Cator Woolford Papers
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Cator Woolford Papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Atlanta History Center
Creator: Woolford, Cator
Title: Cator Woolford Papers
Dates: 1915-1944
Quantity: 1.0 linear ft.
Quantity: Extent: 1 linear ft. (2 document cases and 1 oversized box)
Identification: ahc.MSS210

Biographical/Historical Note

Cator Woolford (1869-1944), Atlanta businessman, civic leader and philanthropist, founded the Retail Credit Company (the precursor to Equifax) in 1899. Until his retirement in 1931, he successfully steered the company as general manager, president and chairman. In 1934, he co-founded the short-lived Correct Address Company, with Edwin K. Large, a former Atlanta postmaster. Information regarding his wife, Charlotte (née Boyd), and daughters, Charlotte and Isabel, is unavailable. Through a broad range of interests and sympathies, Woolford promoted the education, health, and welfare of the people of Georgia. An early proponent of worker placement and training, he established the Atlanta Personnel Association, the Community Employment Service, the Georgia College Placement Office, and financed the Vocational Bureau. Woolford was a member of several local and national professional education and vocation organizations, including the Georgia Citizens Education Movement, the National Commission on the Enrichment of Adult Life, and the Personnel Research Federation. His civic and philanthropic activities also included numerous health care concerns. Woolford introduced dental health service in the public schools of Atlanta, financed the equipment for a dental clinic for African Americans at Grady Hospital, and, more notably, participated in the establishment of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation (later, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation) and initiated the movement to raise funds for the construction of Georgia Hall (now an administrative building and cafeteria), one of several buildings erected in Warm Springs (GA). Other noteworthy causes include the state parks and gardens of Georgia. Woolford not only supported and directed the organization of the Georgia Vegetable Growers Association, but also financed the monthly publication of the Garden Club of Georgia. In 1934, Woolford gifted 350 acres of land in Glynn County to Georgia for a state park (Santo Domingo), which, a decade later, became Boys Estate, a home for underprivileged boys, and today is Morningstar Treatment Services. The Woolford family thirty-three acre estate in Druid Hills, whose current gardens were designed by Atlanta landscape architect Edward Daugherty, is now the Frazer Center, a private, non-profit agency serving children and adults with disabilities.

Scope and Content Note

The Cator Woolford Papers, 1915-1944, document Woolford’s civic and philanthropic interests in the education, health care, and environs of Georgians through a scrapbook and subject files containing articles, correspondence, newsletters, pamphlets, and reports related to local and national organizations to which he founded or was a member. The subjects of the employment and vocational training needs of African Americans and women in Atlanta are documented in the Charities and Employment, Community Employment Training School, Personnel Association of Atlanta, and Vocational Bureau files, whereas the Georgia College Placement Office file pertains to graduates of universities and colleges in the state. In the case of the later, the scrapbook contains news clippings and articles about Woolford’s involvement in the Georgia College Placement Office. The Biographical Information file contains articles, news clippings, and obituaries related to Woolford. In general, the collection contains little documentation related to his personal life or the Retail Credit Company.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by original title, with the exception of the first, which was supplied by staff.

Index Terms

African Americans--Employment--Georgia--Atlanta
Georgia Citizen's Education Movement.
Georgia College Placement Office.
Georgia Vegetable Growers Association.
Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.
Georgia. Community Employment Service.
Georgia. Vocational Bureau.
National Education Association of the United States. National Commission on the Enrichment of Adult Life.
Personnel Association of Atlanta
Personnel Research Federation (U.S.).
Roosevelt Warm Springs Foundation.
Santo Domingo State Park (Ga.)
Warm Springs (Ga.)
Woolford, Cator

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cator Woolford Papers, MSS 210, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Walter Hill, 1956 (1956.031)

Description Control

The collection was reprocessed in 2007.


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Container List




11Biographical Information, 1933, 1940-1944
2Charities and Employment, 1915-1941
3Community Employment Training School, 1923-1934
4Correct Address Company, 1934-1937
5Efficiency Club of America, 1934, undated
6Federal Advisory Committee of the United States Employment Service, 1930, 1934, undated
7Georgia Citizens Education Movement, 1925-1926, undated
8Georgia College Placement Office, 1924-1931, 1940, undated



21Georgia Hall, 1933
2Georgia Hall Campaign and Committee, 1933-1934
3Georgia Vegetable Growers Association, 1935-1940
4National Commission on the Enrichment of Adult Life, 1929-1931
5Personnel Association of Atlanta, 1922-1924
6Personnel Research Federation, 1925-1926
7Santo Domingo State Park, 1934-1937
8Vocational Bureau, 1917


MSS-OS 3.30Scrapbook, “Cator Woolford at Work,”, 1924-1930