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William McEwan (1823-87)
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, emigrated in 1850 to Bay City, MI.

Biography. (Added Feb., 2009)

The History of Lake Huron Shore, Michigan, H.R. Page, 1883


One of the pioneers of 1850.

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in the. year 1823, and emigrated to this country in 1848. In the Fall of 1850 he settled in Lower Saginaw. His brother, Alexander, had come with him, and they built a mill, since known as the McEwan Mill, and still in operation upon the original site near the northern limits of the city. In 1851 another brother, John, came and went into business with them. In 1858 Alexander died, and the business was continued by William and John. Mr. William McEwan continued in the lumber business until within a few years, when he retired to give attention to his extensive real estate interests. In 1858 he married Miss Annie F. Fraser, daughter of James Fraser. In 1859 he built their present residence on Center Street. At that time the site, now so attractive and delightful, was desolate enough, being covered with stumps, through which wound a tortuous path to the forest just beyond. Mr. McEwan and his brother built and operated the first grist mill in the Saginaw Valley. Mr. McEwan has been active in building up the city. In 1869 he built a brick business block on Water Street, another on Center Street in 1875, and still another on Washington Street in 1881. The latter is an especially handsome building. Aside from these he has extensive real estate interests in the city and county. He has been connected with most of the public improvements that have been made in the county. He is president of the Bay City Gas Company at the present time.

1887 death. (Added Feb., 2009)

Michigan Historical Collections, Michigan Historical Society, 1888


William McEuan, one of the pioneers and business men who have helped to make Bay City, died at Ontario, California, where he had gone for his health, on March 10, 1887.

Mr. McEuan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, March 5, 1823. He came to America in 1848, stopping first in New York, and then coming to Detroit and Chicago, at each place working as a machinist. He had learned his trade at Napier's famous works in Glasgow, and brought with him papers of recommendation from them, which, however, he never needed to use, his work recommending itself.

In 1850, he with his brother, Alexander, came to Bay City, then Lower Saginaw, and built the mill at “Woodside,” still known as the “McEuan Bros.' mill.” Alexander died in 1853 and the business was continued by William and his brother John.

February 4, 1858, he married Annie, the eldest daughter of the late James Fraser, founder of Bay City, by whom he had six children, five of whom survive. The eldest son, James F., died in 1877, at the age of eighteen years.

Mr. McEuan had been much of the time, for the last fourteen years, out of health and of active business, but still attending to many interests, and in all that concerned the growth and progress of Bay City he was always ready to do a full share.

He was of a kindly nature, and ready always to lend a helping hand to those in distress. He did not accumulate great wealth, but he left behind him an unstained name.

He was a man of scientific tastes and of wide reading. He was strongly attached to the land of his birth, and, although a resident of this country for almost forty years, was never naturalized. He was obliged to take many journeys in search of health, twice crossing the Atlantic to his old home, and spending several winters in California, where the end came at last. His death is a loss, not only to Bay City, but to the lessening company of the “Pioneers.”

Obituary Allan McEwan, son. - Contributed by Fred Welsh June, 2011.

The Bay City Times - August 3, 1935.

Allan McEwan, retired Bay City business man, died Friday evening at his home, 702 Center avenue, of a heart attack. He had been ill for a week.

He was born in Bay City March 29, 1865 in the same home in which he died, the son of William and Annie Frazer McEwan. He was the grandson of James Frazer, among the most noted of Bay City's early settlers and business men. A retired lumber man, Mr. McEwan also engaged in the real estate and insurance business, quitting active business 10 years ago.

He was a prominent member of the First Babtist church here and was actively interested in the welfare of the parish.

Surviving are his widow, Jenna D., a son, Ronald Allan McEwan of Detroit, a brother Alex F. of Seattle, Wash., and a granddaughter, Julia Jean McEwan, of Detroit.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed.

Additional Notes.

    1879/80 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • McEwan, Aleck F. - bds Wm McEwan.
  • McEwan, Alexander - clerk John McEwan, bds same
  • McEwan, Allen - bds Wm McEwan.
  • McEwan, Belle - domestic Wm A Pettapiece.
  • McEwan, John - mfnr lumber and salt, office Water foot 7th and at mill N Water e of Water-works, res same.
  • McEwan, John Jr. - bookkeeper John McEwan, bds same.
  • McEwan, Samuel - sailor, res s e cor Farragut and 15th.
  • McEwan, William - real estate, res s e cor Center and Monroe.
  • McEwan, Wm A - salmaker John McEwan, res opp McEwan's mill.
  • McEwan, William H. - bds Wm McEwan.

    1889 - Michigan Marriages: Bay City, Bay co.

  • Date: January 9, 1889.
  • Groom: Wlliam H. McEwan, born 1861 Mich., son of Wm. McEwan and Annie Fraser.
  • Bride: Anna S. Braddok, born 1865 Mich., daughter of Henry A. Braddock and Anna Sayles.

    1891 - Michigan Marriages: Bay City, Bay Co.

  • Date: January 1, 1891.
  • Groom: Walter Tomkins, born 1862 NJ, son of Walter Thomkins and Emma A. Baldwin.
  • Bride: Jessie McEwan, born 1869 Mich., daughter of William McEwan and Annie Fraser.

    1891 - Michigan Marriages: Bay Cty, Bay Co.

  • Date: January 1 or 10, 1891.
  • Groom: Alexander McEwan, born 1863 Canada, son of Wm McEwan and Anna F. Frazer.
  • Bride: Lillie H Gustin, daughter of R T Gustin and Rachel Kilwaster.

    1894 - Michigan Deaths: Bay City, Bay Co.

  • Marion E. McEwan, born 1878, Bay City, died November 16, 1894, son of Wm. and Anna F. McEwan.
Related Pages/Notes

  • He was among the group that founded the First Prysbyterian church of Bay City.
  • Along with B.J. Partridge and James Fraser, he helped finance the building of the Tuscola plank road completed in 1860.
  • The McEwan brothers also had a farm which was located in the area of Center aveneu and Jackson Street.
  • Pine Ridge cemetery is the final resting place for most of the early members of the McEwan family.
    Related pages:
    Fraser, James
    McEwan, John (bro)
    McEwan Mill
  • People Referenced
    Baldwin, Emma A.
    Braddock, Anna S. (d-inlaw)
    Braddock, Henry A.
    Fraser, Annie (wife)
    Fraser, James (f-inlaw)
    Gustin, Lillie H. (d-inlaw)
    Gustin, R.T.
    Kilwaster, Rachel
    McEwan, Allan (son
    McEwan, Alexander (bro.)
    McEwan, Alexander (son)
    McEwan, Alexander F.(g-son)
    McEwan, Jessie (dau)
    McEwan, John (bro.)
    McEwan, Julia D. (gg-dau)
    McEwan, Marion (son)
    McEwan, Ronald A. (g-son)
    McEwan, William (subject)
    McEwan, William H. (son)
    ..McUan (aka. McEwan)
    Sayles, Anna
    Thompkins, Walter
    Thompkins, Walter Jr (s-inlaw)
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Bay city Gas Co.
    Bay County, MI
    Chicago, IL
    Detroit, MI
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Lower Saginaw, MI
    McEwan Bros. mill
    Napier works
    New York, NY
    Ontario, CA
    Seattle, WA
    Saginaw Valley, MI
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.