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Tyrrell Downs run was established by WE Stanbridge, the manager of the East Charlton run, who followed Tyrrell Creek north to Lake Tyrrell and set up the station in 1847. The property was bought by EH Lascelles  in 1884, as part of his plan to render the Mallee fit for agriculture. He hired a hundred men to clear the land, then floated a public company to raise capital, thereby establishing one of the largest wheat farms in the world (20,000 ha).

The company went into the black in 1900 but pests and drought ate away at the venture and the farm was broken up and sold to smaller selectors, amongst them the poets John Neilson and his son, John Shaw Neilson.