Oscar Ewing met Helen Eliza Dennis in his second year at Harvard when he went to spend Christmas break with a classmate. Oscar described that trip in his own words. “At the first dinner I attended I was the only member not dressed in a tuxedo. Naturally, I felt uncomfortable. Then, just before the Christmas vacation, Jim Dennis, one of my classmates who lived in Morristown, New Jersey invited me to spend the vacation with him. I wanted very much to accept but I knew a tuxedo was essential, so I went ahead and bought one at Brooks Brothers in New York. Well, when my father heard that it made him so mad that he said he was not going [to co-sign] on my note anymore.”
Helen Eliza Dennis was the daughter of a railroad man. Her father was director of the Pennsylvania Railroad Lines west of Pennsylvania. He helped the couple financially and eventually secured a position for his son-in-law as Assistant Counsel for a subsidiary, Vandalia Railroad Company at $3600.00 per year. This necessitated the young couple to move to St. Louis. It was during this time that James Dennis Ewing was born.
Picture of James D. Ewing from
International Center for Journalists