Bear Creek History

Bear Creek rises in section 27 of Herrin Township and flows north into Lake Creek. The bear killed on its banks, about five miles northwest of Marion, fell a victim to the expert marksmanship of Luke Ralls (1802-1848). He came to Illinois in 1822, married Milberry Hunter, and made their home on Bear Creek where he was fanner, cooper, and shoemaker.

Mrs. Ralls was a daughter of Manuel Hunter (1787-1874) who moved into Lake Creek Township in 1826. He was a soldier with General Jackson in 1815, and had a cousin who claimed General Packenham as his target when the flower of the British army charged the cotton bale breastworks at New Orleans. Manuel Hunter and his son George W. Hunter fought the Indians in Illinois with Captain Armstead Holman’s company in 1832.

George W. and A. Luke Ralls inherited the farm on Bear creek. Their cousin, Dempsey A. Hunter, was pastor of the Christian church at Herrin in its early days.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)