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Marie Dougherty Wellborn Biography of Nathan W. Dougherty

Identifier: MS-1603

Highly extensive, this biography details Nathan W. Dougherty's life through the perspective of his eldest daughter Marie and is abound with contextual detail. The table of contents is titled "From My Point of View" and the chapters are divided as such, exemplified through titles such as "The Family Man," wherein Wellborn provides an intimate glimpse of Dougherty as a father to his children. This biography primarily emphasizes Dougherty's role as an educator and father rather than as an athlete, though this is also covered within the text over six pages of the chapter "The Student."


  • circa 1989


The material in this collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet


Biography of University of Tennessee Engineering Dean and athlete Nathan W. Dougherty written by his eldest daughter, Marie Dougherty Wellborn. Provides an extensive and intimate look at Dougherty's life as a student, athlete, professor, coach, dean, and father.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nathan Washington Dougherty was born to Samuel and Mary Ellen (Vermillion) Dougherty in Hales Mill, Virginia on March 23, 1886. He moved to Knox County, Tennessee with his family in 1898. Dougherty attended the University of Tennessee, where he served as captain of the football, basketball, and track teams during his senior year. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1909 and went on to complete his M.S. in Civil Engineering at Cornell University in 1914. Dougherty married Agnes Anna Monteith in 1913, and the couple had five children: Marie Ellen (Dougherty) Wellborn (1915-1996), Nathan Sam (1917-2002), Mildred Monteith (Dougherty) O'Brien (1918-2004), Agnes (Dougherty) Wattenbarger, and Edward M. (1921-2003).

Dougherty began his professional career as an Assistant Professor at George Washington University (1915-1916). He returned to the University of Tennessee in 1916, where he served as Head of the Civil Engineering Department (1916-1940) and as Dean of the College of Engineering (1940-1956). In addition to his work with U.T., Dougherty served as a consultant with the Tennessee Highway Department (1923-1936), the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (1936), and ARO, Inc. The University of Tennessee recognized his contributions to the university and to his profession by naming the school's largest engineering building Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Hall.

Dougherty also played an important role in the early development of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference. He served as Tennessee's Faculty Representative in athletics for forty years, as pro-tem Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, and as a member and officer of the NCAA. In 1967, Dougherty was elected to the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Two years later, he served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Dougherty died on May 18, 1977.

Acquisition Note

This material was donated to Special Collections by Marie Dougherty Wellborn in 1989.

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may also wish to consult:

  1. MS.1376: N. W. Dougherty Papers, 1922-1972
  2. MS.1379: N. W. Dougherty Papers, 1946-1968

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA