Walter McElreath Papers
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Walter McElreath Papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center
Creator: McElreath, Walter, 1867-1951
Title: Walter McElreath Papers
Dates: 1879-1963, undated
Quantity: 1.2 linear ft. (3 document cases, 1 oversize box)
Identification: ahc.MSS154

Biographical/Historical Note

Walter McElreath (1867-1951), was a lawyer, businessman, author, and legislator. He was born in Lost Mountain, Georgia and attended Powder Springs High School before attending Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He was counsel for Industrial Life and Health Insurance Company and served as a member of the General Assembly of Georgia from 1909-1912. He was a pioneer in the development of mutual fund savings institutions. He was president of the Atlanta Federal Savings and Loan Association (1930-1950). He later served on the board and also was chairman.

In 1926, McElreath joined with fourteen of the city’s leading citizens to establish the the Atlanta Historical Society. He served as the first president and then as “chairman of the board for life.” He was a trustee of the Atlanta Art Association and a member of Civitan, the Burns Club, and the Demosthenian Literary Society. He was an honorary member of the Omicron Delta Kappa national fraternity at Washington and Lee University, and upon his retirement, started the Sweet Potato Festival in Lost Mountain, Georgia. McElreath was a member of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church (later the Grace Methodist Church) and served on its board of trustees and stewards.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, certificates, manuscripts, handwritten notes, and pamphlets. The bulk of the collection contains McElreath’s writings; research; rough drafts; a play for the Atlanta Centennial celebration; manuscripts of books and articles; and newspaper notices about his publications. Also included are notes and articles about Gertrude Stein and George Bernard Shaw. Newspaper clippings cover topics such as the Atlanta Centennial in 1948, the Gone With the Wind movie premiere, his work in the Burns Club and the Demosthenes Club, the Sweet Potato Festival, and his involvement with the Methodist church. There are also addresses he presented on topics including the Methodist Church, his personal genealogy, the Three Governors Affair, the Georgia Burns Club, and the Atlanta Historical Society. The collection contains letters from legislators in Oregon and Atlanta citizens regarding a change in the structure of the Fulton County Government. There are also letters regarding his donation of Robert E. Lee letters to Washington and Lee University; congratulatory letters sent to McElreath on the dedication of the Atlanta Historical Society's McElreath Hall; and condolence letters sent in regard to his death. There are also a number of land grants and titles for property in northwest Georgia, particularly in Cobb County.


Collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Index Terms

Atlanta (Ga.)
Atlanta (Ga.)--Church history
Atlanta (Ga.)--History
Atlanta (Ga.)--Politics and government
Atlanta History Center
Georgia. Legislature
Lee, Robert E., (Robert Edward), 1807-1870
Legal documents--Georgia
Lost Mountain (Ga.)
McElreath, Walter, 1867-1951
Sweet Potato Festival (Lost Mountain, Ga.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Walter McElreath Papers, MSS 154, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of McElreath Estate, 1927 (1927.2); 1975 (1975.394); 1977 (1977.341); 1987 (1987.79); 1996 (1996.139); DU 34

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2011.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Container List




11Articles, 1926, 1957, 1963
2Atlanta Centennial, 1948
3Atlanta Historical Society, Bulk, 1950, 1927-1950
4Book Chapters, undated



MSS OS 3.2441Certificates, 1899
5Correspondence, "Methodist Union in the Courts,", 1939-1951
6Correspondence, Miscellaneous, 1896-1950, undated
7Correspondence, Robert E. Lee Letters, 1949
8Employment, 1890-1947, undated
9Essays, undated
10Genealogy, 1901-1943, undated
11Honorary Organizations and Awards, 1936-1950, undated



21Indendures and Deeds, 1880-1908
2Legislative, Commission Form of City Government, 1911
3Lost Mountain Agriculture, 1948-1951
Manuscript, "Addresses on Miscellaneous Subjects" (Bound), undated
4Manuscript, "The Evidence of Miracles,", undated
Manuscript, "Me and My Folks" (Bound), 1950
5Manuscript, "Me and My Folks," Rough Draft, 1941



31Memorials and Obituaries, 1951-1952
2Newpaper Clippings, 1939-1950, undated
3Poetry, undated
4Receipts, 1879-1908
Scrapbooks, 1901-1925; 1907-1910
5Sweet Potato Festival, 1943-1951
6Writing, By Others, 1935-1950, undated