Snellville, GA


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Snellville is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States, east of Atlanta. The population was 15,351 at the 2000 census. The city's mayor, Jerry Oberholtzer, was elected to a 4-year term in 2007.[citation needed] The city's commercial and residential development has grown enormously in recent years.[citation needed] In the Atlanta metro area, Snellville is known (mostly humorously) for the slogan on its city limit signs: 'Everybody's Somebody In Snellville'.
[citation needed] In 1874 seventeen-year-old friends from London, England, Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, secretly planned a voyage to the New World.[citation needed] On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles Sawyer, left England but Snell’s parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn’t allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure.[citation needed] The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1 and, after a few weeks, headed towards Athens, Georgia and then to Madison County where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month.[citation needed] Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them.[citation needed] The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville.[citation needed] Shortly after Snell’s arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the south and settling in Alabama where he went into the turpentine business.[citation needed] James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.[citation needed]
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878 when he returned to England to claim his inheritance.[citation needed] Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia and then Gwinnett County.[citation needed] Once in Gwinnett County Sawyer went to a small settlement near Stone Mountain then known as New London, where he found Snell.[citation needed] In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer’s Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London.[citation needed] As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell’s likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods.[citation needed] By the end of 1879 the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville.[citation needed] Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer’s" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day’s travel.[citation needed] It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners’ store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising and the young town began to show a promising future.[citation needed]