Two descendants of Pocahontas County pioneer James Ewing were in Marlinton last week to help dedicate a memorial to their storied ancestor. A stone marker was placed on high ground at Marlinton’s Mountain View Cemetery, overlooking the Greenbrier River Valley.
Larry Ewing, of San Jose, California, is James Ewing’s great-great-great-great-great grandson. Larry is descended from Jame’s Ewing’s son, “Indian John.” Ann Adele-Lloyd, of Asheville, North Carolina, is James Ewing’s great-great-great-great granddaughter. Ann-Adele is descended from James Ewing’s son, “Swago Bill.” Both descendants arrived in town last week and gave remarks at a dedication ceremony last Wednesday afternoon.
Larry Ewing talked about the illustrious and exciting life of his pioneer ancestor.
James Ewing was a hunter, trapper and a farmer, who made many expeditions into the western mountains of Virginia in the mid-1700s. Ewing and several other intrepid settlers applied for and received a 50,000 acre land grant from the King of England. The land lay in unsettled frontier across the Alleghenies in the area of Knapps Creek and the Greenbrier River. Knapps Creek was originally named Ewing’s Creek, in honor of James Ewing. One of the first settlers in what is now Pocahontas County, James found a wife, raised a family, and lived his life in the area now called Frost, hunting, trapping, fending off Indian attacks and trading. Following his death in 1801, all but a few of the Scotch-Irish Ewing clan continued migrating westward, mostly into Ohio.
Ann Adele told a story explaining why a flintlock rifle is inscribed on the Ewing Memorial. One day, while James was away from home, a pair of n’er-do-wells asked for and received a meal from Jame’s wife, Sarah Mayes, which was customary hospitality at the time. When the ruffians departed the Ewing homeplace, they absconded with James’ prized flintlock rifle.
James Ewing borrowed a shotgun, chased down the thieves and shot one dead. James then fought a vicious hand-to-hand battle with the other thief, and managed to cut his throat with a hunting knife. James returned to his cabin with his flintlock in his hand.
The Ewing Memorial is located near the mausoleum at Mountain View Cemetery. More Ewing family history can be found at EwingFamilyAssociation.org.