John Alexander Ewen.
Otago Daily Times 1903
Wednesday, January 28
DEATH OF MR J. A. EWEN.
A cablegram was received yesterday by Messer Sargood, Son, and Ewen notifying the death on Monday of Mr John Alexander Ewen, a well-known partner of the firm, The news was unexpected, as it was not known that Mr Ewen was suffering from illness.
Mr J. A. Ewen was born at Halkerteon, in the parish of Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland. He was the second son of the late Mr David Ewen, a man of sterling character and no mean ability, to whose good example, coupled with that of his mother, Mr Ewen had never been slow to acknowledge his indebtedness for much of the success which followed him throughout his business career. After receiving a sound rudimentary education at the parish school of Lanrencekirk, young Ewen was apprenticed to an energetic draper at Montrose, and shortly afterwards secured an appointment with a drapery house at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Here his progress was rapid, and he was appointed buyer of a department, but being of an enterprising turn of mind he decided to visit Australia. Landing in Melbourne in October, 1852, he was engaged by Mr Frederick James Sargood, who had already developed an important business. He was shortly appointed Victorian representative of the firm, a most arduous position, but the young Scotchman proved him-self equal to the task, and became a most successful and trusted representative of the house. At one time he seriously entertained the idea of entering upon sheep-farming upon his own account. When however, he made his intention known to the firm, they would not hear of his leaving, but made a counter proposal that if he would undertake to establish a branch house in New Zealand he would be made a partner. This offer Mr Ewen accepted, and in 1863 he was admitted a partner. He at once came to Dunedin, where it was decided to open, and here he laid the foundation fo the now important New Zealand business, with its eight branches throughout the colony. In 1865 Mr King, partner in the firm of Sargood, King and Sargood, retired, and the style of Sargood, Son and Ewen was adopted for the New Zealand business. Three years later it was arranged that Mr Ewen should take a holiday in London, but the senior partner’s health failed, and he subsequently died. Mr Ewen the removed to London, and took over the responsible supervision of the general business of the firm in the great metropolis. At the time of his death Mr Ewen was a partner with the late Sir Frederick Sargood throughout all the partnerships of the house, and he had other substantial interests as well. He was one of the directors of the Bank of New Zealand and one of the London Directors of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.