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Charles Hull Ewing Papers

Identifier: Ms 027

Scope and Content

The Charles Hull Ewing Papers are comprised primarily of business correspondence relating to Ewing's real estate holdings and transactions in Florida. This collection does not cover Ewing's Chicago affairs or his relationship with Helen Culver, Jane Addams or Hull House. There are five series in the collection: Series I- Correspondence with Individuals, Series II- Personal Records, Bank Records, Estates and Trusts, Series III- Correspondence with Organizations, Series IV- Real Estate, and Series V- Property Taxes.

Correspondence ranges from the early 1920s to the late 1940s and is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Closely related is the series on real estate, which is organized by subject or property name. The collection documents the development of both residential and commercial properties in the Bradenton-Sarasota region. It includes Ewing's deeds, legal documents, abstracts and plat maps for Sarasota Beach/Siesta Key, Cedar Cove Development, and Pelot Addition in Bradenton, among others. Ewing's efforts to attract investment from large Chicago-based corporations like Montgomery Ward, Walgreens and Sears are covered. Also included are personal financial records, income tax returns, trust statements, balance sheets, and property tax records.

The collection contains some personal papers: newspaper clippings, correspondence relating to Rollins College, and letters on national issues to and from Supreme Court justices and United States Congressmen Harry S Truman. Political topics include lobbying for the site of the local post office in Bradenton and objections to the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1937. Other items, some oversize, include blueprints and plans for houses, bungalows, and shops, notes on rental properties, and a brief 1931 description of plans to install a solar-powered water heater in a residence.


  • 1919-1954
  • Majority of material found within 1927-1940



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Hull Ewing, financier and developer, was born in Randolph, New York, in 1868 and died in 1954. He received his college education at Oberlin College, Yale University (A.B. degree, 1893) and Northwestern University. In 1906 he married Mary Everts and the couple had two daughters, Helen and Katherine.

Ewing had strong family and business connections in Chicago. He was the nephew of philanthropist Helen Culver and managed her business affairs. Through her, he was involved with Jane Addams and Hull House. Ewing's business interests in Florida included property in Jacksonville that he received from his aunt and real estate investments in the Bradenton-Sarasota area. He used his Chicago business contacts to attract northern investment to Florida. In the 1930s and 1940s he owned much of what is now downtown Bradenton, bounded by Manatee Ave, 9th St., 11th St. and 6th Ave. In addition, he had numerous pieces of property in present-day Manatee and Sarasota Counties, including what would become Siesta Key.

Along with his ventures in real estate, Ewing was a director of the First National and State Banks of Lake Forest, Illinois, and the secretary and treasurer for the Southern Gypsum Co., Inc. based in Virginia. He was also a director for Southern Gypsum's controlling company, Beaver Products Company of Virginia.

Ewing was politically active in local, state and national politics. His Republican political orientation led to his opposition of several New Deal reforms and the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937.


7.5 Linear feet (13 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Charles Hull Ewing of Chicago was a property owner and real estate developer in the Bradenton-Sarasota region of Florida during the early to mid 1900s. This collection includes business papers relating to his real estate holdings and transactions.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Gift of Katherine [Ewing] Hocking, 1976.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

The University of Illinois Chicago holds the Hull-Culver Papers and the Helen Culver Ewing Breasted Papers.

Processing Notes

Oversize materials, such as blueprints, were removed and are now stored flat in a map case.

A Guide to the Charles Hull Ewing Papers
Finding aid prepared by Jacob Crescent
November 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America