McLELLAN, DAVID (HON.) 1839-1894

David McLellan was born of Loyalist ancestry on 20 January 1839 in Portland, Saint John County, New Brunswick. His father, also named David McLellan, was a ship-builder who emigrated to New Brunswick from Kelton, Dumfrieshire, Scotland. His mother Mary (nee Knight) was of Quaker decent from a Pennsylvania Loyalist family.

The young Mr. McLellan was educated at the Portland Public School and later at the commercial and mathematical school in Saint John. At an early age he gave his attention to the lumber business first as a surveyor, and then later as a dealer and exporter of the manufactured product. For years he was the senior member of the firm of McLellan and Holly, one of the largest lumber concerns in Saint John. In that period of time, their operations handled a vast amount of rough lumber annually.

On December 19, 1854 he married Fannie Brown Richards, daughter of Henry Richards of Saint John. They had three sons and one daughter.

Mr. McLellan took an active interest in local affairs. He was a member of a number of organizations including the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the local Temperance Society.

In politics he was keenly interested in the political affairs of the province. He was first elected to the House of Assembly by New Brunswick at the general election of 1878 for the city and county of St. John. He was again re-elected at the general election of 1882. Upon the death of a colleague, Hon. Dr. Elder, in July 1883, Mr. McLellan succeeded him as Provincial Secretary, in charge of the province’s finances. He was sworn in as a member of the Executive Council and as Provincial Secretary July 28, 1883. He continued to represent the city and county of St. John until the general election of 1890, when he was defeated. In March 1890 Mr. McLellan resigned his office as Provincial Secretary and was appointed to a seat in the Legislative Council, still continuing his position as a member of the Executive Council, of which he was appointed president. He was also a member of the Board of Public Works. This continued until August 1891 when he was appointed Registrar of Deeds and Wills and Registrar of Probates for the city and county of St. John. This office he continued to hold until his death on December 19, 1894.

In religion, he was a Baptist, attending the Germain Street Baptist Church. In Dominion politics, he was a Liberal. In the personal relations of life, he was popular with all his acquaintances and a warm friend. He is buried in Fernhill Cemetery, St. John, New Brunswick.

Though no record can be found of Mr. McLellan taking part in the sport of curling, he was an avid horseman and sportsman. He presented the McLellan Cup in 1887. The trophy was first competed for in an Inter-Provincial Bonspiel between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in that year. After being played for in this form for a number of years, it was found too difficult to arrange the annual event and it was agreed to make the Cup a Challenge Trophy. The first recorded challenge match in the documented of the RECORD BOOKS is dated January 8, 1907 at Truro between teams from Halifax and Truro.


Photo Credit: Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick

Sources of this text were derived from the following documentation provided in March 2019 by Kenda Clark-Gorey, Legislative Librarian, Province of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick:

  1. Biography - Legislative Library of New Brunswick,
  2. Prominent People of New Brunswick - The Biographical Society of Canada, 1937
  3. The Grave Papers, and
  4. Biographical Review - Sketches of Leading Citizens of the Province of New Brunswick 1900