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Cator Woolford Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS210

Scope and Content

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.


  • 1915-1944


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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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.

Administrative/Biographical History

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.


1 linear ft.



System of Arrangement

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Walter Hill, 1956 (1956.031)

General Physical Description note

Extent: 1 linear ft. (2 document cases and 1 oversized box)

Description Control

The collection was reprocessed in 2007.

Cator Woolford Papers: ahc.MSS 210
An Inventory of His Papers at the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center
Inventory prepared by Paul Crater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305