Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 139 years




No. 85


of 2017

This Old


in Manitoba

Local History


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: James Mathewson Ewens (1862-1947)

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James E. Ewens
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Born at Bridport, Dorsetshire, England on 22 October 1862, son of George Browne Ewens (a manufacturer of twine, nets and canvas who exported to Newfoundland) and Susan Spittal Mathewson, he was educated in the public schools of Dorsetshire, quitting school at the age of seventeen to become a shipping clerk for the Union Steamship Company. He left the position to emigrate to Canada in 1881, breaking virgin prairie near Glendale to establish a farmstead. He sold it in 1898 and moved to a 480-acre property near Bethany. He broke land, built barns and outbuildings, and raised pure-bred Shire horses, shorthorn cattle, Shropshire sheep, and Berkshire swine. He exhibited his prize-winning livestock at agricultural fairs around Manitoba.

On 7 January 1886, he married Evelyn Bessie Pearson (c1860-1925), daughter of John Pearson and Sarah Eliza Greenwood, at Glendale. They had eight children: James Allen Ewens (b 1887), George Basil Ewens (b 1888), Evelyn May Ewens (b 1891), Arthur Cyril Ewens (b 1894), Thomas Ewens (b 1896), Marjorie Bertha Hargreave Ewens (b 1898), Constance Gwendolyn Ewens (b 1900), and Phyllis Mary Violet Ewens (b 1905). He served as a trustee on the Bethany School board and a director of the Minnedosa Exhibition Board. He was a member of the Anglican Church.

He died at Winnipeg on 9 July 1947 and was buried at Bethany, Manitoba.

See also:

Reminiscences of an Old Timer by James Mathewson Ewens


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 July 1947, page 14.

We thank C. Terry Sturk for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 April 2014

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