Yeovil People

Alexander Stuart Macmillan

Photographer and Managing Director of the Western Gazette

 

Alexander Stuart Macmillan was born in Castle Cary on 12 January 1870. He was the eldest of the eight children of commercial clerk, later Secretary and finally managing director of a limited company William Macmillan (1844-1911) and Emily née White (1844-1937). William and Emily's eight children, all born in Castle Cary, were; Alexander, Annie White (1872-1916), Margaret Alice (1874-1945), William Wallace (1875-1954), Robert Bruce (b1877), Donald (b1879), Douglas (b1885) and Catherine Janet (1887-1967).

The census of both 1871 and 1881 list the family living in Ansford Lane, Castle Cary. By the time of the 1891 census the family had moved to High Street, Castle Cary and 21-year old Alexander gave his occupation as 'Assistant Sec[retary] of Public Co. Newspaper' - his father was company secretary.

In 1896, at Kingsbridge, Devon, 26-year old Alexander married Edith Clara Langdon (1870-1960). Alexander and Edith. They were to set up home in Yeovil at 56 The Avenue where they were to have two children; William Stewart (1898-1989) and Violet Elise (1904-2005).

In the 1901 census Alexander, Emily, son William and a domestic servant were listed in the Avenue. Alexander gave his occupation as 'Secretary to Newspaper and Printing & Publishing Co Ltd'. This was the Western Gazette.

Between 1900 and 1910, Alexander became interested in photography and set himself up as a 'Photographer of Yeovil & Castle Cary' (see Gallery). No other photographic work by him is known and it may be that professional photography was something of a sideline.

The family were still living in the Avenue at the time of the 1911 census. Alexander, now aged 41, gave his occupation as 'Secretary to Limited Company, Newspapers & General Printing'. He progressed through the ranks of the Western Gazette's management and by 1939 was the Gazette's Managing Director.

Alexander Macmillan died in Yeovil on 8 July 1949, aged 79. His will was proved in September 1949 and his estate was valued at £14,607 18s 10d (around £500,000 at today's value). Edith died in Wincanton in 1960, she was 89 years old.

 

gallery

 

A photograph of George Munford, taken by Alexander Macmillan and probably dating to around 1910. Both men had long, and overlapping, careers at the Western Gazette.