Brief Overview of Collection, MC76

Name Linna Hamilton Denny Scrapbook
Dates 1890-1957
Extent 1 cubic foot
Historical Note Linna Hamilton Denny was born March 30, 1864 in Peoria, Illinois to Alexander Jordan and Irene Warssia Payne Denny. Denny attended and graduated from Danville High School, Danville, Illinois, before moving with her family to Citronelle, Alabama and later to Birmingham, Alabama. Denny entered the Illinois Training School for Nurses in Chicago and graduated in 1893. Denny furthered her education by attending the Teacher’s College at Columbia University, New York. Denny earned her Red Cross Nurse’s badge, number 46, while volunteering in the 1900 flood relief effort in Galveston, Texas. During World War I, she served the Red Cross as Chief Nurse of Red Cross Sanitary Unit # 8 in Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. In 1920, Denny worked in Poland caring for wounded and dying soldiers. Upon her return to Alabama, Denny became instrumental in the organization of the Alabama State Nurses Association, as well as serving as the executive secretary of the State Board of Nurses’ Examiners and Registration. The University of Alabama honored Linna Denny with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities in 1952. Linna Denny died in Birmingham on May 22, 1955 and was buried in a family plot in Danville, Illinois.
Scope and Contents This collection consists of a 31 x 38 cm scrapbook (white bindings) that contains 106 pages of typed biographical information, photographs, notes, and news clippings.
Arrangement None
Accession Number M2003-05
Provenance The creator of the scrapbook was the Nursing Service, Jefferson County Chapter of the National Red Cross. The scrapbook was assembled circa 1958 and presented to the University of Alabama School of Nursing by Esther Howell Gross, a volunteer historian for the Jefferson County Red Cross Chapter. The scrapbook was donated to the UAB Archives in 2003 by the University of Alabama School of Nursing, UAB, and its dean Rachel Z. Booth, PhD.
Fnding Aid Printed descriptive guide by Jennifer L. Beck available in repository.
Access Points

American Red Cross
Denny Family
Denny, Linna Hamilton d 1864-1955
Nursing z Alabama
University of Alabama b School of Nursing

Document Types

Clippings.
Photographs.
Scrapbooks.

Location Manuscript Stacks
Related Series

MC49, Florence A. Hixson Papers, 1939-1989

MC51, Emmett B. Carmichael/Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences Collection, 1829-1980

Physical Condition No processing has been completed or preservation undertaken on the scrapbook


Historical Note

 

Linna Hamilton Denny was born March 30, 1864 in Peoria, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Alexander Jordan Denny and Irene Warssia (Payne) Denny.  Miss Denny attended and graduated from Danville High School, Danville, Illinois.  Alexander Denny moved his family to Citronelle, Alabama in 1880 and to Birmingham, Alabama in 1886.  Linna Denny held her first position as a schoolteacher in a one-room rural school in Citronelle.  Denny graduated from the Illinois Training School for Nurses in Chicago in 1893.  Denny furthered her education by attending the Teacher’s College at Columbia University, New York.  Following her education, Denny held several positions throughout the U.S. She spent one summer in charge of the Section Memorial Baby Tent in Chicago, Illinois, before becoming the superintendent of nurses at the Mitchell and Maury Sanatorium in Memphis, Tennessee.  In 1907, she held a resident nurse position at Athens College in Athens, Alabama.  In Birmingham, she served as supervisor of nurses at Talley Infirmary, taught home hygiene and care of the sick classes, and was a public school nurse from 1908-1917.

 

Denny became interested in the Red Cross while caring for malaria patients in Marietta, Georgia.  She completed the paper work and examinations to become the 46th Red Cross nurse in the United States and the first from Alabama.  She was instrumental in the organization of a local Red Cross Nursing Service committee in Birmingham.  In 1900, the Red Cross called for volunteers to serve in the Galveston, Texas flood relief effort.  Denny was among a group of Birmingham nurses who answered the call.  It was in Galveston that Denny earned the right to wear her Red Cross Nurse’s badge.  For her outstanding service in Galveston, Denny received a citation and recognition from the Galveston Chamber of Commerce.  Upon her return home, Denny’s fellow Alabamians recognized her as the state’s first Red Cross nurse.

 

During World War I, Denny served the Red Cross as Chief Nurse of Red Cross Sanitary Unit # 8 in Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.  She had requested overseas duty during the war, but was turned down because her service at the camp was essential and Red Cross nurses were scarce.  Her service in Anniston included battling the influenza epidemic, keeping a five-mile restricted zone around the camp free from disease, delivering milk and soup to families in their homes, and vaccinating school children.  In 1920, Denny’s request for overseas duty was granted and she was sent to Poland.  She arrived in Warsaw in March 1920 and served as supervisor of the Prague hospital.  The nurses in Poland provided first aid and care to the wounded and dying Polish soldiers who were still fighting the Russians.  During her service in Poland, Denny represented the American Nursing Association of Alabama as a delegate to the International Council of Nurses in Helsinski, Finland.

 

Upon her return to Birmingham, Denny continued to serve the public health field.  She was instrumental in the organization of the Alabama State Nurses Association; she served as the association’s first president and the first executive secretary in 1927.  Denny campaigned for the first Nurse Practice Act in Alabama, which led to state registration for graduate nurses.  From 1925 to 1942, Denny was the executive secretary of the State Board of Nurses’ Examiners and Registration.  She also organized summer class for nurses at the University of Alabama and at Tuskegee Institute.    In 1952, the University of Alabama honored Linna Denny with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities.  In the ceremonies held in the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital Auditorium, Dr. John Gallalee, President of the University of Alabama, conferred the Doctor of Humanities upon Denny making her the first nurse in Alabama to receive an honorary degree.  Also in 1952, a portrait of Denny was unveiled in ceremonies at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Birmingham.  The portrait, which depicts Denny at the time of her honorary degree, was later presented to the University of Alabama School of Nursing and currently hangs in the nursing school building at UAB.

 

On May 22, 1955, Linna Denny died in Birmingham, a week after the Red Cross presented her a medal for over 50 years of service.  Funeral services were held at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Birmingham.  Denny was buried in a family plot in Danville, Illinois.



This page created 2003 and last updated on 18 May 2005.

Copyright:  The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.