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John McCaughey (1843–1928)

Mr. John McCaughey, the only remaining brother of the famous past oralists, Sir Samuel McCaughey and Mr. David McCaughey, died at his residence, Hampton Court, on Wednesday night.

Well-known and equally successful as a station manager and owner throughout the State, the late Mr. John McCaughey came to Australia from Ireland, his birthplace, as a young man in 1861. He had been preceded by his already successful brother, Sir Samuel—then Mr. Mc Caughey. Straight from the wharf at Melbourne, almost, he went to Singorambah Station, in the rich Riveine, of which he subsequently became manager. Illustrative of his initiative and courage was the spirit in which he undertook one of his first duties at the station. He was sent to obtain provisions 70 miles distant. He rode off confidently across the open plains, unguided by fences or bush lore, reached his destination, and rode home to the station again in almost record time. From that on 'young' McCaughey never looked back; he perservered and succeeded.

Later his brother purchased Goolgumbla Station, and he was appointed to its management. He was for ever looking ahead, and it was not long afterwards that he purchased an interest in Toorale and Dunlop Stations, on the Darling, the properties which were recently purchased by an English company — Australian Sheep Farms, Ltd. — for £400,000. He managed Toorale, partly his property, from 1881 until 1897, and then he and Sir Samuel McCaughey be came joint owners of Yarrabee Sta tion, on the Yanko Creek. Subse quently Mr. John McCaughey became the sole owner of Yarrabee, which he held until 1924, since when he has lived in retirement.

He was widely known as one of the most capable station managers in the Commonwealth, and he was an au thority on sheep. He achieved no little success, for he arrived in Melbourne an almost penniless Irish boy.

He was a keen sportsman, and was greatly interested in the turf. His colours were well known on the race course, and it will be remembered that one of his horses, Merloolas, won the Sydney Cup.

However, exigencies of his pastoral interests led him to dispose of his blood stock, but he remained an ardent lover of horses. Only a few years ago he re-entered the turf by purchasing several very high-priced year lings. The late Mr. McCaughey is survived by his wife and one daughter, Mona, who is at present residing in England.

The Funeral

The funeral took place at Narandera immediately after the arrival of the mail train on Friday last. The hearse was followed by a large number of motor cars to the Presbyterian portion of the cemetery, where the remains were laid to rest beside those of the late Sir Samuel McCaughey.

The Rev. W. Carlyle Moulton read the very impressive burial service of the Presbyterian Church, and after prayer, Mr. Moulton delivered a brief address in which he said that it had not been his privilege to know Mr. John McCaughey personally, but he was located as minister at Urana for four years, and while there got to know something of the McCaughey family. While he was at Urana he became friendly with the Rev. Mr. Dykes, of Jerilderie, and that gentleman used to like to speak about those three great brothers who were in his parish, Messrs. David, John, and at that time, Sir Samuel McCaughey. The character of Mr John McCaughey was known to those present. They were not present that day to do honor to the memory of Mr. McCaughey because he was a man who had broad acres. There were many people who had broad acres, but who, because they did not have character, were not respected. They did honor to Mr. McCaughey because he was a man of sterling character. They were privileged to belong to an empire which bred men of the character of the McCaughey brothers. Those men came from the North of Ireland to this land of Australia, and helped to make this country what it was to-day. He said that there was a tendency at the present time to let things slip, but if they let things slip the British Empire would go down. They should forego a little selfishness and stand true to the things for which their fathers fought. He hoped that the young men would follow in the footsteps of the men of the character of deceased and fear God. If they did they could look the world in the face.

The chief mourners at the graveside were Messrs. Roy anD Samuel McCaughey (Coonong and Coree respectively), A. Stewart (Sydney), F. Chesney (Goulbum), N. Ross (Coonong), nephews; and F. G. Chomley, Yanco, brother-in-law.

Others whom we noticed at the graveside were the Hon. Jas. Ashton, M.L.C., Messrs. J. Sallenger, M. Robinson, J. T. McKinney, F. Young, T. Vincent, Sydney; A. M. Valentine, J. Montgomery, L. Stewart, C. R. Rawlins (Uroly);  Don and Doug. McLarty, J. A. Culley (Tubbo); Cy., C. N., H. Lang., and Geo. Culley, J. D. Scott, J. H. Robertson, A. T. Henderson, W. J. Weir, E. B. Prince, H. B. Harvey, T. W. Simpson, M.R. McCracken, J. T. Tully (Yanko shire clerk), G. N. Dixon, and A. T. Patterson (representing the R.S. and S.I. League), F. T. Yeoman and J. T. Bean (P.P. Board), O. O. H. Dangar, H. B. Rowlands, T. Coughlan, C. H. Edwards, and D. Mooney and J. Carter (old employees of the deceased).

The coffin bearers were Messrs. Samuel and Roy McCaughey, A. Stewart, and F. Chesney (nephews), the Hon. Jas. Ashton, and Messrs. M. Robinson and F. G. Chomley.

Wreaths and floral tribute were received from Mrs. J. McCaughey (widow), Miss McCaughey (daughter), Messrs. Samuel and Roy Mc Caughey, Dr. Norman Kater, Sydney; W. J. Weir, Mrs. G. P. Simpson, sen., Mrs. H. L. Culley, Mr. C. R. Rawlins, Miss Jeanie McFetridge, Mr. G. E. Stewart, Mr. Hugh Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Rob. McDonald and Miss McDonald, Double Bay; Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. Alex. Stew art; the directors and management of the Commonwealth Wool Produce Co. Ltd., Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Maiden, Mr. Frank Young, Miss Theresa Rawlins, and Pellie.

The casket, which was supplied by Messrs. Wood, Cofill and Co., Sydney, was of polished oak with pucker panels, treble raised lid, and beautiful silver mountings. The funeral arrangements at Narandera were in the hands of Messrs. Watkins Bros.

Original publication

Citation details

'McCaughey, John (1843–1928)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


8 May, 1843
Ballymena, Antrim, Ireland


20 June, 1928 (aged 85)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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