Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project|
For much of the information concerning this prominent early Fort Wayne settler we are indebted to a detailed sketch of the family written in 1855 by his son, George W. Ewing.
Alexander Ewing was born in Pennsylvania on May 28, 1763, of Irish parentage. His father’s name was also Alexander. Like many of his contemporaries, he was caught up in the wave of patriotism and at the age of sixteen he enlisted in the Continental Army of Philadelphia. He served as a private in Captain John McConnel’s Company, Lt. Colonel Samual Cuthbertson’s 4th Battalion of the Cumberland County Association, until the close of the Revolutionary War.
Following the war he engaged in trade with the Indians among the six nations in upper New York State. About the year 1787 he established a trading post on “Buffalo Creek”. At that time the area was a wilderness, but the site is now occupied by the city of Buffalo, New York. His business affairs prospered and he was able to settle down on a large farm on the Genessee Flats near the village of “Big Tree”. This was on the Genessee River about sixty miles north of present Rochester, New York. There he met Charlotte Griffith, the daughter of William Griffith, a neighbor, and they were married in about 1795.
However, due to serious financial reverses, the Ewing family were forced to move on, and they settled in Michigan on the river Raisin where the town of Monroe is now located. In 1807 the Ewings again moved, this time to Washington (now Piqua), Ohio, and sometime after that to Troy, Ohio, where they stayed until 1822.
Alexander Ewing had enlisted for duty in the War of 1812 and served under the command of Gen. William Henry Harrison in the Northwest Territory. He participated in the fall campaign of 1813 at the Battle of the Thames where the great Indian Chief, Tecumseh, was killed and his British Allies defeated. Ewing then volunteered as a spy under the command of his Brother-in-law, Capt. William Griffith. While the title may have been honorary, he was known thereafter as “Colonel” Ewing.
In his sketch of the Ewing family, George W. Ewing describes his father, Alexander, as “a man of limited education, but possessed a strong will and indomitable energy . . . He was a man of warm impulses--a true friend and a bitter enemy . . . His personal appearance was commanding. He was six feet high, straight, athletic, and active, when young. His complexion was rather light, his hair was auburn, and his eyes were blue. His weight, up to the age of forty years, did not exceed, perhaps, 170 pounds; but in after years he became large and somewhat corpulent, weighing over 200 pounds.”
In the spring of 1822 the Ewings moved again, this time to Fort Wayne, Indiana. There, on January 1, 1827, Alexander Ewing died of asthma and complications at the age of sixty-three. Originally he was buried on his own property, but in 1847 the family erected a vault in what was then the “public graveyard” or Broadway Cemetery and he was moved there. However, in the 1860s when that cemetery was vacated to become McCulloch Park, all of the family who had been buried there were transferred to what is now Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne. Alexander Ewing was survived by his widow, who died in March of 1843, and six children, Sophia and Charles W., born while the family lived on the Genessee River; William G., Alexander H. and George W., all born where Monroe, Michigan, is now located; Lavina, born near Piqua, Ohio; and Louise, born near Troy, Ohio.
Brice, Wallace A. History of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Fort Wayne;
D. W. Jones, Steam Book & Job Printers, 1868.
Brown, Marguerite and Vernon Brown. Ewing-McCullough-
Buchanan genealogy. Dallas, Texas; Royal Publishing
O’Byrne, Mrs. Roscoe C., comp. & ed. Roster of soldiers and
Patriots of the American Revolution buried in Indiana.
n.p., Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution, 1938.
Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series. Harrisburg; Secretary of the
Commonwealth, 1894. Vol. III.
Robertson, R. L. Valley of the Upper Maumee River. Madison,
Wisc.: Brant & Fuller, 1889. Vol. I.
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