J. S. Counselman Letter
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of a single letter from J. S. (John Sanders) Counselman, a graduate of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (BS, 1903; MS, 1904). Written on the letterhead of the Georgia School of Technology but posted from Ann Arbor, Michigan, the letter is addressed to Counselman's former classmate, L. (Louis) O'Shaughnessy, then a professor at what is now Virginia Tech. Counselman briefly discusses the solutions to some mathematical problems that he had shared with O'Shaughnessy, then writes at length about the game of football, particularly discussing the system of Georgia Tech Coach John Heisman, under whom Counselman had served as assistant coach, and Heisman's coaching skills. He also expresses his opinions about the efforts that were then being undertaken to reform the game and increase safety for players. The letter is accompanied by a stamped envelope.
- O'Shaughnessy, Louis (Correspondent, Person)
- Counselman, J. S. (John Sanders) (Correspondent, Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (email@example.com or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
Biographical / Historical
John Sanders Counselman, son of Benjamin F. and Elizabeth Sanders Brown, was born in Cripple Creek (Wythe County), Virginia, on February 18, 1880. He obtained a bachelor's degree in science (1903) and master's degree in civil engineering (1904) from the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (today Virginia Tech). Counselman played fullback on the university's football team for the 1901-1903 seasons and was named Second Team All-Southern in 1901. Upon obtaining his master's degree, Counselman became assistant professor of mathematics and civil engineering and assistant football coach at the Georgia School of Technology (today Georgia Tech). In 1905, Counselman was hired as physical director at Cumberland University (Lebanon, Tennessee), where he also served as a football coach. The following year, Counselman became head coach at Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama. Also in 1906, he was named head of the mathematics department at Birmingham High School, a position he would hold until 1920. During these years, Counselman took additional engineering courses at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. In 1920, Counselman became professor of mathematics at the College of William and Mary. Counselman married Nettie McCrory (1889-1972); the couple had one child, author Mary Elizabeth Counselman. The Counselmans seem to have separated by 1940; the federal census for that year finds John Counselman lodging in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and working as a road and bridge inspector; Nettie Counselman, meanwhile, is listed as a teacher, living in Gadsden (Etowah County), Alabama, with their daughter. (The 1950 census shows Nettie living with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson in Gadsden.) John Counselman would later serve as superintendent of schools in Tallahassee, Florida, before returning to Alabama and teaching school in Gadsden, where he retired. John S. Counselman died in Gadsden on March 29, 1955, and was buried in Crestwood Memorial Cemetery, East Gadsen.
0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)
Letter from John Sanders Counselman, assistant professor of mathematics and civil engineering and assistant football coach at the Georgia School of Technology (today Georgia Tech) to Virginia Tech Professor Louis O'Shaughnessy, relating to a mathematical problem and to Counselman's experiences in, and views of, the game of football.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The J. S. Counselman Letter was acquired by Special Collections and University Archives prior to 1994.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the J. S. Counselman Letter by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing and description of the J. S. Counselman Letter commenced and was completed in October, 2023.
- J. S. Counselman Letter, 1906
- John M. Jackson
- 2023 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2020-09-21: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
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