I am not sure exactly when I became so curious about Oscar R. Ewing. In 1975, a close friend of mine received one of the four annual Greensburg High School Oscar Ewing Scholarships to Indiana University and that attracted my attention. Then, in 1976, another friend and his wife rented their first home from the Indiana University Oscar Ewing Foundation. This past spring Oscar Ewing came on my radar again when he became a member of the Greensburg Community High School Hall of Fame. Oscar Ewing graduated from GCHS in 1906. Little did I know that I would finally finish my research almost forty years after I first became curious about Oscar Ewing while doing a history blog for the local library.
I was eighteen years old when I first visited the house on the I.U. farm that provided the income for the Oscar R. Ewing Foundation. In 1976, Auburn Hill was a beautiful, two-story brick house on the curve of County Road 80 Northeast where County Road 350 East intersects. The house, as I remember it, was lavishly furnished with deep burgundy red velvet draperies and rich rugs on beautiful hardwood floors. The fireplace mantle was very simple, yet elegant and there were very high ceilings where the conversion of the lighting to electricity was apparent. The largest and oldest part of the house was closed off from the rental area. The eight foot high locked doors were suggestive of horsehair sofas covered against the dust, ornate chandeliers, and elaborately carved wood furniture. The outbuildings provided my imagination with numerous nooks and crannies to hide desperate runaway slaves from the cruel owners hunting them down in the dead of a hot summer night. It was the first time I had been in a home that had a name; Auburn Hill. I loved it. I was swept back in time. I felt that I had become like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. The owner, Oscar Ewing became a man that I had to know more about.
Stay tuned for more to come on Oscar Ewing biography.