Ewings & Walkers
The first families to settle in the area now called Collier Township were the Ewings and Walkers.
James Ewing was born in Cecil County, Maryland about 1730 and immigrated to this area in 1770. His claim of 1,000 acres extended from Chartiers Borough, now Carnegie Borough, to Walkers Mill where he built the first gristmill on Robinson Run. James Ewing was a Presbyterian and is also identified with the early history of the Montour Presbyterian Church.
Gabriel Walker, born in 1744, and Isaac Walker, born in 1746, in Lancaster, PA immigrated to the area in 1772 where they purchased their “Tomahawk Claim” of 2,000 acres west of Walkers Mills. Isaac built his log cabin in Walkers Mills while Gabriel built his in an area called Hays which we believe is located in the valley below Nike Site Road
Raid on Gabriel's Log Cabin
It is in this area that tells the story of a raid in September 1782 on Gabriel’s log cabin by about 25 Indians. Five of the Walker children who were working in the fields were captured. Gabriel, Mrs. Walker and two small children, along with an apprentice named William Harkins, escaped to the fort of James Ewing. After pillaging and burning down the log cabin, the Indians attacked Ewing’s Fort where they killed the two youngest children. They fled with the three remaining children…two girls and a boy. A group of men pursued them to the Ohio River but they were able to get away. The children were held captive in an English camp in Canada for twenty-one months and were returned to Philadelphia as repatriated prisoners of war.
In 1808, William Ewing married Jane Walker, daughter of Isaac Walker. Isaac gave this log house to the couple as a wedding gift. It has been handed down through the years and the last descendant, Jane Ewing Rovensky, who married Robert. M. Grace, has lovingly handed it down to the Pioneers West Historical Society, who owns it today.