EWING, Robert, journalist, political leader. Born, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 27, 1859; son of James Lindsay Ewing, a cotton merchant, and Martha Hunter. At 13, Ewing served as messenger for Western Union Telegraph Co.; at 17, telegrapher for the Associated Press. In 1879 assisted in establishing the Union Telegraph Company, managing the Mobile division. Blacklisted in Mobile for having joined a strike of the Order of Telegraphers, went to New Orleans where he managed the Morning Chronicle, a journal owned by the conservative Democrat Henry J. Hearsey who also published the New Orleans Daily States. In 1888 Ewing was associated with the reform, anti-machine faction; under the administration of Mayor William Shakespeare, he served as an innovative city electrician and superintendent of the police telegraph and fire-alarm systems. As Hearsey's protege and political ally, became telegraph editor, circulation and business manager, editor and proprietor of the Daily States. Nationally prominent in the Associated Press in later years, serving two terms as vice-president. Purchased the Shreveport Times, 1908; in the late 1920s bought the Monroe Morning World and Monroe News-Star. Elected to the Louisiana constitutional convention of 1898 as a city ward leader of the regular Democrats. Participated in organizing the Choctaw Club, which opponents identified as the nucleus of machine control over Louisiana politics until 1920. Served as municipal tax collector, and through most of the period from 1908-1930, served as national Democratic committeeman from Louisiana. A manager of William Jennings Bryan's campaign for president in 1908, Ewing claimed to have been influential in securing the nomination of Woodrow Wilson in 1912. After 1912 Ewing was among the most powerful political figures in Louisiana, inconsistently espousing Wilsonian progressive reform and conservative planter or machine interests. In 1928 Ewing broke with the New Orleans Regular Democratic faction to support Huey P. Long for governor. His relationship with Long was a stormy one: Ewing supporting impeachment; Long claiming the Ewing opposition resulted from the latter's ambition to dictate the governor's policies. Ewing married twice: in 1883, May Dunbrack of Nova Scotia, d. 1904; and in 1917, Grace Nolan Mackay of Kansas City. Children: James Lindsay, John Dunbrack (q.v.), Toulmin H., Robert, and Wilson. Died, April 27, 1931. Sources: Margaret Ann Martin, "Colonel Robert W. Ewing: Louisiana Journalist and Politician" (M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1964); T. Harry Williams, "Huey Long," (1969); New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jan. 2, 1955; and obituary, April 28, 1931.
May Dunbrack Ewing
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