Biography - A McEwen

A. F. McEWEN, the Superintendent of the Litchfield Marble and Granite Company, whose name appears above, was born at Hillsboro, March 17, 1842. His father, John McEwen, was a native of North Carolina, and being a man of considerable strength of character, he was enabled to attain a pleasing degree of success in life, for in those early days it was only he who had moral and physical force who could successfully battle with the hardships of the day.
In 1839, John McEwen removed to Montgomery County, being at the time a widower. He came here as a pioneer, for there was as yet almost no improvement. He had the advantage of a trade, it being that of a blacksmith, and for some time prior to his death, which occurred in 1848, he was Justice of the Peace, and many were the hearts and lives which he bound together in bonds of matrimony. He himself was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Fitch, who was born in Olney, this State. She continued as his loving helpmate until her decease in 1887.
Our subject with his companion, Ed Lane, now a Member of Congress, was obliged to work in order to maintain himself while he went to school at Hillsboro. After learning his trade, that of a marble-cutter, he enlisted in the war, April 23, 1861, volunteering in answer to the first call for troops, and joining Company H, of the Ninth Illinois Infantry. They did not, however, leave Cairo during the first one hundred days. He reenlisted in the same company and regiment, and went through all the important battles of the West, including Fts. Donelson and Henry, and was at Corinth and Shiloh, at which latter place he was shot three times in one day. After this he was sent home on a furlough as soon as he was able to go. On reaching Mound City, he was unable to go farther, and was obliged to he down on the grass, with only the blue sky above him for a canopy, remaining there for several hours, when he was put on board the cars and continued his journey home.
After six weeks of recruiting health, our subject returned to his regiment, going with it to Atlanta, Ga., in that memorable march. His time of service having expired after that expedition, he received his honorable discharge. He came to Hillsboro and was there united in marriage to Miss Maria M. Abbott, daughter of Stephen, and sister of William, Abbott, both of Hillsboro. In the spring of 1866, the young people moved to Litchfield, and our subject soon after went into the marble business, opening a shop for himself, being sole proprietor of the establishment for twelve years.
At the expiration of the time above mentioned, Mr. McEwen sold out his marble business and went into the grocery trade, but after an experience of five years in this line he returned to his old trade, in which he was occupied at the time of the organization of the Litchfield Marble and Granite Works. This organization, of which he was one of the original stockholders, was incorporated January 25, 1888. Mr. T. C. Kirkland was made President; S. M. Grubbs, Treasurer; and our subject Superintendent. Their capital stock was $3,000, and the firm is now running on a basis of about double that amount, there being a large amount of undivided profit. They are doing a business of about $25,000 annually, and this is constantly increasing in magnitude, the sales of last year being thirty per cent, more than the sales of the preceding year.
Mr. McEwen was a stockholder in the Litchfield Investment Company at the time of its organization. In his political views, he is loyal to the principles of the Democratic party. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and thoroughly enjoys the reunions with his old comrades, lie belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and is also a Knight of Honor.
Of the five children who owe the gift of life to our subject, Minnie H. is the wife of Charles Flemming; Grace is the wife of James F. Robinson, Braidwood; Maude A., Florence, and A. F., Jr., are still unmarried. As a family, they are united in their religious views, all being devoted members of the church except Mr. McEwen. Our subject is more than ordinarily successful in the affairs of life, and holds an honored place among the citizens of Litchfield, this fact being attested by the honor which they have conferred upon him in electing him to the position of City Alderman.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 458-459.

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