Deseret Evening News Article
Printed in the Oct. 13, 1902 edition.
The following was taken directly from those pages.
{Article} {PDF 130 kb} | {Full Page} {PDF 1,743 kb}
Utah's First Type Founder.
Death Summons James Storemond McLaren, One of the Few Surviving Heroes of the Crimean War - Was a British Bugler Boy in the Glorious Charge of Balaklava and Had a Leg Blown Off by a Russian Cannon Ball.

"A clearer picture of above" {JPG 41 kb}

The above photograph taken many years ago shows Mr. McLaren at work on the first type casting machine that was ever brought west of the Missouri river. It was purchased by the late President George Q. Cannon in New York when that gentleman was the editor of the Deseret News. With this machine Mr. McLaren cast all of the body fonts of brevier and nonpareil and much of the display type that was used by, the Deseret News in the old days. In 1872 the paper appeared in an entire new dress, all the handiwork of Mr. McLaren.

The death of James Storemond McLaren, which event occurred at the family residence, 256 east Fifth South street, at 11 o'clock Sunday morning, removes from this sphere of action the pioneer typefounder of Utah. It may be said that the deceased was the only workman of his class in the state, and his death leaves the craft unrepresented within its borders.

Mr. McLaren was born Feb. 15, 1841. The place of his nativity was Scotland, but just which section of the country the event took place cannot be stated, as the deceased left no papers and rarely made mention of his early life, even to his closest friends.

He became a member of the "Mormon" Church in early life, but he did not come to Utah until he was already nearing middle life. He had been living for several years in New York city, when he fell in with Joseph Bull, Sr. who was at the time, the eastern agent of the Deseret News, and by him was brought to Salt Lake City. This was late in the fall of 1869, and the following spring a type foundry was established on the second floor of the old Deseret News building, where the first type ever cast in the intermountain country, was made. He worked for several years at this foundry, casting much of the type which was used in those days in setting up the paper, and likewise the display type for bills and posters. After this he removed to California, and worked for two years at his trade in San Francisco, but returned to Salt Lake, to again enter the employment of the "News." After working for two years he started in business for himself, and has run a type foundry until early last spring, when he was taken with what proved to be his last sickness.

The life of the deceased was an eventful one, and it has fallen to the lot of but a few men to have passed through so many changes of fortune. His family was among the most respected in Scotland, the deceased being closely related to Sir Colon Campbell, the hero of Lucknow. He was early left an orphan, and when he was a mere boy drifted into the British army. When the Crimean war broke out he was a bugler in the famous Light Brigade, and was present when that ever glorious charge was made at Balaklava. Early in the day of that ever-to-be-remembered fight, he was wounded by a Russian cannonball, the shot killed his horse and carrying away a leg. He laid on the field for some time, and when found was thought to be dead, but a comrade, not as badly wounded as himself declared that there was life still left in him, and he was taken to the rear and cared for. His recovery was slow, but eventually he reached England. The old man seldom spoke of the stirring events of that time, for he was an eccentric character; but when he met one who had been over the ground he warmed up, and fought the battle over again in language earnest and eloquent. He distinctly remembered Florence Nightingale, and never wearied of sounding the praises of that noble woman. He cherished to his dying day the little acts of kindness she did for him, and always said that he would have died in the Crimea, had it not been for the words of encouragement she spoke to him while he was lying wounded in the rude hospital of that ever historic battlefield.

In common with the other survivors of the "Noble Six Hundred," he was given a pension by her majesty's government. This pension he unfortunately hypothecated to get the money with which to come to this country. He was a man of convivial disposition, easily led by his friends and spent his money as fast as he made it. Bad luck too, followed him, his little all having been lost in a fire near Park City. Since that time the family have been in very poor circumstances, and he leaves nothing to his family, excepting his memory. Mr. McLaren was three times married; and leaves a large family of children to mourn his death. Of the first wife's children, two survive him, both being sons, one of whom lives at Park City, and the other residing somewhere in the Deep Creek country. Of the second wife's children four are living; all are in the east. In all there were 20 children, ten of whom are yet living.

Although living in straightened circumstances he has never applied for the pension of a penny a day which was granted to all survivors of the famous charge, in addition to the regular pension which he assigned as above stated. During his last illness he frequently spoke to his wife about the matter, and steps will be taken to see if the money cannot be got for the benefit of the widow and her family, several of whom are still of tender age. The funeral will be held from his late residence at 4 p. m. tomorrow.