Ewing was born January 10, 1815 in Floyd, New York. The Ewing family moved to Rochester, New York in 1857. During the Civil War, he enlisted alongside his son in Co. G of the 108th NY Infantry. Ewing was a carpenter by trade, and also an inventor.  After inventing a vacuum distillation method for producing kerosene, he and business partner Hiram Bond Everest founded the Vacuum Oil Company in 1866. Ewing later sold his share in the company to Everest.
Marriage and children
Matthew and Sarah Ewing married c. 1839 and had 4 children: Emma, Mary, George P. and Alma.
Death and afterward
Ewing died in 1874. In 1879 the Standard Oil Co. purchased a three-quarters interest in Vacuum Oil Company for $200,000. As a lubricants pioneer, Vacuum Oil introduced revolutionary products, such as Gargoyle 600-W Steam Cylinder Oil. The Standard Oil company grew into what is today known as ExxonMobil.
- "Baltimore Sun". December 2, 1998.
- Kaszynski,William. The American highway: the history and culture of roads in the United States. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Business: Vacuum Standarized". Time. 1930-03-03.
- "Exon Mobil website corporate history". Retrieved July 31, 2010.