When I next heard about Oscar Ewing, it was his obituary in 1980. I wondered what made a boy born and raised in Greensburg turn up in Washington D.C. as an aid to, and by all accounts good friend of, the President of the United States.
Oscar Ross Ewing was born in Greensburg in 1889. He was the son of George McClellan Ewing and Nettie B. (Ross) Ewing. George Ewing was one of fifteen children and the son of Patrick Ewing. Oscar’s paternal grandfather was born in Maryland in 1804. He settled here by way of Kentucky in 1827. Oscar Ewing’s mother was the daughter of Marine Ross. Oscar’s maternal grandfather was born in Indiana in 1816 and listed in the 1882 Atlas of Decatur County as having come to this county in 1820, when he was four years old. These factors establish that Oscar Ross Ewing came from hardy Hoosier pioneer stock.
I found that Oscar Ewing’s father was 38 and his mother was 27 when they were married in October, 1883. George and Nettie Ewing had their first child, Ludia Ross Ewing one year later in October, 1884. Then Ethel was born in 1886. Ludia died in May, 1888. Oscar Ross Ewing was born in March, 1889. After losing one child, how precious would this baby boy be to his parents?
In the year 1900, Oscar was eleven years old and the census shows the George Ewing family living on West North Street near the corner of Jackson Street in Greensburg. Their neighbors were John and Anna Goddard. John Goddard is listed as a lawyer. Also in the neighborhood and possibly having an effect on the young Oscar Ewing were; another lawyer, his Uncle James Ewing, along with several teachers and the superintendent of schools. Whether it was Oscar Ross Ewing’s heritage or his environment that motivated him, he excelled in academics. He was valedictorian and class president at Greensburg Community High School in 1906. He graduated from Indiana University in 1910 as valedictorian. He was president of his junior and senior classes at I.U. It would seem that Oscar was not only intelligent; he was popular with his peers. This would no doubt be of great use to him in politics later in his career.
More to come on Oscar Ewing