Evan Howell came from North Carolina in 1821 and settled in the area of Duluth. He farmed, sold goods and operated a ferry across the Chattahoochee River, and the settlement was known for many years as Howell's Cross Roads. His son, Clark Howell, moved to Lawrenceville and married Martha Ann Winn, daughter of Elisha Winn.
Another early settler was a prosperous farmer named Thomas L. Lenoir, who owned land just north of Howell's plantation. George M. Waters lived above Lenoir's farm near where Abbott's Bridge stands.
In 1871 the railroad was constructed to Howell's Cross Roads, and a depot was erected there. Evan Howell, grandson of the first Evan Howell, was invited to deliver an address and name the new town. At that time a well known story was of a bill before the national house of representatives to finance the building of a section of railroad in Minnesota, ending in a remote town called Duluth. The country found the idea preposterous and somewhat humorous. Mr. Howell told that story in his address, and gave the town the name "Duluth."
Other well known families of early Duluth are: Knox, Parson, Dodson, Dodd, Taylor, Findley, McClure, McDaniel, McGee, Rutledge, Lowe, Barker, Cook, Ware, Wilson, Little, Summerour, Jones, Pittard, and Strickland.
Duluth Methodist Church was organized under the pastorate of Rev. G. R. Kramer in 1871. The charter members were S. G. Howell, Agnes J. Howell, Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Jones, Dora Howell, H. W. Howell, Cynthia E. Howell and J. J. Herrington. The first meeting place was a private home, and the building was erected in 1873. Additions were made as needed, and a new building was erected on Highway 120 to replace the original structure, which is now used as a Masonic Lodge.
The Duluth Baptist Church was organized February 13, 1886. It's first building was erected the same year and used until 1907 when a second building was constructed. A new building was built in the 1950s. At the organization the council of deacons and ministers included D.S. McCurry, B.F. Cooledge, E. J. McDaniel, Rev. W. J. Pirkle, Rev. J. N. Tribble, Rev. Albert Ellis. The charter members were Julia Flowers, Henrietta Vaughan, Amanda E. Gorman, Sarah McKinney, Agnes Pittard, Lou Scoggins, Sarah Maddox, Julia A. New, J.L. Vaughan, Ansel Morgan, J.M. McKenney, E.M. Pittard, Thomas D. Gorman, Emory Flowers, and J. C. New.
Duluth today is located on the railroad near the crossroads of Highway 120 and Highway 23. It is a mixture of old and new.Sources:
History of Gwinnett County, 1818-1960, Volume II, by James C. Flanigan, copyright 1959
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LINKS TO RELATED SITES
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Southeastern Railroad Museum
Tour of Historic Duluth
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