KENNETH McLEAN
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By Bruce McLean
The following story is taken from the Miles City Daily Star.
Kenneth McLean was born at Muir of Ord in Scotland on Christmas Day, 1859. He came to the United States in 1880 after having spent his youth attending the schools near his father's stock farm. He went to Nebraska where an opportunity was offered to take charge of a stock farm. While so employed he learned of the new opportunities opening in the business of stock raising in the northwest and he came to Miles City in 1882 and established a ranch on Fallon creek. He also acquired a tract of land in the Yellowstone valley, about ten miles east of Miles City. He disposed of his Fallon Creek holdings in 1906 and became identified with the S-I Cattle company, with large holdings south of Miles City on Tongue river.
In the early period of his business and ranch activities he demonstrated a thorough knowledge of his engagements and came to be recognized as an authority on livestock. In the later period of his life he personified the romance and glamour of the open range days while retaining a splendid exemplification of his business activities. He rose in the esteem of his fellowmen with the widening of the circle of his acquaintenances. He was honored in his contacts with men and organizations heaping responsiblilities upon him which he met with the ability he possessed.
In the whole program of his life extending in this region over more than six decades, he demonstrated his individual capacity to meet and overcome obstacles in his pathway, and in triumphs he remained still the commoner. His life was based upon the precept of the Golden Rule which cemented his friendships and business contacts.
In 1886 he married Ann Mackenzie, daughter of a pioneer family. Together they walked through life bearing vicissitudes with fortitude and smilingly accepted their triumphs. To this union was born four children, Madge (Mrs. Charles Brown), Tot (Mrs. Sherman Hunt), Wallace Bruce and Kenneth Jr.
During his long career in this region Mr. McLean took an active part in the social and business activities of Custer county and Miles City. Elected to the office of State Senator in 1901 he served with distinction and was re-elected in 1905. In municipal affairs he was elected president of the Miles City Chamber of Commerce in 1914. He was a charter member of Miles City Lodge of Elks, No. 537 and member of the Blue Lodge of Masons. He was affiliated with the historic Miles City Club and was a. church member. He was active in the Montana Woolgrowers association and elected to the position of honorary life president.
In business and financial circles he was associated with the former Independent Printing company and the First National Bank.
He will always be remembered as having been associated with the widely-known S-I Ranch, which he maintained for years. Death came to Kenneth McLean on Christmas eve of 1944. Had his life span dipped over into Christmas Day he would have had occasion to celebrate his 85th birthday.
He had eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren at the time of his death.