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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.

  
 

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W. S. Ewing.

Business enterprise in Fontanelle finds a worthy representative in W. S. Ewing, now proprietor of a furniture and undertaking establishment.  He has one of the modern and well equipped stores in this part of the state, carrying a large and carefully selected line of goods, while the tasteful arrangement of the store and the honorable methods of the house are elements in his growing success.  Adair county numbers Mr. Ewing among its native sons as he was born in Richland township on the 13th of April, 1857.  His parents, James S. and Margaret (Evans) Ewing, were natives of Ohio and Wales respectively but came to Iowa in the year 1855, settling on a farm in Adair county which the father entered from the government.  This was then a wild frontier region region in which the work of progress and improvement seemed scarcely begun.  Mr. Ewing built a log cabin which was covered with a clapboard roof and had a puncheon floor and door, from which hung the customary latchstring.  There was also a mud and stick chimney.  In that house Mr. Ewing lived for several years while carrying on the work of breaking the sod and transforming the raw prairie into productive fields.  He died, however, after a comparatively brief residence in Adair county, in February, 1883, his widow long surviving him, her death occurring in 1913.  In their family were nine children, of whom six are yet living.

W. S. Ewing remained at home until he attained his majority and gave his time to the work of the fields and to the mastery of such branches of learning as were taught in the pioneer schools of the community.  After reaching man's estate he began farming on his own account by renting land, on which he lived for three years.  On the expiration of that period he purchased eighty acres in Richland township and thereon resided for eleven years, during which time he wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place through the care and labor which he bestowed upon his fields.  He then sold that property and next bought one hundred and sixty acres which he occupied for three years.  At the end of that time he rented his farm and took up his abode in Fontanelle, where he became identified with commercial interests, opening a furniture and undertaking establishment.  He now has a well appointed store which he carefully manages, and an attractive line of goods and thoroughly reliable business methods are bringing to him growing success.  He also does a good undertaking business and is a graduate of the Hohenschuh-Carpenter School of Embalming at Des Moines, in which he completed his course in 1898.

In 1882 Mr. Ewing was united in marriage to Miss Mollie Evans, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of William E. and Mary Evans.  They became the parents of four children:  Frank O., deceased;  James C., now living in Arizona;  Addie L., who is the wife of Walter Jones, of Grant, Iowa;  and Glenn A., who is associated with his father in business.  The wife and mother died in 1894 and her remains were interred in the Pleasant Grove cemetery.  In 1895 Mr. Ewing was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Sadie Ellis, a native of Illinois and a daughter of A. W. Averill.

Mr. Ewing is a member of Fontanelle Lodge, No. 255, I. O. O. F., in which he has filled all of the chairs and is most loyal to the teachings and purposes of the organization.  He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as one of the stewards, while in the work of the church they are actively and helpfully interested.  They occupy a pleasant residence in Fontanelle and their house is justly celebrated for its warm-hearted hospitality.  In addition Mr. Ewing owns the store building which he occupies and three hundred and twenty acres of land in Wyoming, a part of which is irrigated.  His success is attributable entirely to his own labors.  He has worked hard, making industry the basis of his advancement, and as the years have gone by his prosperity has increased and he has gained for himself a creditable place in commercial circles.

 

 

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