Thomas Elder - Pastoralist


Elder also had other important interests. He became associated with Peter Waite in the Paratoo run in 1862, in the same year bought Beltana station, and eventually became the owner of an enormous tract of country. He was said to have held at one time a pastoral area greater in extent than the whole of Scotland. Much of this was land with a very low rainfall, and Elder spent a great deal of money sinking artesian wells, making dams and fencing. In January 1866 he introduced camels from India with Afghan attendants, which were of much use in the dry areas and in conveying supplies from Port Augusta. They became an important factor in the development of the northern area of South Australia.

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