TRACES OF LAUREL: Logan Ewell — an autobiography and biography

Logan Ewell

Since I plan on running stories from Logan Ewell’s column this summer I thought our readers might wish to be better acquainted with Mr. Ewell. To achieve this I have selected an autobiography written by Mr. Ewell and a biography written by Flossie Baker. Since I have tried to present them both as written you will notice some repetition in the selections. The photo of Logan Ewell was attached to both columns.

The Logan Ewell Stories

The Sentinel-Echo June 25, 1959

I have been asked for an autobiography and was told to make it short. For that part of the request, I am grateful.

My immediate parents were Richard L. Ewell and Julia A. Ewell. To this union I was born on the 8th day of February, 1884; am still here and of sound mind and disposing memory as the old will writers were so fond of saying. When I recall what I have disposed of I could wish that the disposing part had not been so sound.

I married Barbara Brown, daughter of London’s pioneer hardware merchant, J. T. Brown. We have one son and two grand-daughters.

My life has been interesting, at least to me, for I have done many things, most of them for the benefit of others rather than myself.

Have always had an interest in Laurel County's possibilities as an agricultural county. Have lived to see more development than I hoped for. I have made some of this possible.

Because of the prominent place my father had in the life of the county, I was very early on my own in contact with its people: learning to know them and gathering their lore.

I am very fond of the people of my county, finding them most prolific in folklore and home-spun philosophy: I have never seen their equal in the many states in which I have lived and observed people.

The Logan Ewell Stories

By Flossie J. Baker

The Sentinel-Echo August 27, 1959

Just one year ago this week there appeared in The Sentinel-Echo the first of the current series of articles written by Logan Ewell. From that first autobiographical sketch in the issue of August 28, 1958, the popularity of the feature has been phenomenal. Probably nothing else in the paper is as widely read and as thoroughly enjoyed as the folksy tales of the old-timers – and some present day “youngsters” – who have made London, Laurel County and Southeast Kentucky the colorful area it is.

Since this week is the first anniversary of “The Logan Ewell Stories” it seems fitting that we say a few words about the author. He was born in Laurel county on February 8, 1884, on the farm now known as the Triplett place, in the Fariston section. His father was Col. Richard L. Ewell, a distinguished lawyer of his time, and his mother, Julia A. Johnson Ewell.

Col. Ewell was twice married, his first wife being Bernetta Watkins Ewell. To this union was born three boys and two girls, the youngest member being the late R. R. (Little Britches) Ewell, a virtual legend in London. Logan was the youngest member of the children of the second wife - four boys and one girl.

Our story-teller attended the London city school, Sue Bennett Memorial School, the University of Kentucky, Lexington and John B. Stetson University, Deland, Fla., but never lingered in any college long enough to acquire a degree. His education has been mainly achieved by his wonderful memory, his keen powers of observation and his outstanding interest in the human race.

Mr. Ewell has had a varied career in many states. Although farming has been his major pursuit in Laurel county, he has lived and carried on several other occupations in other states. Among fields in which he has engaged at one time or another have been the hotel business, mercantile business and traveling salesman.

He has observed human nature in much of the Eastern United States, mainly the states of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky. People, he has found, in every region have similar hopes and dreams, disappointments and aspirations. Truly we are sisters and brothers under the skin.

Our yarn-spinner was married March 6, 1911, to Barbara Brown, daughter of J.T. and Katherine Thompson Brown. They are parents of two children, Katherine Logan Ewell, the daughter died at 18. The son, Richard T. Ewell, is in the engineering business in Louisville. They also have two grand-daughters, Carolyn Ewell, 12, and Jane Ewell, 8 years old.

As “The Logan Ewell Stories’ go into their second year, we wish for their author and their readers many more happy hours of good fellowship via the pages of The Sentinel-Echo.

The Laurel County Historical Society is located at Located 310 West 3rd Street in the old Health Department Building. We are open on Mondays & Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will open on other days by appointment. Please contact us far enough in advance to schedule a volunteer to open the library. You may contact the Laurel County Historical Society by calling 606-864-0607 or e-mail us at lchistsoc@windstream.net (The first character is a lower case L as in Laurel.)

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