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McDougall, Charles Edward (Charlie) (1865–1923)

by S. J. Routh

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

Charles Edward (Charlie) McDougall (1865-1923), studmaster and cattle breeder, was born on 4 December 1865 at Texas, Queensland, fourth of eight sons and two daughters of Malcolm Septimus McDougall, pastoralist, and his wife Blanche Eliza, née Weston. The family settled on Lyndhurst estate near Warwick in 1875. Charles was educated at Warwick and at Toowoomba Grammar School and when his father died in 1882 assumed the managership of Lyndhurst. In 1886 he bought the Australian thoroughbred stallion Archie, and founded what was to be Queensland's leading thoroughbred stud for much of the next century.

McDougall quickly distinguished himself by his energy, decisiveness and ability, at Lyndhurst and in local affairs. An inaugural councillor of Rosenthal Divisional Board in 1889, he was later to become its chairman, as with many other organizations. Noxious weeds, irrigation and local government finance were preoccupations. Less predictably, in the late 1880s he owned several top coursing dogs. In 1890 he set up a stock and station business with two partners at Warwick. In later years he withdrew from active participation in the business in favour of his brother Andrew Septimus (Jim) and other partners.

A beef Shorthorn stud was established at Lyndhurst in 1893. McDougall's initial stock was Australian, but as the stud progressed he increasingly sought expensive imported bulls, looking particularly to promote early maturity in his cattle. The breaking of the 1890s drought and pastoral depression saw McDougall steadily growing in standing and prosperity. Acquiring other properties, in 1905 he established studs at Dulacca West, near Yuleba, managed by his brother Jack (John Graham, c.1875-1955). In 1905 Charles bought Lyndhurst's first imported thoroughbred sire, Ladurlad, which was an immediate success; similar successes followed with the importation of Syce, sire of Molly's Robe, and Seremond, sire of Mollison. His most famous Shorthorn bull, Lyndhurst Royal Peer, was champion at the Brisbane Exhibition in 1912-15 and 1917, at a time when Shorthorns were numerically the strongest breed in the State.

McDougall was a strong supporter of the conservative parties in Queensland politics, though never a candidate for parliament. A forthright public speaker, during World War I he was vice-president of the Reinforcement Committee of Queensland, and was on the platform when Billy Hughes was struck by the notorious Warwick egg.

From 1917 McDougall was president of the (Royal) National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland. He was renowned for his energetic and direct supervision of Lyndhurst's affairs, and showed a pride and delight in his foals that was almost paternal. Unmarried, he was devoted to his family, particularly his mother and his unmarried sister Julia May.

Charles McDougall died at Warwick of gall-bladder disease on 16 May 1923 and was buried in Warwick cemetery with Anglican rites. His mother died ten days later. His estate was sworn for probate at £76,960. In 1924 the Queensland Turf Club established the C. E. McDougall Stakes, still so named, in his memory.

McDougall was succeeded at Lyndhurst by his brother Jack, who also remained unmarried. The latter is most noted for his importation in 1931 of The Buzzard, who sired winners of more prize-money than any preceding stallion in Australia.

Select Bibliography

  • M. J. Fox (ed), The History of Queensland, vol 1 (Brisb, 1919)
  • J. McKey, The Warwick Story (Warwick, 1972)
  • Pastoral Review, 33 (June 1923), p 476
  • Warwick Daily News, 17 May 1923, 1 Aug 1955.

Citation details

S. J. Routh, 'McDougall, Charles Edward (Charlie) (1865–1923)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcdougall-charles-edward-charlie-688/text12749, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 16 November 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

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