House at 163 East Main Street.
Art & Culture

Ewing – Kirn Home: 163 East Main Street


Built in 1824 for Thomas Ewing, this Federal-style home features a fine doorway with an elliptical fanlight, a matching Palladian window above, and a semi-circular window in the pediment. The sandstone wall and interesting entranceway from the sidewalk, add to the importance of the house. This was the first of the early mansions in Lancaster. In 1896 a 60-foot strip off the back/north end of the lot that ran 125 feet along the alley was sold off to build the home that is currently behind it. This 60-foot strip contained outbuildings including an ice house and a stable.

The interior of the home features fine woodwork with free-standing Ionic columns at the doorway and windows of the parlor, a beautiful archway and mantel in the dining room, and a fine stairway.

Thomas Ewing was the first graduate of Ohio University (1815), a prominent lawyer, U.S. Senator (1831 – 1837, 1850 – 1851), and Secretary of the Treasury under President Harrison. In 1849 he became the first Secretary of the Interior, under President Taylor. Ewing was a frequent advisor to President Lincoln. General William Tecumseh Sherman from age nine, upon the death of his father, lived in this home with the Ewings until he was 16. “Cump” came up the hill to live with the Ewings because the widowed Mrs. Sherman could not afford to raise and educate her brood, and because Thomas Ewing and Charles Sherman had been close friends. In 1850 William T. Sherman married the oldest Ewing daughter, Ellen. He reportedly planned “The March to the Sea” in this home while recovering from illness and exhaustion caused from extreme stresses of the Civil War.

This home is a private residence.

Sherman Trail: This home was built in 1824 and was the home of U.S. Senator Thomas Ewing. Mr. Ewing was best friends with General Sherman’s father, Charles Sherman. Young Sherman moved up the hill to live with the Ewings at the age of nine after the death of his father. It is here that General Sherman met his future wife, Ellen Ewing, Thomas Ewing’s daughter. Ellen returned to live here at various times during her marriage when Sherman was being posted or moved all over the country. The house was expanded in part due to her returns. One of Ellen and General Sherman’s children, Minnie, spent most of her childhood here as the rest of the Shermans traveled the country with Sherman’s work and military career.

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