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McBean, Lachlan (1810–1894)

The death of Mr. Lachlan McBean of Woorooma and Windooran stations, near Moulamein (Vic.), occurred on the 19th January. The Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), states that the deceased gentleman left Woorooma on the date mentioned for Deniliquin, to meet his nephew, Mr. L. McBean Grant, and Mr. Horsfall an old friend and adviser, in order to have a conference about his affairs. He started at half-past six in the morning in order to reach Deniliquin early in the afternoon, and, although 84 years of age, he made light of the 60 miles journey. All went well for about 48 miles, and he was very chatty and cheerful, his manager, Mr. Mertz, being the driver. On arrival near Mr. Landale's boundary, the wheel of the buggy came off, and Mr. McBean was thrown out violently, and was evidently much shaken. Stimulants were administered to him, and he was conscious for a few minutes, but soon relapsed, and died in about half-an-hour. The body was brought into Deniliquin. Mr. Grant, Mr. J. C. Walker, and Mr. Finlayson, his solicitor, are the executors, and his extensive estates and properties are to be divided amongst his relatives.

Mr. McBean arrived in Adelaide from Scotland about the year 1839, and one of his earliest places was with the late Mr. Younghusband at Adelaide, where he held a position of trust and was much esteemed by his employer. He left this place in order to commence cattle dealing and droving on his own account, and made several overland journeys with cattle from New South Wales and from the Darling Downs to Adelaide, with stock. In these ventures he was very successful, and he soon became possessed of considerable capital. He purchased the Baldon Station, near Truro, South Australia, which he converted into a freehold of about 24,000 acres. But his most successful venture was the purchase of Woorooma, in this district, in 1855 from the late Mr. William Degraves, who had it from the liquidators of the Royal Bank. This fine station was bought with 12,000 sheep for £12,000, or £1 per head, and Mr. McBean paid all the money in gold which he took over from Adelaide to Melbourne personally, most of it in a leather belt which he wore, this being done to save the exchange. In 1863 he bought Windouran and joined it to Woorooma, and the two properties now include about 130,000 acres of freehold land. In 1873 he bought Ranbelle, a large Queensland sheep and cattle station, which he sold in 1877 to Messrs. Shaw at a good profit. He also bought Caulpaulin Station on the Darling for about £54,000. This he held for three or four years, and then sold it to the late Mr. Leandre Clarke.

In 1884 he bought Goldsbrough's warehouses in Flinders and Market Streets, Melbourne, for £40,000, which properties are still held.

In 1880 he bought the Colombo Estate, near Urana, for his sister and nephew, Mr. L. McBean Grant. In 1889 he bought the Kirndeen Estate, near Albury, a freehold of about 30,000 acres, for another nephew, Mr. A. McBean.

He did many kind and praiseworthy actions, and was much esteemed for his straightforward business qualities. He was a great supporter of the old firm of R. Goldsbrough and Co., and when they were in difficulties in 1869, he had large deposits with them but he generously allowed them to remain, although without any security, and told the firm to take their own time for payment.

His brother, Mr. Alex. McBean, with his family has for many years resided on the South Australian Estate.

Original publication

Citation details

'McBean, Lachlan (1810–1894)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mcbean-lachlan-678/text679, accessed 30 November 2021.

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