Woodward, Okla. — Minnie Alcie Ewing Bowles was born on June 12, 1919 on a ranch near Range, Oklahoma and died on June 28, 2012 in Austin, Texas at the age of 93.
Minnie was the second of three children born to Lew and Willie Scarborough Ewing. Her older brother was Lew (Frank) and her younger sister was Amanda Belle. When Minnie was four years old, her mother died. She and her baby sister left the ranch near Hardesty in the Oklahoma Panhandle to live with their Aunt Minnie and Uncle Bob Cooke, first in Norman, Oklahoma, and then on a grapefruit farm in McAllen, Texas. When her father remarried, Minnie returned to the ranch.
During the Great Depression and Dust Bowl days, Minnie lived with an aunt and uncle in Guymon so that she could attend high school. She graduated as Salutatorian of the Class of 1937 and went on to college at Panhandle A&M.
Minnie transferred to Northwestern State Teachers' College in Alva, where she earned her way by working as a wheat loan clerk. Minnie received her degree in 1941, although she jeopardized her graduation by sneaking out of the dorm to go see Gone With the Wind and got caught trying to slip back in after hours. Eleanor Roosevelt was the Commencement speaker.
Minnie needed a job, and she heard from an Alva classmate, Ora Lea Black, that Arnett needed teachers. Minnie accepted a teaching position in Arnett thinking she’d get a year’s experience then move on to a larger and less dusty town. However, at the end of the school year, Minnie was having so much fun that she remained in Arnett for the better part of 70 years.
Mary Cresswell played matchmaker for “Miss Ewing” and Clell Bowles. They were married March 8, 1947. Two years later their only child, Nancy, was born.