“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Guntersville in Marshall County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

History of Guntersville

History of Guntersville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, July 20, 2010
1. History of Guntersville Marker
Side A
Inscription.  (Side A) This area's proximity to the Tennessee River and Indian trails made it a crossroads for early habitation, settlement, and trade. Archaeological studies reveal it was first inhabited about 12,000 years ago by Paleo-Indians. They were followed by various tribes of Native Americans. The Cherokees arrived in the late 1700s and called the area Kusa-Nunnahi, meaning Creek Path. In 1785, John Gunter became the first white man to settle here. He married the daughter of the local Cherokee chief. He was given land here and raised a large family (Will Rogers is his great grandson). Gunter and his wife died in 1835 and are buried near their old home site. General Andrew Jackson came through the area in October 1813 and recruited several Cherokees to help him fight the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. John Gunter's son, Edward, established a ferry here in 1818. As the small village grew, it became known as Gunter's Landing. (Continued on other side)

(Side B) (Continued from other side) Gunter's Landing was involved in the tragic removal of Indians during the late 1830. The John Benge Detachment of
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more than 1,000 Cherokees crossed the river in Guntersville in early October 1838 on their way to the Oklahoma Territory in what has become known as the Trail of Tears. John Allan Wyeth, the town's most famous citizen, was born in a log cabin near here in 1845 and later became president of the American Medical Association. Guntersville was practically destroyed during the Civil War by Union raids and cannon bombardments. One building to survive is the Col. Montgomery Gilbreath home which still exists. By the 1890s, the town had become a major port for commercial and passenger steamboats traveling between Knoxville and Decatur. The area was forever changed in 1939 when the TVA constructed Guntersville Dam a few miles south and created Lake Guntersville.
Erected 2010 by The Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Guntersville.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryNative AmericansNotable PlacesSettlements & SettlersWars, US IndianWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #07 Andrew Jackson, and the Trail of Tears series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1813.
Location. 34° 21.822′ N, 86° 17.451′ W. Marker is in Guntersville
History of Guntersville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, July 20, 2010
2. History of Guntersville Marker
Side B
, Alabama, in Marshall County. Marker is at the intersection of Florida Short Route/Gunter Avenue (U.S. 431) and Lurleen B Wallace Drive, on the right when traveling south on Florida Short Route/Gunter Avenue. Marker is located at the Guntersville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on the south end of the Tennessee River bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Guntersville AL 35976, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Gunter (here, next to this marker); Veterans of Foreign Wars Marshall County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Events in Marshall County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Section of Core (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ravine Used For Protection Against Yankee Shelling (approx. 0.6 miles away); Federal Troops Burn Guntersville During Civil War (approx. 1.4 miles away); Major Paramore's Federal Bombardment of Guntersville (approx. 1.4 miles away); Claysville Junior High School (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Guntersville.
Also see . . .  Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Lake Guntersville State Park.
Two detachment routes passed through today’s Lake Guntersville State Park. Several detachments of Cherokee on the water route used the Tennessee River, which was later dammed and is now Lake Guntersville. The Benge Route (a land route) left Fort Payne and crossed the river, heading west towards
History of Guntersville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lee Hattabaugh, July 20, 2010
3. History of Guntersville Marker
Looking south from the intersection of Lurleen Wallace and Highway 431.
modern Huntsville, Alabama. The Benge Route traveled across Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas to reach Indian Territory (today’s Oklahoma).
(Submitted on March 31, 2023, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Edaward Gunter
I am the ggg-grandaushter of Edward Gunter. His daughter, Elizabeth Gunter-Rider was my grandmother Lydia Thomas Crockett's Grandma. Elizabeth Gunter married Alexander Mccoy Rider and they had my grandmother's mother, Catherine Rider-Thomas. My Grandmother was born and raised in the Talequah, OK area until she married my grandfather. I have a tin picture of Elizabetha and her brother Daniel Mccoy Gunter.

I was contacted years ago by a gentleman that lives in Guntersville and told me he lives on the reservation that was owned by Edward Gunter. He said he had duplicated the home that Edward owned on the reservation. He invited me to come and see the property however I don't remember his name. If anyone knows I would appreciate the information.
    — Submitted November 10, 2010, by MaryAnn Bateman of Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 20, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 4,247 times since then and 676 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 20, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 1, 2023