Edward Wittenoom

Edward Wittenoom

Infobox Politician
name = Sir Edward Horne Wittenoom



caption = Edward Wittenoom
birth_date = birth date|1854|12|12|mf=y
birth_place = Fremantle, Western Australia
residence = Murchison
death_date = death date and age|1936|3|5|1854|12|12|mf=y
death_place = West Perth
occupation = Sheep station Manager
order = 2nd
office = Agent-General for Western Australia
term_start = 1898
term_end = 1901
predecessor = Sir Malcolm Fraser
successor = Henry Bruce Lefroy

Sir Edward Charles (Horne) Wittenoom KCMG (12 December 18545 March 1936) was an Australian politician, member of the Western Australian Legislative Council for thirty four years.

Biography

Early life

Born in Fremantle, Western Australia on 12 December 1854, Wittenoom was the son of bank director and pastoralist Charles Wittenoom. He was educated at Bishop Hale's School (now Hale School) in Perth, then at 15 worked at "Bowes" sheep station at Northampton from the age of 15. In 1874, he took up sheep farming with his brother Frank at "Yuin" in the Murchison district, before returning to "Bowes" in 1877 to lease and manage it. On 23 April 1878 he married Laura Habgood; they would have two sons and three daughters.

In 1881, Wittenoom purchased the Geraldton station "White Peak" from John Drummond, and established a sheep stud farm there. From 1883 to 1886 he also owned a station at La Grange. He ran a stock and station agency in Geraldton in 1886 and 1887, but later sold it. He became heavily involved in business and finance, becoming managing director for Dalgety and Co in 1901; chairman of directors of Millars Karri and Jarrah Co.; chairman of Bovril Australian Estates; director of the Bank of New South Wales; director of Commercial Union Insurance; and director of the WA Bank. He was president of the Pastoralists' Association from 1912 to 1915, and again in 1917.

Political career

From around 1883, Wittenoom became increasingly involved in public life. On 30 May of that year he was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council seat of Geraldton in a by-election occasioned by the resignation of Maitland Brown. Wittenoom resigned the seat on 23 January 1884 and was replaced by John Sydney Davis. He again won the seat in a by-election on 25 June 1885 but resigned again on 6 November 1886. He became a member of the Murchison Road Board in 1890.

On 16 July 1894 Wittenoom was elected to the Legislative Council for the Central Province. On 19 December of that year he was appointed Minister for Mines, Education, and Posts and Telegraphs in the Forrest ministry. At that time, newly appointed ministers were required to re-contest their seats, so Wittenoom resigned his seat on 19 December, and was re-elected in the subsequent ministerial by-election of 16 January 1895. He retained his seat and ministerial portfolio until the general election of 28 April 1898, which he did not contest. The following month he was appointed Agent General for Western Australia in London, a position that he held until 1901.

On returning to Western Australia, Wittenoom was again elected to the Legislative Council on 12 May 1902, this time for the North Province. He held his seat until 6 November 1906, when he resigned to contest a seat in the Australian Senate in the federal election of 12 December. He was unsuccessful, and so returned to state politics in the following election, winning a North Province seat in the Legislative Council on 13 May 1910. He would hold this seat for 24 years, finally losing after declining to contest the election of 12 May 1934. During this period, he was President of the Legislative Council from 27 July 1922 to 10 August 1926. He also spent a brief period at consul for France in Western Australia.

Final years

Wittenoom's first wife died in 1923, and on 22 December [1924] he married Isobel du Boulay, with whom he would have two daughters. Wittenoom died at West Perth on 5 March 1936, and was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery.

One of Wittenoom's sons, Charles Horne Wittenoom, also became a member of the Legislative Council. The town of Wittenoom is named for his brother, Frank Wittenoom.

References

*
*
*G. C. Bolton, Wendy Birman, ' [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120619b.htm Wittenoom, Sir Edward Charles (Horne) (1854 - 1936)] ', "Australian Dictionary of Biography", Volume 12, MUP, 1990, pp 553-554.Persondata
NAME=Wittenoom, Edward Horne, Sir
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=politician
DATE OF BIRTH=12 December 1854
PLACE OF BIRTH=Fremantle, Western Australia
DATE OF DEATH=5 March 1936
PLACE OF DEATH=West Perth, Western Australia


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