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John M. Counts Letters from Dr. George Denny

Identifier: MSS-4110

Scope and Contents

The collection contains seven letters from Dr. George Denny attempting to coax Counts back to the University of Alabama. Counts apparently left the University at mid-term to go to Florida to be with a girlfriend. In Denny's next to last letter he writes in a postscript, "Do not let this 'girl' 'sweep you off your feet.' Ten years hence you will not regret it if you think and act soberly at this crisis."

There is also a grade report for Counts from the George Jacob Davis, dean of the College of Engineering, on which Dr. Denny wrote, "He has fine ability. I am unable to understand why he dropped out. He did not consult me. He could go straight forward to graduation. He can go to the top... will he?"


  • 1924


Biographical / Historical

John M. Counts, son of William Monroe ("Bud") and Anna Linda Kahl Counts, was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on July 20, 1904. According to his obituary, he graduated from the University of Alabama College of Engineering in 1925 and continued his studies at the University of Florida School of Engineering. He married Blanche Powell in Gainesville, Florida, on November 26, 1926. The couple four children: Marianne, John M. Jr., William G., and Richard Alan.

Counts joined the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933 and was associated with the construction of the Norris Dam Village, and was construction superintendent at Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick dams, as well as other heavy construction at the three dams. During World War II, he directed crews sent from Wilson Dam to Ingalls Ship Builders in Decatur to build concrete hulls for the Liberty Ships.

Counts died of an apparent stroke following cancer surgery in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on November 1, 1988.

Source: John M. Counts obituary, Florence (Ala.) Times Daily, November 3, 1988.


0.1 Linear Feet (seven letters and a grade report)

Language of Materials



Seven letters from Dr. George Denny attempting to coax Counts back to the University of Alabama


gift of William G. Counts, Sr., 2014


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2015


Guide to the John M. Counts Letters from Dr. George Denny
June 2015
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266