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Walter McElreath Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS154

Scope and Content

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 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 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.


  • 1879-1963, undated


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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law.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.

Administrative/Biographical History

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 Atlanta Historical Society. He served as the first president and then as "chairman of the board for life." He was trustee of the Atlanta Art Association and a member of the 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.


1.2 linear ft. (3 document cases, 1 oversize box)



System of Arrangement

Collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of McElreath Estate, 1927 (1927.002); 1975 (1975.394); 1977 (1977.341); 1987 (1987.079); 1996 (1996.139); DU 34

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2011.

Walter McElreath Papers
Laura Starratt
May 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305