Dr. Grant MacEwan was born a native son of Elton Municipality in 1902. The MacEwans moved to Brandon in 1908 and MacEwan began his elementary education in Alexandra School. He proved to be an apt student and won the hearts of his classmates by his eloquent recitation of a Scottish ballad.

In 1915, the MacEwans moved to Melfort, Saskatchewan, where MacEwan completed his high school education. He attended the Ontario College of Agriculture in Guelph and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. After post-graduate work in Iowa, he became head of the animal husbandry department at the University of Saskatchewan in 1928. In 1946, MacEwan accepted the post of dean of agriculture at the University of Manitoba. While in this position, he was also engaged in lecturing to farm groups, judging at horse shows and livestock fairs and serving on national and provincial boards and committees.

In 1951, MacEwan resigned and moved to Calgary to devote himself to his writing career. Here he wrote graphic histories of the Agricultural West. Among his literary triumphs are Fifty Mighty Men and Power for Prairie Plows. He served three years as a councillor in Calgary and nine years as mayor, eventually going on to the legislature as leader of the opposition. In 1965, he was appointed lieutenant-governor and served in that office with distinction.

MacEwan became well known as a conservationist and as an agricultural historian. Although three times a doctor, he prefers to be called simply Grant MacEwan.