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George P. Palo Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2674

The George P. Palo Papers, circa 1860s-1990s (bulk 1920s-1990s), contains the personal and professional papers of George P. Palo, former Chief Engineer of TVA, and his wife Annie G. Palo. The collection consists of articles, biographical documents, correspondence, school papers from M. I. T., photographs, and travel material from Europe, USA, Russia, China, etc. The bulk of the collection spans George's career with TVA and his experiences with civil engineering.

Series I: Personal Documents includes three sub-series: A. Biographical and Genealogical Docs., B. Legal and Financial Docs, and C. Other. The second folder in sub-series A includes material found together in a folder "biographical." The third folder in sub-series B includes handwritten lists of donations and tax material, among other things. sub-series C. Other includes a variety of documents, such as lists of names, telephone numbers and addresses, poems and stories, etc.

Series II: Correspondence, 1905, 1920s-1990s, includes four sub-series: A. To George & Annie Palo, 1928-1990s, (arranged chronologically), B. From George & Annie Palo, 1930s-1986, (arranged by recipient), C. From The SOS File Letterbox, 1905-1950s, (divided by original order), and D. Other, undated, 1983, 1950s. sub-series C contains material removed from George Palo's letterbox, which was divided by correspondents last name. Starting with B and ending with W (there were none in A, XY, or Z), these papers have been left in the original division of the box, e.g. E & F were together in a folder marked EF in the letterbox and remain together in folder EF here. The majority of the material includes letters from the 1950s, arranged in alphabetical order by last name. However, there are poems in C, a 1905 program in KL, as well as other miscellaneous things with correspondences. Also, none of the letters in folder NO are from people with the last name initial of N or O.

Series III: School Material, 1916, 1924-1983, is divided into sub-series A. Superior High School, 1924, and B. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1916, 1924-1983. sub-series A includes two items about his high school graduation. sub-series B contains class notes & papers, publications, programs, etc. from or about M. I. T.

Series IV: Photographs, 1860s-1990s (bulk 1900s-1990s) is divided into sub-series: A. Photograph Albums, circa 1900s-1970s (bulk 1940s-1950s); B. Photograph Collections, circa 1860s-1990s (bulk 1960s-1980s); C. Matted Photographs, 1898-circa 1920s; D. Loose Photographs, circa 1920s-1990s. Eight of the ten photo albums have been removed to oversized boxes; loose material pulled from the photo albums are located in separate folders in this sub-series. (See Oversized Material, 1890s-1980s, for the box and folder location of these albums.) Photograph Collections is organized into folders by photographs originally divided together, and include engineering pictures as well as travel and family photos.

Series V: Travel & Conferences, 1930s, 1950s-1980s, contains brochures, programs, postcards, letters, and other literature from the Palos' travels, divided into sub-series A. Original Division and sub-series B. Loose material. Folders are organized by location, with mention of any conference related material next to the folder names. Each folder in sub-series A. Original Division contains the material placed together in folders by the Palos themselves; some of these had to be arbitrarily divided by the library into two or more folders, which is indicated by (1 of 3), (2 of 2), etc. after the folder name. The loose material were organized by the library into folders of like papers.

Series VI: China Trip for TVA, 1968, 1979-1980, consists of six folders with George Palo's diary, travel brochures, maps, reports, research material, and more. The last three folders are labeled and organized by the original division, and one labeled China & Russia, 1968, 1979-1980, includes a few items concerning Russia in 1968. Excluding the 1968 Russia material, everything is from 1979 or 1980.

Series VII: Engineering and TVA material, 1910s-1980s, contains publications, Palo's writings on TVA and engineering projects, and various other material. Documents are divided into sub-series: A. TVA, 1920s-1980s, undated; B. Engineering, 1910s-1980s, C. Articles & Speeches, 1959-1963, 1983-1985, undated; D. Palo's UT Civil Engineering Course, 1971-1972; E. Other, 1923-1980. The first and third divisions of sub-series A. TVA, 1920s-1980s, undated are organized into folders by the original division. E. Misc., 1923-1980 is also organized into folders by original division, and these folders include photographs, articles, pamphlets, and programs related to TVA and engineering.

Series VIII: Articles, 1910s-1980s contains three folders with a 1910s-1960s scrapbook, loose material from the scrapbook, and clippings from the 1940s-1980s.

Series IX: Papers of Other Family Members, 1890s-1920s, 1950s-1960s contains letters, programs, legal documents, and other personal documents for various family members of George Palo. It is subdivided into the Palo family (includes his mom, dad, and sister), the Groebler family (includes his wife and her family), and Nellie Keech, a relative of George Palo.

Dates

  • circa 1860s-1990s (bulk 1920s-1990s)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

18 Linear Feet

Abstract

The George P. Palo Papers, circa 1860s-1990s (bulk 1920s-1990s), contains the personal and professional papers of George P. Palo, former Chief Engineer of TVA, and his wife Annie G. Palo. The collection consists of articles, biographical documents, correspondence, school papers from M. I. T., photographs, and travel material from Europe, USA, Russia, China, etc. The bulk of the collection spans George's career with TVA and his experiences with civil engineering.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Payne Palo was born to Elmer and Helen (Payne) Palo on April 2, 1907, in Superior, Wisconsin. In 1928, George graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throughout his life, he continued to help and work with his alma mater. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1935, and twenty-four years later TVA elevated him to the position of Chief Engineer and then Manager of Engineering Design and Construction in 1963. Although he retired in 1969, he continued to aid TVA, and in 1980 took a trip to China for TVA to help with their hydroelectric plants. He served as president of the Tennessee Valley Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in the 1950s and remained an active member all his life.

On April 5, 1934, he married Anna Lillian Groebler, born to Charles and Anna (Schutte) Groebler on June 26, 1908. The couple had no children, but they spent their lives as TVA representatives, entertaining foreign visitors and traveling all over the world for engineering and power conferences. Annie died in 1991 and George in 2001.

Arrangement

Collection consists of sixteen boxes divided into nine series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Personal Documents
  2. Series II: Correspondence
  3. Series III: School Material
  4. Series IV: Photographs
  5. Series V: Travel and Conferences
  6. Series VI: China Trip for TVA
  7. Series VII: Engineering and TVA Material
  8. Series VIII: Articles
  9. Series IX: Papers of Other Family Members

Acquisition Note

Collection donated by Al and Ann White in March 2001.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480