The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/McLellan, Hon. William

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1401566The Dictionary of Australasian Biography — McLellan, Hon. WilliamPhilip Mennell

McLellan, Hon. William, M.L.A., was born at Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, on August 12th, 1831. He was educated at local schools, and was brought up to the trade of a builder. He left Scotland in June 1850 for Victoria, then a portion of New South Wales. When gold was discovered by Hargreaves, he went to Summer Hill and Turon diggings, New South Wales, and worked with some success. Returning to Victoria in July 1851, on discovery of gold there, he went to Ballarat and Forest Creek, and was amongst the first pioneers of Bendigo, where he worked at Golden Gully. After an extensive experience on the principal diggings, Mr. McLellan settled in Melbourne in 1853. In 1857, the time of the Canton Lead, he proceeded to Ararat, where fifty thousand miners were collected, and was elected a member of the Mining Board. In 1859, the amended Constitution Act having made Ararat an electoral district returning two members, he was returned to the Assembly by a large majority. Mr. McLellan represented Ararat till the general election in May 1877, when he was beaten by Mr. D. Gaunson by five votes. He had in the meantime been a member of three Ministries, taking office first as successor to Mr. I. G. Reeves as Commissioner of Public Works and Vice-President of the Board of Land and Works in Jan. 1870, and retiring with his chief, Mr. Macpherson, in April of the same year. He was subsequently Minister of Mines, under Mr. (now Sir) Charles Gavan Duffy from June 1871 to June 1872 and under Sir James M‘Culloch from Oct. 1875 to May 1877. Mr. McLellan remained out of Parliament till 1883, when he was re-elected for Ararat. He occupied the position of Chairman of Committees of the Legislative Assembly till 1892.