Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Sod Rest Lightly

This is the face that greeted me in my Granny Ewen's closet that day so many years ago. It hangs above my mantel to remind me of the heritage that is mine. See "50 Years of Genealogy" in the archive that tells this story.

George Washington Ewen was born March 10, 1858 in Powell Co., KY. He was a horse riding physician in the mountains that surround Natural Bridge State Park, KY. His obituary reads:

"Dr. G.W. Ewen, son of J.R. and Eliza Ewen, was born March 10, 1858 and died July
15th, 1906 at his home near Dundee of bright's disease. The sudden parting of all
earthy ties is hard to bear, and when hearts have been tightly knit in bonds of
loving companionship and closest affection, it is doubly hard. His funeral was
conducted at the home by Revs. Adams and Wright, of the Christian Church, of which
he had been a member 29 years. He had been a Mason 11 years and was a member of
Campton I.O.O.F. of which both fraternities took part in bearing the remains to
its last resting place. Dr. Ewen was a good and generous, big-hearted man, ever
ready to administer to those who were weaker than he. The widow who survives him loses a faithful and affectionate husband; the children a kind and loving parent; the community a citizen of integrity and great moral worth. May the sod rest lightly on his honest breast, and his gentile spirit bask in the sunshine of an eternal Spring."

Taken from the Clay City Times, July 26, 1906.

Our family story was that G.W. was riding to a house call and managed to cut his leg on a new contraption call barbed-wire. Having diabetes (called Bright's disease in his day,)he developed gangrene, needed his leg amputated, and died following this procedure. I have not been able to document any of this story, but I suspect that it is correct. Certainly, the soil rests lightly on his honest breast.


  1. My name is George D. Ewen. I am named for George Earl Ewen, who was named for his father, George Washington Ewen. My Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather was Timothy Ewen. He fought in the Revolutionary War, first for the Americans then he "switched sides! He served with the Jersey Greens, a Royalists unit. He could not return home to New Jersey after the war so he came to Kentucky, settling in what is now Powell County in 1787. Interesting that his Great Grandson would be named for George Washington!

  2. Hello cousin George. I have the pictures of George Washington Ewen and his wife Susan Francis Cole over my mantel. See post "Hanging Around". There is still much uncertainty in my mind regarding which Timothy Ewen. Would love to share information.

  3. Hey, I have found your blog threw google. I am really enjoying it. The George D Ewen above is my cousin. Sadly he passed two weeks ago.
    I am a direct descendant of G.W Ewen as well, from hazard KY. There is about 100 of us on a place call "Big Creek".
    Must say I have really enjoyed this, and many of your other post.

  4. Hello cousin...which son of GW was your direct line?