MacLellan's Greenmount / Mount Kent Land Leases, Nobby, Q.
by Dr. Jennifer Lambert Tracey BA (ANU), M App.Sc. (UC), PhD. (UC) MPHA (Qld.)
The MacLellan family settled at Clifton on the Darling Downs, Queensland where Donald and Ann had another three children:
Maryanne ~ born 8th January 1856;
Donald ~ born 28th September 1860;
William ~ born 20th September 1865.
[Queensland Death Index lists the death of an unnamed male, son of Donald and Ann MacLellan ~ 3rd October 1860].
Ann McInnes, purchased Portion No.3064 of Clifton Home Area on 10th October 1879 (Index to Selectors 1864 - 1879 QSA). At that time she was a widow. No death records for Donald Alexander MacLellan have been located.
Old Toowoomba - Drayton cemetery
Several members of the MacLellan family are buried in the same plot in the . Although the plot is in the Church of England section, all members of the family are Catholics. This anomaly has probably occurred because of the burial in 1864 of Donald MacLellan prior to the segregation of the church areas.
A memorial has been erected, possibly after the death of Mary Agnes MacLellan in 1939. There appears some discrepancy with the ages inscribed on the headstone. Donald McLellan's death certificate states his age as 54 years. The headstone notes '44 years', and it is believed that he was born c.1816, which would have made him about 48 years at the time of his death. His wife Annie MacLellan was 90 years at the time of her death although the headstone states she was 84 years. Mary Agnes MacLellan was the daughter of John Ryan and Mary Leahy. She married William MacLellan on 22nd October 1885.
THE MEMORY OF
WHO DIED 20TH JAN 1864
May his soul rest in peace
DIED 19TH DEC 1907
AGED 84 YEARS
DIED 3RD MAY 1932
AGED 72 YEARS
MARY AGNES McLELLAN
9TH AUG 1939
AGED 77 YEARS
Michael MacLellan Tracey at the MacLellan grave , Toowoomba. c.2000.
In 1875, Lachlan, his wife Mary Anne and brother William MacLellan were residing on Portion 2133, Clifton Home Area, Parish of Aubigny. The location of the dwelling or other outbuildings on this Lot is unknown. However, it is reasonable to assume that some archaeological remains may be extant.
William and Lachlan's mother, Anne MacLellan, by then a widow, had purchased Portion 2128 of the Clifton Home Area. She also purchased Portion 3064, Clifton Home Area, which adjoined Portion 2128 (Entry dated 10 October 1879 QSA Records of Land Holdings 1877 - 1879). Separating the two blocks was Portion 3052, which Lachlan MacLellan purchased in 1879. This is the block of land noted in his letter to the Minister for Lands, Brisbane (Land Commissioner's Correspondence 1885 / 320. QSA) concerning his title. April, 29th 1885.
MacLellan's Mount Kent leases
A study of the Mount Kent landscape and associated maps clearly indicates the intention of the MacLellans to take up land that gave access to water. All of the 80 acre lots selected by various family members straddle a small creek. During the period of European settlement in the early 1800s the Australian environment was little understood. Many early attempts at farming and pastoral activities failed for lack of knowledge of environmental and climatic conditions. Perhaps as late as the 1870s a similar situation was being experienced in Queensland. A section of land that one day is a green field is a drought plain the next. Lachlan MacLellan had been in the Colony for approximately 22 years and had been the overseer on Clifton. It would be reasonable to assume that in 20 plus years he had become familiar with the weather patterns and the resulting shortages of water. Nothing is known of where Lachlan spent the years between 1854 and 1873 or what occupation he followed. However, to obtain a position as overseer on Clifton he must have had some previous experience on the land.
Even though the MacLellans had selected wisely and assured that a plentiful supply of water was available via the various creeks on their leases their efforts apparently failed. Resulting in Lachlan shifting the family to north Queensland and walked off his leases. William stayed on the land and sat out the drought and eventually acquired the land from Lachlan and ran a dairy farm.
In Lachlan's letter to the Minister of Lands he states ' … I had to remove some horses I had there at the time, the country around there being in such a deplorable condition that they would have died …'. He further states that he moved them to the Mackay district. To drive horses in such poor condition from The Darling Down to Mackay overland would have meant the loss of most of the stock. Also he states 'I sent my family on to Mackay with the horses.' Lachlan must have moved the horses via the railway. It would be unlikely that he would send his family overland with horses in such poor condition. The Greenmount railway station being only a few miles from MacLellans. Lachlan's older brother John had land at Nebo Road near Mackay it is likely that this was destination for the horses.
Greenmount railway station 2000
Greenmount railway station with Mount Kent in the background
It may be seen that the particular Lot 3052 was crucial to the MacLellans. It was stated that the dwelling was on Lot 2133 and William and Annie owned 2128, 2132, 3064 and 3065 therefore 3052 joined the leases together and assured access to water and the catchments on the slopes of Mount Kent. The lease must have eventually passed in to Lachlan MacLellans control as current parish maps show Lachlan as the original owner. Also while under the ownership of Lachlan's brother William and his family the property become known locally as MacLellans and was to remain in the family another two generations lived on the leases.
It is doubtful if Lachlan MacLellan had further contact with the Greenmount / Mount Kent leases and most likely spent the reminder of his life in north Queensland. Lachlan died at Mareeba age 70 years and had spent 60 years in the Colony and Queensland.