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William Joshua Ewing. One of the propelling factors in the business and civic life of the Town of Shattuck during the past twelve years has been William J. Ewing. Mr. Ewing helped in the pioneer development of old Woodward County and was one of the men who installed the first steam propelled plant, a cotton gin, in that entire county. He comes of a fine old family of Northwest Missouri, and was born on a farm in Buchanan County, not far from the City of St. Joseph, July 17, 1862. His parents were Joshua Porter and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Ewing. The paternal grandparents were William Smith and Sallie Ann (Fulkerson) Ewing, both of whom were natives of Lee County, Virginia. Joshua P. Ewing was born in Lee County, Virginia, March 12, 1832, and from that locality he removed in 1854 to Buchanan County, Missouri. There were no railroads at that time in that section of Northwest Missouri, and the Missouri River furnished the great avenue of transportation for all products. He arrived in Buchanan County in pioneer times and he himself was without capital. At first he rented land. By dint of industry, thrift and energy he became in time one of the most successful and influential citizens of that large and populous county. At the time of his death, on June 28, 1885, his estate comprised 750 acres of valuable land. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church all his life and held the post of elder when he died. He was also a Mason. He was married September 30, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth Armstrong, who was born December 24, 1837, at Statesville, North Carolina, a daughter of Francis Kinkannon and Jerusha (Belt) Armstrong, both natives of North Carolina. Mrs. Ewing was educated at Salem, North Carolina, in the college there, one of the most noted female seminaries of the South at that time. She took a very active part in religious affairs, and her memory is greatly revered by her children and descendants. Her death occurred December 25, 1871. She was the mother of six, four sons and two daughters, namely: William J.; Francis Armstrong, who was born January 21, 1864; ’ David Craig, born March 18, 1866; Thomas Graham, born May 1, 1868, and died November 20, 1871; Anna Belt, born August 5, 1870; and Lucy Elizabeth, born December 17, 1871.
Reared on his father’s farm in Buchanan County, William J. Ewing had all the advantages given to the son of a successful father, and completed his education in Westminster College, a fine Presbyterian institution at Fulton, Missouri. He then took an active part in the management of the estate, being associated with his father until the latter’s death in 1885. He then continued on the old homestead, and was one of the leading breeders and raisers of Shorthorn cattle in that section of Northwest Missouri until 1902. In that year he established himself in the grain and coal business at St. Joseph, remained there a couple of years, and then transferred his capital and enterprise to the new State of Oklahoma. Since 1904 he has been the chief grain merchant with headquarters at Shattuck. He and his brother, David C., as. already stated, erected the first steam plant of any kind in old Woodward County. That was in 1904, and it was a sample of the enterprise which Mr. Ewing has manifested in all his activities as a citizen and business man in this locality. In 1909-10 he was a member of the city council, was also mayor by virtue of his position as chairman of the board. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
On October 14, 1903, Mr. Ewing married Miss Nannie Sidener. She was born September 6, 1869, in Monroe County, Missouri, a daughter of Lloyd A. and Mary Boone (Dry) Sidener of Monroe County, Missouri. Mrs. Ewing is a graduate of National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. To their marriage have been born two children: William Joshua, Jr., born November 23, 1904; and Bettie Boone, born April 28, 1909.