This area was the home to Indians, settlers, people of mixed ancestry and their descendants. Local bluff shelters contain evidence of occupation from Paleo Indian (10,000 BC) through the Mississippian Period (1540 AD). Chief Tuscaloosa (Black Warrior), mentioned by Desoto (1540), was a noted Creek Indian leader. A 1733 map identified the southern drainage from these mountains as the Tuscaloosa River. The first known written occurrence of "Warrior Mountains" was made by rifle maker John Bull (1777-1840), who engraved one of his rifles "David Smith, Warrior Mountains - 1829" According to family tradition. James Havens (Smith's father-in-law) said, "bury me by my Indian friends on the side of the Warrior Mountain where the magnolia blooms in the spring" (possibly Indian Tomb Hollow). James E. Saunders' 1899 book refers to the southern highlands of Lawrence County as the Warrior Mountains. On 15 Jun 1936, Pres. Roosevelt changed the name to the Black Warrior Forest, and on 17 Jun 1942, Congress changed the name to William B. Bankhead National Forest. The Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area, Sipsey Wilderness (1975) and Sipsey Wild and Scenic Rivers are found here.