How Murder Creek got it's namePublished 7:58am Wednesday, February 18, 2004
By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
I told you a story last week about the cat fight and how Brewton became the county seat of Escambia County. I thought I would continue with another story that you may or may not know.
There is a little creek flowing between the towns of Brewton and East Brewton with the ominous name of Murder Creek. It was so named because of a gruesome act that occurred there many years ago.
During the Revolutionary War, Colonel Alexander McGillivray formed a friendship with many royalists who supported the King of England. One of those he became friends with was Colonel Joseph Kirkland of South Carolina.
In 1788 Kirkland and some others who had remained loyal to the king were wanting to resettle in Spanish Louisiana. To be able to get through the Indian Territory they required passports which they planned on getting in Pensacola.
They stopped by the home of their old friend, McGillivray, who lived on the Coosa River. When he learned where they were going, he offered to provide them with a guide. This would assure the Indians that they were friends, as it was dangerous to travel without the chieftain's protection.
Colonel Kirkland and his party had a lot of silver in their saddlebags to use in their new home. They traveled toward Pensacola and met a group of traders who were on their way back from the coast on a trading expedition. The Kirkland party had no way of knowing that the group they just met was made up of several outlaws.
It was late in the afternoon so after separating, the two groups made their camps a short distance from one another. Kirkland and his party made their camp on the banks of a creek near a trading path. They placed their saddlebags under their heads for pillows and settled down for the night.
The other party had decided that they wanted the silver and anything else that the other group had. They made up their minds to backtrack, rob and kill the settlers. Sometime about midnight, the trading party slipped across the creek, stole the guns and killed every one of Kirkland's group except three blacks, one of which was McGillivray's guide. They burned everything except the clothing the unsuspecting group had on. They then made camp nearby and slept a peaceful sleep next to the carnage.
When McGillivray heard about the attack he sent some men to help capture the murderers. One man called Cat was captured and reportedly led to the site of the murders and hanged while he was wearing some of the dead men's clothes. He begged for mercy but none was given.
Afterwards the little creek that had been known as Aloochahatcha (Luko Hatchee) Creek became known as Murder Creek after the terrible massacre that took place there on the banks near the present site of Brewton.
I wanted to tell you that I have been doing a story for Progress about the Bank of Brewton and in talking with Eddie Nall from the bank, I was given a copy of a map made in 1869 right after Escambia was made into a county. This map shows many streets that were never made and some that were renamed. It was a very interesting piece of historical material that I had never seen. It only strengthens my thoughts that there is still plenty of undiscovered materials waiting to be uncovered in someone's dark attic or trunk somewhere.