(side 1)(Continued on other side)
Samuel Burney: 1763-1849
Revolutionary War Veteran
Samuel Burney, Sr., was born on January 30, 1763, in Guilford Co., NC. He was among 17 known Revolutionary war veterans to settle in the area that became Lauderdale Co., AL. Burney, at the age of 15, volunteered to fight the British in the fall of 1778. Pvt. Burney served two terms, a total of 14 months, as a mounted rifleman in Charleston, SC. After the war, his family moved to Abbeville District, SC. In 1806, he and other Burney families moved to Rutherford Co., TN., and in 1808 to what is now Lauderdale Co., AL. Samuel leased 1600 acres of land on Chief Doublehead's Reserve in the vicinity of Rogersville. Soldiers from Ft. Hampton, east of Elk River, evicted the Burneys around 1811, so they moved to Giles Co., TN. After the 1816 Chickasaws and the 1817 Cherokee Treaties opened the area for U.S. land sales. Samuel Burney, Sr. and Jr. returned and made purchases at these sales. Sr. purchased 79.81 acres of land in March 1818, near the intersection of Huntsville and Lambs Ferry Roads. He was a farmer and Justice of the Peace. His wife, Martha Waters, died in the early 1840s, and he married Nancy Moss in October 1844. Samuel died on March 31, 1849, and is believed to be buried near Martha in the Liberty Cemetery in Rogersville.
Burneys Creek/First Creek
(Continued from other side)
As early as 1817, the creek west of here was known as Burneys Creek. It was later renamed First Creek. In the 1930s, excavation revealed an ancient Indian village and mound on the east bank near the creek's mouth. Before construction of dams on the Tennessee River, the water dropped 137 feet over a distance of 37 miles from Browns Ferry to Florence. To enhance navigation on the river, the first Muscle Shoals Canal opened in 1836 and closed in 1838. A second canal, 14.5 miles long with nine locks, opened in November 1890, with Lock One at the west bank of the mouth of First Creek. Wilson Dam, near Florence, was completed in 1925; the lock opened in 1927. Wheeler Dam, downstream from First Creek, was completed in November 1936. This dam created Wheeler Lake which extends into First Creek. In the late 1960s, a state bond issue funded the development of the Joe Wheeler State Park at the confluence of First Creek and Wheeler Lake. The park's lodge opened in 1974. This park also had a golf course, a marina and other recreational facilities which, with Wheeler Lake and First Creek, are a recreational mecca. First Creek Bridge, on U.S. Highway 72 was renamed Samuel Burney Bridge in March 2014.