Laughlin McLaren was born in Greenock, Scotland and immigrated to America around 1849 with his family. It was a mysterious dream that resulted in meeting his wife, Celia Ann Losh. Laughlin and Celia’s nephew, Earl Clinton Burnside, shared the story of how they met and a bit about their lives.
According to Earl, after losing a pair of horses, Kate (Celia’s sister) had a dream about where the horses would be. In her dream, she walked along Cedar Creek until she came to a little trail that led away from the creek. The next morning Aunt Kate followed the path until she came to a little trail that led away from the creek — just as she had seen it in her dream. She followed it through the timber and found a small clearing with a log cabin. A little Scotsman was standing by the cabin, grinning and said he knew what she was looking for. He found the stray horses and tied them up because he knew someone would come looking for them. The man was Laughlin McLaren who later married Celia.
Laughlin liked to tell jokes and seemed to see the funny side of about everything. One of his favorite jokes was to claim he swam to America. Of course, what happened was that some of the young men had left the ship in the harbor and swam a short distance to shore.
Uncle Laughlin’s first house — the one Aunt Kate found — was a small log cabin. Laughlin had built it when he homesteaded. There was close to 160 acres in the original homestead. Later Lachlin bought another 100 acres. After Laughlin and Celia married, in 1869, they added a boardinghouse with 2 rooms below and 2 rooms above.
Laughlin and Celia raised eight children in Wilson County, Kansas. In 1906, Laughlin died from injuries sustained while falling from the roof of one of the buildings on his property. Celia lived with her children for the next three decades until her death in 1937.