In recent columns, the husband of Jane Washington Ewing was the focus. This was Felix Grundy Ewing, part of a prominent Nashville family.
William Hickman Ewing was an early member of this family in Tennessee.
A phone call from a reader revealed that Hickman Ewing was a more recent personality. He served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 1981 to 1991.
A graduate of Whitehaven High School in Memphis, he served during the War in Vietnam. He earned a law degree upon his return, worked for the U.S. Attorney, and eventually served as prosecutor for several cases against public officials “involved in moonshine production.”
Ewing was Prosecutor in a mock trial of James Earl Ray in 1993. The trial was shown on HBO.
Later “Hick,” as he was called, was the special prosecutor who oversaw the “Whitewater Investigation” of President Clinton.
Ken Starr had wanted someone who “spoke Southern” to help him with the investigation. He chose Ewing who “has a Tennessee accent like a chicken-fried steak, dipped in batter, fried up and covered in gravy.” The description was used in Starr’s book “Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation.”
Ewing had told Starr, “I know stuff.” It is said that some of the “stuff” was used against Hillary Clinton in her campaign against Donald Trump.
Hickman Ewing would be a distant cousin of Felix Ewing, who built the beautiful GlenRaven.
How fortunate it is that the GlenRaven mansion has been loved and cared for through the years. How unfortunate was the fate of Washington Hall! Supposedly the latter mansion had 44 rooms. It, and not GlenRaven, had the ballroom on the third floor, according to Mr. Joe Moore.
It was built by George A. Washington, Jr., who had been born in 1869.
The land had been given to him by his father, according to a deed dated Dec. 12, 1888. The deed stated that the 1,065 acre tract was “sold” by George A. Washington, Sr., at a consideration of “$1.00 with love and affection.”
The total land conveyed was 1,071 ¾ acres. Five acres was reserved for an “abutment to the mill dam.”
The land received was “old land” – that is, the history of those who owned it had long been known.
The description of the land in the deed reads “the 60 acre Horseshoe tract bought by my father in 1798 from Hugh Lewis.” In other words, that 60 acres was part of Moses Winters’ original land, obtained by deed and grant in 1784.
According to Mr. Ralph Winters in his book “Hospitality Homes,” Moses Winters had originally had 640 acres. He sold Benjamin Meneese 200 acres. Sixty acres were sold to Hugh Lewis.
Lewis had been the first Clerk of Red River Church and the second Register of Tennessee County.
And this was only the beginning….
Thanks to those who research and record early history. Thanks to readers who share their own knowledge.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.