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Leonard McEwan

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Leonard McEwan

Leonard A. McEwan
Leonard McEwan
Member of the Wyoming Supreme Court
In office
Judge of the Fourth Judicial District Court of Wyoming (Sheridan and Johnson counties)
In office
Personal details
Born (1925-02-17)February 17, 1925
Great Falls, Montana, USA
Died January 24, 2008(2008-01-24) (aged 82)
Sheridan, Wyoming, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) (1) Cameon Wolfe McEwan (1953–1977, deceased), (2) Mary Amschel McEwan (1988–2008, deceased)
Children Stepsons Edward T. Amschel, Peter Amschel, and Stephen J. Amschel
Occupation Attorney
Religion Episcopal

Leonard A. McEwan (February 17, 1925 – January 24, 2008) was an American jurist who was a member of both the Wyoming Supreme Court, which meets in the capital city of Cheyenne, and the Fourth Judicial District Court, which convenes in Sheridan and serves Sheridan and Johnson counties. Though a Democrat, McEvan was elected on a nonpartisan judicial ballot in 1968, a heavily Republican year in Wyoming. He unseated an aging incumbent justice.[1] McEwan was first justice and then chief justice until 1974, when he stepped down to return to become a judge of the Sheridan-based district court in northern Wyoming. (The five members of the Wyoming Supreme Court are now appointed by the governor and serve eight-year terms.) McEwan remained a district judge until his retirement in 1985. He preferred to live in Sheridan and enjoyed the diverse duties of a district judge in contrast to the academic thinking of a Supreme Court jurist. After he left the bench, he resumed his private law practice in Sheridan for a number of years.[2]

McEwan was born to Leonard McEwan (1900–1984) and the late Olga McEwan in Great Falls, Montana, a city on the Missouri River. He grew up in Great Falls but moved to Sheridan in 1939 and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1943. During World War II, McEwan served in the United States Army Air Corps, the forerunner to the Air Force.[3] In 1955 he received a bachelor of science degree in business and accounting from the University of Wyoming. In 1957, he procured his Juris Doctor degree from the UW College of Law. He played football for the Wyoming Cowboys and was part of the first Cowboys team to travel by airplane to a road game.[4]

In 1953, he married the former Cameon Wolfe (1917–1977), previously from Oklahoma,[5] in Story in Sheridan County. He established his law practice in Sheridan and was a sought-after speaker and master of ceremonies for various public gatherings.[6] An active liberal Democrat, McEwan contributed to U.S. Senator John Kerry's bid for his party's 2004 presidential nomination.[7] He was active in the American Bar Association, Rotary International, the Elks Club, Kalif Shrine, and the American Legion. He was a member of the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation and a trustee of Sheridan College, a two-year institution of higher learning. As one of the founders of the Sheridan College Foundation, he was instrumental in 1969 in the establishment of the dental hygiene program at the institution.[4]

In 1970, he was active in the establishment of the Cowboy Joe Club, the main fund-raising arm of the University of Wyoming's Intercollegiate Athletic program. The Club is a non-profit organization with a member base of some 4,300 fans from throughout the United States and worldwide.[8]

In 1995, he and his second wife, the former Mary Amschel (1922–2009), established the Leonard and Mary Amschel McEwan Music Scholarship. Sheridan College named its Herbicide and Pesticide Storage Building in honor of the McEwans, an event that the judge found amusing. He was also active in the UW Foundation. He made a large gift to the foundation in 1969 for stadium expansion. He supported the law school, College of Business, art museum, and the Alumni House building. He served during the early 1960s on the UW Alumni Association board.[3]

On December 21, 2009 Mary Amschel McEwan died at the age of 87.[9]


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