Henry L. Howell grew up at the corner of Arden Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue in today’s Buckhead community. His family, for whom Howell’s Mill and the present-day Howell Mill Road are named, once owned about 4,000 acres of property in the area. Mr. Howell attended E. Rivers Elementary, Morris Brandon Elementary (designed by his father, Albert Howell, an architect), and Westminster. In 1963, he started working at First National Bank, where he stayed for 30 years, working in commercial banking, international banking, and private banking.
Abstract of Interview
In this interview, Mr. Howell speaks about some of the family history of the Howell family, dating back to Clark Howell, who came to Atlanta in the mid-nineteenth century. The Howell family operated more than one mill, and Mr. Howell recalls family lore about these mills and their role during the Civil War. He also discusses his family members’ participation in the war, and other notable pieces of Howell family history, such as Evan Howell purchasing a controlling interest in the Atlanta Constitution. Mr. Howell remembers Buckhead landmarks of his childhood, such as Wender & Roberts Drugstore, King Hardware, Maxwell & Hitchcock Drugstore, Fred’s Fruit Emporium, Margarat Bryan’s Dance Studio, and the Buckhead Theatre. He also talks about catching the train at Brookwood Station and visiting Governor Slaton’s estate on Peachtree Road. He recalls the construction of I-75 and walking to school over the construction site. He also talks about running the Peachtree Road Race a total of 25 times.
Interview conducted by James Ottley, Chad Wright, and Dick Hall, March 9, 2014.
In the video clip below, Howell discusses the victory garden at his parents’ home during the World War II years – and a surprising incident with a cow and a bus.
Visit YouTube to view additional video excerpts from our Oral History Project.
Buckhead Heritage Society
3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30305