Map of Johns Creek
Pike County, KY
by Rev. Marion Tevis Burris

1851 notebook entry

Reference: The Burris Family by Steven T. Hurt

Fred T. May
Posted April 2009

Introduction   |   Notes   |   Map

The following map was first brought to my attention by Henry Forsyth, who got a copy from his mother a number of years ago. Her copy came from a lady in Catlettsburg. I later learned from David Hurt that Steven T. Hurt had included the map in his 1991 book on the Burris family.

Marion Tevis Burris, the man who drew the map "In Memory of Home," was born August 28, 1828 on Johns Creek. His map reflects his memories of the location of the farms and watersheds along the creek from above the mouth of Bent Branch to its confluence with [Levisa Fork of] Sandy River. His notations are obviously based on stories he heard first-hand from early settlers of Johns Creek.

Tevis was the son of Rev. Milton Leslie and Rachel Burris. She was unmarried when he was born and she later married a Mr. Horn about 1833. In 1834 Tevis was taken to live in the home of his uncle, Pharmer Lesley, on Johns Creek where he was reared. Early in these years with his Lesley relatives, he became a part of the Lesley Society which built Snivley Chapel on land donated by Martin Lesley in April 1853. The 1850 census shows that Tevis was a farmer living on Johns Creek in the home of Thomas Patton May, husband of his cousin, Margery Elizabeth (Betty) Leslie.

In 1854 Tevis married Agnes Spears of Daniels Creek in Johnson Co, KY. He later became a Preacher, Teacher, Doctor, Artist and Historian. He and Agnes reared a family of ten children. They both died in 1904 and are buried in Hatten Cemetery at Durbin, Boyd County, KY

Notes on the map should be of special interest
to historians of Pike & Floyd County, KY

Some of the notes are transcribed below, with help from Steven T. Hurt
who apparently had a slightly more legible copy when he wrote his book.

Johns Creek flows from top to bottom on the map, in a West by Northwest direction.

The 1820 census lists some of the neighboring families that appear on the map

1. The map begins a mile or so above Meta, KY where Bent Branch flows into Johns Creek. A drawing of a panther is prominent. [Near the mouth of present-day Bevins Branch]; "1809. Where John Lycan killed a panther, 9 ft. in lenght (sic). It carried a yearling by the back of the neck. Lycan was born 1792."

2.On the valley along Bent Branch; "The pre-historic lived and died here all over this valley. They had villages many places, warred & died."

3."A. Pinson" named at the mouth of Bent Branch. Probably Aaron Pinson, a pioneer who moved from the Watauga River Valley of Eastern Tennessee.

4. "Grave Mounds" is written and drawn on the sharp bend in Johns Creek above the mouth of Coon Creek.

5. Near the mounds is written; "Leslie Mill. Race cut by Tom Davis for P. Leslie." [Pharmer Lesley].

6. "Burna Johnson set[tled] 1811" at the mouth of Coon Creek.

7. Other farms below Coon Creek: "Bevins, Jarrett Pinson, W. Scott, Wm. Pinson, Henry Pinson." The next note says, "Here Jas. Maynard settled 1803."

8. "Tom Pinson" lived at the mouth of Joe's Creek and further up the creek "Lead Mines" are noted.

9. "A man was killed here" is noted on either Miller's Creek or Cana [Caney] Creek. This death probably occurred on Miller's Creek which was the main route over a pass and down Stone Coal Creek to Sandy River.

10. On Bear Fork of Cana is a note "D. B. 1792." Probably referring to a Daniel Boone hunting camp.

11. HOME: Brushy Run extends to a pass [Brushy Gap] that goes to White Oak Branch of Buffalo Creek. Tevis drew hands pointing to this area as his home and noted "ancient diggings" nearby. This remote location is now accessable by a modern road passing around the airport at Hatcher Field on top of the mountain.

12. The next farm down Johns Creek was settled by "Ed Guilky - 1801," It was located just above the farm of "A.[Allen] Leslie - 1820" on Allen's Branch [now May Farm Branch], where Thomas Patton May lived after marrying Allen's daughter, Betty, in 1841.

13. The next short hollow is "Horse Pen Branch," which bears the note "Boone 1775." Stories of the Lesley/Leslie family tell that their ancestor, William Robert Lesley, learned of the area from Daniel Boone.

14. Snivley Chapel is not noted on the map. It was constructed in 1853 near the mouth of the next branch "Wm. Cornetts Br ?" [now named Walker Branch] flowing into Johns Creek. [This makes one speculate that the map might have been drawn before 1853.]

15. Martin's Branch is the location of the original Leslie Settlement and where some of the Leslie family members are buried. Notes on the map say, "Here Robert Leslie settled 1802. His father W.R. Leslie died - the first buried on Johns Creek. Pharmer Leslie was born May 22, 1803, the first child born in Pike Co." [acutually Floyd County at the time].

16. A significant landmark on Johns Creek was a giant tree drawn at the mouth of "Sycamore Cr." It is marked; "Tree camp - 15 ft. diameter." This hollow sycamore tree is where William Robert Lesley established temperory quarters while building a cabin for his family. In earlier years 'long hunters' from Virginia camped there during their excursions into the valley.

17. The next notes don Johns Creek reference:
 "Horse tracks found by Joseph Skaggs & Kendricks." They probably were early hunters exploring the valley.
"Mound graves" near the farm of "Dr. P.L. Jackson." Now named Jackson Branch.

18. Branches on down Johns Creek to the mouth of "Brushy Fork" were named for families who settled there: "Job Dean's Br., Bevins Br. & Clay's Br." Some of these branches still bear these names. Two others are still named "Drift Branch & Missouri Branch."

19. Very few notes are made on Brushy Fork, though it extends a number of miles parallel to Johns Creek. "Small salt Reuben Clark" is noted below the mouth of Brushy. The boundary between Pike and Floyd County passes near this point.

20. Bufallo Creek extends to the right on the map with a note regarding "Thomas Wiley", husband of the famous Indian captive, Jennie Wiley.

21. The next branches of Johns Creek in Floyd County are noted as "Souders Br., McGuires Br., Dicks Branch, Brandy Keg & Stratton Br." Today Jennie Wiley State Park is located in this area.

22. Drawn on "Sandy River" [Levisa Fork of Big Sandy] below the mouth of Johns Creek is "Block House built by Harmans and Auxiers." This is where Jennie Wiley was rescued in her escape from her Indian captors in 1890. Also noted:
"D. Boone and Nathan Boone left 1796."

23. The next creek down the river is Millers Creek and then Greasy Creek. Noted on this creek is "Daniel Boone Camp 1792-1796." and above there "Lead Mines."

24. Up Sandy River three creeks noted are: "Abbott, Middle Cr. and Beaver." Prestonsburg in not noted on the map. Near the location of the town is written:
"Here A. Harman was born 1798, first on Sandy."

25. Names of the children of Robert Leslie are at the bottom of the map.

by Rev. Marion Tevis Burris