Illinois’ mysterious Gov. William L.D. Ewing

No doubt you recall with fondness high school history lessons about the administration of Gov. William Lee Davidson Ewing. You don’t? You never heard of Ewing! Let’s fix that now.

Born on March 1, 1795, in Kentucky, Ewing was the grandson of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, who was killed during the Revolutionary War Battle of Colson’s Mill. His father, Reverend Finis Ewing, was one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

As for the man who would become governor, little is known about his early life. He did become a lawyer sometime before arriving in Shawneetown in 1818. However, Ewing did not have much appetite for the law. Thus in 1820, Ewing was named one of the trustees of Vandalia, Illinois’ new capital. He also was appointed as the receiver at the state’s land office. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>