Remembering the Duke of Dade

JW Ewan, Duke of Dade.

JW Ewan, Duke of Dade.

On February 22, 1917, James William Ewan passed away at the age of 67. Having arrived in Miami in 1874, he was considered one of a handful of pioneers that arrived prior to Miami’s incorporation in 1896.

J.W. Ewan, known as the “Duke of Dade”, arrived in Coconut Grove in 1874. Shortly after his arrival, he was made superintendent of the Biscayne Bay Company, which was located at Fort Dallas on the north side of the Miami River. Ewan opened a store in the slave plantation building. He would also be appointed postmaster and later was elected representative to the state legislature.

It was Ewan, as representative of the Biscayne Bay Company, that sold Julia Tuttle the land the comprised Fort Dallas and the surrounding areas. Ewan and Tuttle had met when she visited the area in 1875. Tuttle was intent on buying the land on the north side of the Miami River and the Biscayne Bay Company was ready to sell. When she decided to return to the area in 1891, Julia Tuttle reached out to Ewan and completed the real estate transaction that would begin the events that led to Tuttle becoming the Mother of Miami.

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Photograph was found on Florida Memory