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Est. 1879

Centerville is located in the Rockbridge district in the southwestern part of the county, south of the present day Highway 78.  Before the Civil War it was called Sneezer.   The post office was established in 1879 with T. J. Minor as postmaster.  Mr.  J.L. Evans succeeded him in 1885 and continued in that position until the post office was discontinued in 1903.

Surrounded by fertile farmland, Centerville prospered with several stores and other businesses.  Dr. J. M. Guess practiced medicine there for many years.  Other early settlers were Thomas Maguier, Rev. J. M. Lee, David Anderson, Richard Holt, Zachry Lee, and others.

Several county officials were born and raised in that section of Gwinnett County.  Thomas Maguire was a representative in 1838.  B. W. Weaver was captain of a company in the Confederate Army.  H. J. Campbell was tax collector, James P. Mason was sheriff, and E. E. Norton was tax receiver.

Zoar Methodist Church was organized long before the Civil War, but the actual date is unknown.  The building in the center of town is the third location.  Some of the early ministers were J. D. Anthony (1847), the Anthony brothers (1865-1869), Rev. Johnson (1869-79), Rev. Cramer (1871), J. W. Stipes (1872), F. F. Reynolds (1873-1874), J. H. Bentley (1875-76), J. S. Embry (1877-78).

On Wednesday, August 19, 1819, Ely Massey, Dicy Parker, Divinity Knight, Sarah Barnett and Luke Robinson organized Rockbridge Baptist Church.  During the following year a log house was erected which was used until
1825.  Another house was erected duing that year which waS used until 1893.  The church was then moved two miles north to the community of Sneezer, now called Centerville.  The original pastor of 21 years was Luke Robinson.

This history is a work in progress.  I will be adding more information and photographs, so be sure to check back frequently and reload or refresh!

History of Gwinnett County, 1818-1960, Volume II, by James C. Flanigan, copyright 1959

Additional information submitted by Stephen Starling 04/16/15
Email:  xtrcooper @ gmail.com

In the little write up you have on the Centerville community in Gwinnett county, Ga Rev. J M Lee. It should read Rev. James Wideman Lee. He was raised in Centerville and Meriwether co. where he received much of his education as a boy. His father was Zachery Lee and his mother was Emily H. Wideman Lee.

His mothers people were from Meriwether co. His father was killed just after the war as a result of burns from a lantern and peach brandy. Rev. Lee was a close friend of Henry Grady. Two of his descendants were the writer William Burroughs and Ivy Lee, who was the father of modern public relations. Zachery Lee was the son of Zachree Lee and Rebecca Brock who were large slave and land owners in the Centerville community. My great great grandmother Almanza Lee Mason was the sister of J W Lee. The Ford Mason family should also be mentioned as early Centerville settlers. Steven P. Starling, Past President, Gwinnett County Historical Society


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