normandy Beaches in France.
In 1945, Pyle accepted what would be his last assignment — the Pacific theater. His death silenced the pen of a man whose writing had served as the link between men at the front and their loved ones back home.
Through the efforts of the Indiana Department of the American Legion and a sizeable contribution from the Eli Lilly Foundation, the Historic House was moved from its rural site to its present location. It became a state historic site in July 1976.
On April 18, 1995, a new Visitor Center, constructed from two authentic World War II Quonset huts, was dedicated. The center features a video theater, research library, exhibits and a gift shop. This addition was made possible through a grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Paige Cavanaugh estate.