Thomas Taylor Ewell

THOMAS TAYLOR EWELL, a prominent lawyer of Granbury, was born in McCracken County, Kentucky, February 8, 1844 and elected at various times to county offices in Hood County. Thomas Taylor Ewell's death occurred on February 26, 1897 in Granbury, Texas.

Thomas Taylor Ewell wrote a definitive HOOD COUNTY HISTORY in 1895.  He was the first historian to include information about the founding of Lipan and its early residents.

An excerpt is reproduced here. 


In the northwest corner of the county, after the Kickapoo valley had begun to be transformed into farms, a post office and store were no sooner needed than supplied, and the gentlemanly and reliable Irishman, bearing the name of Thos. A. Burns presided, aided by the advice and suggestions of John H. Traylor, who as a land agent and owner, began to be much interested in this section of the county. Mr. Burns, about 1873, laid out a town and called it Lipan, which place, though its founder has long since removed to the west, still flourishes as one of our most prosperous villages. This place, situated upon the road from Weatherford to Stephenville at the crossing of the Granbury and Palo Pinto road, and in the midst of a fine farming country, some 20 miles distant from any competitive places, has gradually grown in trade and importance till it now possesses some five or six mercantile establishments, two blacksmith shops, two gins, an academy of good repute, and is a town of inviting appearance and hopeful future. It has not been without its trials in the past (justice court trials, such as have transpired in the other places). N.J. Gardner, one of its prominent merchants, long held the office of J.P., and the good repute and prosperity of the place is largely due to the good sense and ability shown by him in the administration of justice in his court.


That fine section of Hood county lying north of Robinson creek and embracing the fertile Kickapoo valley has not been given much space heretofore, because it was the last part of the county to be generally settled, though scattering settlements were made at an early day. Kickapoo creek undoubtedly takes it name from the Indian tribe of that name, while the town of
Lipan was named for the Lipan Indians, who are said to have at one time used this section as a hunting ground.

The first permanent settlements in this section were about 1853 or 1854, when Jas. Capps, Geo. and Sam Allen and Geo. Killion settled the farms now occupied respectively by Zack Holler, Wm. Aiken and the Allisons. Other families came in from year to year. The oldest residents now here are David and Marion Self, who came from Arkansas in 1869 and have been respected and influential citizens since long before the organization of the county. The trade and Milling from this region all went to Weatherford or Barnard’s Mill for many years. Later local blacksmith shops and a gin were erected, but no effort was made toward building a town until Lipan was established. The Newberry brothers came soon afterwards and opened a small farm, which they sold to Tom Hill, who occupied it a few years and then sold to Allen Sweet [Sweek], who afterwards sold out to J.T. Cook and removed across the county line into Erath, where he still resides, an upright and honored citizen.

During the year 1874 there came to this neighborhood a group of five or six men who have done much for the up building of the country. J.A. Beavers, J.T. Cook, and E.T. Woodburn came here together from Arkansas. The two former were originally from North Carolina and the latter from Tennessee. N.J. Gardner came here the same year from Mississippi. W.T. Roach is a native of South Carolina and had been in Texas a year or two before locating here. These two men, with others, stand firm as representatives of law and order, giving to their community a splendid reputation for good morals and sobriety.

Wm. Harvey Martin, a native of Illinois, came to Texas in 1855 and settled in Parker county in 1856; removed to Hood in 1876 and settled at his present home on Robinson creek. Has been a preacher in the Primitive Baptist church since 1873. His time has been divided since locating in this section between preaching, teaching and farming. He has served as county commissioner and justice of the peace, having the thorough confidence of all the people, not only as an official, but as a citizen.

Strong lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows have existed here for many years, with members not only in Hood, but also in Erath, Parker and Palo Pinto counties, and these societies have exerted a strong influence for good, often adjusting personal differences among their members, thus contributing to the peace and good feeling of the community.

The little cemetery at Lipan contains the mortal remains of a man once famous in the affairs of one of our sister states. This man was Ex-Gov. Drew of Arkansas, who was elected in 1858, after one of the most exciting campaigns in that state. Drew, who was the democratic nominee, made a brilliant campaign winning by his own personal popularity. Financial reverses in later years left him but limited means, compared to previous fortunes, and when past 70 years of age he determined to seek fortune in the new west. Locating at Lipan in 1876, he purchased two small farms, which he afterwards gave to his son and daughter, living a quiet life and often being consulted by his neighbors about business affairs. He was a fine business man, much respected by all who knew him and of a winning disposition. A year or more before his death in 1880, he professed religion, joined the Baptist church and was immersed.





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