18 Sep 1912 Donald McLaran passed away at Victoria Park
The Dalby Herald issues covering this period have been destroyed so there is no obituary available for Donald McLaran.
The 1912 Dalby Herald obituary may have been written along these lines:
The 1912 Dalby Herald obituary may have been written along these lines:
Donald McLaran's headstone at Dalby Monumental Cemetery. His age was 79 (not 77) and according to the death certificate below, the date of death was 18 Sep 12. Right to his end, his birth year was uncertain.
1912 Part Donald's death certificate, containing several mis-spellings and inaccuracies.
19 Sep 1912 Dalby Herald - possible obituary
DEATH OF ANOTHER DALBY PIONEER.
A very old and respected long-time resident of this town, Mr. Donald McLaran of Victoria Park, Daandine, passed away yesterday.
One of the earliest settlers in Dalby, Mr. McLaran was born in Argyllshire, Scotland, some 77 (incorrect) years ago. He emigrated to Australia aboard The America in 1853 with his father and step-mother, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Sadly, only his elder sister, Catherine Milford of this town, survives today.
Mr. McLaran spent almost all of his time in Queensland in and around Dalby. A resourceful man, he engaged in many pursuits. He selected at Wabba Ridge in 1870, at Oakey Creek in 1874 and purchased Haran Station on the Moonie in 1878. In 1879 he married Clara Eversden of Tartha. Together they raised a family of 5 sons and 4 daughters.
Mr. McLaran commenced his Cordial Factory in Patrick Street in the 1890’s. Today the relocated factory is run by Mr Elijah Starling, the nephew of a fellow passenger aboard the America and the property in Patrick Street is tenanted by Hodgson-Hunters Ltd.
At the turn of the Century, Mr. McLaran and his family successfully returned to farming at Daandine. He passed away peacefully at his property after a short illness.
Mr. McLaran is survived by his widow, Mrs. C.S. McLaran, his sons Duncan, Donald, Malcolm, Lewis and James, and his daughters Sophia McLennan, Laura Annie, Jean and Margaret, 8 grandchildren, and his sister, Catherine Milford of Dalby.
The interment took place at the Dalby cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, the Rev. A.H. Tolhurst of the Presbyterian Church conducting the service at the graveside.
Donald McLaran c. 1899.
1891 McLaran family outside their home and cordial factory cnr Cunningham and Patrick Streets, Dalby.
Left to right: Clara with Lewis, Malcolm, Donald Jnr, Donald (braces), Sophia, Laura and Duncan.
Note the fence palings on the right - Donald and Duncan were securing the front verandah of the house.
1898 The complete McLaran Family, just prior to the cordial factory crisis.
Rear row: Duncan and Sophia
Middle row: Donald Jnr, Clara, Malcolm, Donald, Laura
Front row: Margaret, James, Lewis, Jean
2016 A view of a corner of Victoria Park.
c. 1930 Auld Lang Syne - Robbie Burns Toby whiskey jug.
My obituary, 106 years after Donald's death:
On the 18th September 1912, at Victoria Park, Daandine, one of Dalby's earliest settlers, Mr. Donald McLaran, 79, passed away after a short illness.
Born in Southend, Argyle, Scotland, Donald arrived in Australia aboard the America in 1853 with his father and step-mother, 2 of his brothers and his 2 sisters. He married Clara Sophia Eversden, the only daughter of Mr. L.J. Eversden, the station storeman at Tartha, in 1879. Donald was survived by his wife, their 5 sons, 4 daughters, 8 grandchildren and his sister, Catherine Milford.
Donald spent almost all of his 59 years in Queensland in the Dalby district, engaged in a variety of pursuits. He initially worked as a carrier and as a shepherd, often employing and organising others. He selected land in 1870 (Frogmore, Wabba Ridges) and 1874 (Kilkevan, St Ruth) and purchased Haran Station on the Moonie in 1878. Mr. Eversden managed Haran Station on his behalf.
An intrepid and canny investor and gambler throughout his life, Donald rarely hesitated to take a profit or to dispose of underperforming assets. When Haran Station was sold in 1887 to his wife’s uncle, William Dockrill, the sale realized the property’s potential and permitted Mr Eversden to retire to Southport and become the proprietor of Cambridge House. Soon thereafter, Donald disposed of his remaining grazing interest, Kilkevan, prior to the financial crisis of the early 1890’s.
In the early 1890’s, Donald purchased land on the corner of Patrick and Cunningham Streets and constructed there the family home and the McLaran cordial and aerated water factory.
Donald’s gambling led the family to the brink of financial ruin in 1900. To clear his debts he was forced to transfer ownership of his Cunningham Street property to his son-in-law of 9 months, William McLennan. Displaying great resilience and determination, he and his wife Clara moved the family to Victoria Park, a property which was a collection of lots they selected at Daandine. The lots were owned chiefly by their children - Sophia, Donald Junior, Lewis and Malcolm, Donald himself owned 1 - and managed by Clara. Donald appears to have taken a secondary role in the running of Victoria Park.
Donald was a very resourceful and multi-skilled man, well-versed in sheep, cattle, horses (particularly draught horses and their breeding), carpentry and timber structures, well construction, droving and ox teams. To his children and grandchildren, Donald passed down a combination of business acumen, determination, confidence to construct any manner of timber and steel devices and structures, generally conservative investing habits (as a reaction to his own efforts?), musical talent (violin, saxophone, clarinet, bag pipe and piano players), sense of humour, story-telling and card playing skills. But he failed to imbue a lasting love for agricultural pursuits in any of his children, despite eldest son Duncan’s stirling efforts at the pear-infested Victoria Park over 25 years. (Perhaps Donald's 4th son, Lewis, who was tragically killed in a well accident in 1918, may have been the son who could have succeeded at Victoria Park.)
Donald’s Scottish ancestry became a point of pride for his family. His sons were active members of the Dalby Caledonian Society for many years and today grandchildren and great grand children are members of Clan McLaren. After the family moved to Victoria Park, Presbyterian Church Sunday services were regularly held at their homestead.
Between 1860 and 1880, Donald made numerous appearances in the Dalby Court of Petty Sessions, often as a plaintiff in the pursuit of justice for what we may perceive today to be minor matters. Perhaps it was here he met another regular court attendee, William Dockrill of Tartha, his future wife’s uncle.
Donald frequented the hotels of Dalby, in and out of drinking hours. A favourite possession of his son Malcolm was a 1930 toby whiskey jug. Today, it still plays the tune “Auld Lang Syne”. It reminded Malcolm of his father and the good old days.
Donald never aspired to civic duty but contributed to the development of Dalby via his rural properties (7 square miles in all, including Victoria Park and excluding Haran), construction of the cordial factory and participation in local events such as horse racing and agricultural shows. He also donated a fleece to the Queensland Museum.
He is buried at the Dalby Monumental Cemetery, beside Clara who died 44 years later (1956), their children who tragically died soon after him, Laura Annie (1916) and Lewis (1918), and Duncan who passed away in 1965. In the same cemetery avenue lie the leading Dalby Scottish families of the early 20th Century, including the McLennans, Peter Garrow and John Nicholson and family. They seem to be waiting for a Scottish piper to bring them back to life.