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MacDougall Family Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS228

Scope and Content

The Papers of Robert and Margaret MacDougall consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings and scrapbook pages, and brochures and other printed materials. Many of these papers concern MacDougall’s work as an engineer, work as an administrator of the Works Progress Administration and his activities working with the city of Atlanta, particularly in the development of the expressways through the city and the bond issues to finance the projects. A second portion of these papers concern the activities of Mrs. Margaret MacDougall including: her political activities, work with the Atlanta Elections Commission; her work with the Atlanta League of Women Voters; issues of desegregation and education; and politics.


  • 1924-1977


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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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

Robert Leak MacDougall (1900-1960) was born in Wilmington, Delaware to Mr. and Mrs. R. J. MacDougall. When he was an infant, his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia and then later to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he attended public schools. He returned to Atlanta to enroll at Georgia Tech, where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1925. During the 1930s and 1940s, he served as an officer in the U. S. Corps of Army Engineers and later as an administrator for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). After World War II he began working with Alex MacDougald and eventually was named president of MacDougald-Warren Construction Company. Within the community of Atlanta, he served as an advisor to Mayor William B. Hartsfield, and served on the Joint City-Fulton County Bond Commission to fund the expressway construction projects through the city. On 8 June 1928 he married Margaret Clarkson McDow (1903- 1986). Margaret Clarkson McDow was born 22 October 1903 in York, South Carolina to Thomas F. McDow (1863-1935) a prominent lawyer and legislator in South Carolina and Mary Simons Clarkson (?-1944). A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Mrs. MacDougall taught school in Mississippi and South Carolina before her marriage. In the 1950s she worked as the chairman of the City Executive Committee, which supervised elections in Atlanta. She was active in a variety of campaign reform programs, particularly the movement to eliminate the “county unit system” in statewide voting.


0.6 linear ft. (one document case and one oversize folder)



System of Arrangement

Files are arranged in an alphabetical order provided by the archives staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Robert L. MacDougall 1977 (1977.200, 1977.390, 1977.379) and 1978 (1978.154)

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2007.

MacDougall Family Papers
Helen Matthews
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