WHITLEY THOMAS EWING, M.D., was born in Washington County, Va., December 28, 1823, and is a son of Samuel and Mary (Davis) Ewing, of that State.
The senior Mr. Ewing was a teacher by profession; reared a family of seven children, and died in 1825 at the age of about forty-five years.
Dr. Ewing was reared in the country; went West at the age of fifteen years, stopping first at Rogersville, Tenn.; from there traveled through Alabama to Memphis, and down the river to Arkansas. He was accompanied by his brother when he left home: they, it appears, having run away from a disagreeable stepfather. From Arkansas be drifted into Louisiana, where he worked a while as a common laborer for seven dollars a month. From home his brother William Ewing went almost directly to Illinois, and at Quincy, that State. Whitley Thomas joined him.
He worked four years in Quincy at the Manual Labor School, and from there entered the Marietta, Ohio, College, from which institution he received his education. To pay his expenses. while at college, he kept books and taught school in the neighborhood of Marietta. Leaving college he returned to Quincy, and, with Dr. Stahl, began the study of medicine. He received his first course of lectures at Jacksonville, Ill., and graduated from the St. Louis Medical College in 1848. In 1849, he began practice in the city last named, remained there one year, and in 1850, accompanied again by his brother, went overland, to California. There he entered into a good practice, made money, ran a hospital for a time between Hangtown (now Placerville) and Cold Springs.
Doctor Ewing returned to St. Louis in 1855, and there, on the 24th day of August, that year, married Hannah I. Pettengill, a native of Massachusetts. From St. Louis, at the end of eight months, he went to Cass County, Georgia, and practiced medicine eight years. He was a strong Union man, which accounted for his leaving the latter State in 1802, at which time he came to Gadsden. Here he has since given much of his attention to the practice of medicine. He was a member of the Reconstruction Conventions of 1867 and 1868, and has been more or less in politics ever since. He has been several times a candidate for office, and he is the most popular Republican in this part of the State.
Doctor Ewing was appointed postmaster in 1866, and held the office until 1885. He was the chairman of the executive committee of the Republican party for the Seventh Congressional District during almost that entire period. Not-withstanding his radicalism, he was a popular official, and, by his courtesy and gentlemanly treatment of everybody, gained and held the respect of the people. His chief deputy, during his entire incumbency as postmaster, was an old line Whig, now acting with the Democrats. His wife died in June, 1886, leaving five children: Arthur E., graduate of Dartmouth College, finishing his education in Germany, now of the firm of Green, Post & Ewing, oculists and aurists, St. Louis; Munetta J., wife of Wm. P. Shahan, merchant of Atalla, Ala.; Charles W., in company with J. S. Paden, merchant of Gadsden; Stella M.; and Thomas G., broker, Gadsden.
The family is identified with the Baptist Church, but the Doctor, himself, is an Old School Presbvterrian Church member, and is also a member of the Masonic fraternity.