The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
The Hon. John McLean
The Hon. John McLean , sometime of Redcastle, Oamaru, was born in 1818 in the Island of Coll, Argyleshire, Scotland, and in his early years followed farming. He came out to Australia in 1839, and entered largely into pastoral pursuits in Victoria. He then disposed of his runs to advantage, and crossed the Tasman Sea in 1854, when he was accompanied by his mother and two sisters. Mr. McLean landed in Canterbury, but subsequently removed to Otago, where he and his brother, Mr. Allan McLean, took up a large area of sheep-carrying country. At one time they occupied over 500,000 acres, and were the largest flockowners in New Zealand. In one year they shore nearly 250,000 sheep. Their Morven Hills run covered an area of 200,000 acres, and they had other properties. Morven Hills run was sold early in the seventies, and the brothers dissolved partnership. Mr. John McLean still owned over 60,000 acres of freehold land. Mr. McLean always took an active interest in public affairs. He was one of the earliest members of the Provincial Council of Otago, and was a member when the provinces were abolished in 1876. He was called to the Legislative Council in 1867, but resigned his seat in that branch of the Legislature in 1872. After settling at his beautiful seat of Redeastle, near Oamaru, Mr. McLean served as a member of the local road board, and was president of the North Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Association and of the Oamaru Caledonian Society. He died at Redcastle, on the 15th of July, 1902, after a long illness.