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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Mitch" Ernest Lund MITCHELL

Born 1876 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England [20] [21]
Son of Oliver MITCHELL and Eliza LUND [20] [21]
Spent his initial childhood in Yorkshire, England where his father worked as a Wool & Waste Dealer [20]
In 1881 he was living with his parents at 39 Richmond Road, Horton in Bradford, Yorkshire, England [20]
Due to his father's asthma they departed England on the steamship Potosi, and arrived in Victoria, Australia in October 1884 [42] [200]
Resided with his parents in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, New South Wales before returning with them to England [200]
Served an apprenticeship with his uncle Percy LUND, who was a printer, publisher and editor in Bradford, Yorkshire, England [20] [200]
Later returned to Australia and among other things worked as a photographer in the states of New South Wales and Queensland [200]
Photographer at Marble Bar in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in 1912 [50]
Photographer at 264 Murray Street in Perth, Western Australia 1913-1931 [6]
     Commissioned Photographer for private individuals, commercial institutions and numerous Government departments [200]
     In 1913 he and his wife were living at Ventnor Lodge in the Perth suburb of Belmont [50]
     They later resided for many years on Railway Terrace in the Perth suburb of Maylands [50]
     Won a Gold Medal for his photography at the Samarang Exhibition in Java, Indonesia in 1914 [200]
     Served as Official Photographer to the Governor of Western Australia [200]
     In 1921 he travelled around Western Australia as a  photographer for The Western Mail newspaper [86: 14-May-1921]
     His photos were part of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in London, England in 1924 [200]
     He was "well known to Perth pressman and photographers" as "one of the city's pioneer cameramen" [81: 14-Jan-1940]
     Another report stated that he was "probably the pioneer Press photographer of Western Australia" [81: 24-Feb-1935]
In partnership with Robert W. STRACHAN purchased 1,784 acres of partly developed farmland in Carnamah on 23 April 1926 [27]
     Purchased the land from John and James T. CARSTAIRS with instalments still owing to the Midland Railway Company [27]
     The 1,784 acres consisted of Lots M985, M986 and M990 of Victoria Location 2022 [27]
     Lots M985 and M990 are situated on the west side of Mitchell Road and M986 is on the east side of Mitchell Road [62]
     All three locations are behind the Inering Estate and M985 and M986 are on the Carnamah-Three Springs boundary [62]
     They named the farm Roselm using "Ro" from Robert, "s" from Strachan and "elm" from his initials E. L. M. [P346]
Initially an absentee farmer of the property in Carnamah in partnership with Robert W. STACHAN as "Mitchell & Strachan" [6]
     Robert W. STRACHAN initially resided on and worked the farm at Five Gums in Carnamah [P346]
     Their farm boasted some of the "exceptionally fine crops" in Carnamah in 1927 [9: 23-Sep-1927]
     They had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son from 1927 to 1930 [53]     
     His partner in the farm, Robert W. STRACHAN, died in 1927 and Robert's wife Margaret died in Perth the following year [15]
     Despite their deaths the farm remained in the name of and continued trading in the name of "Mitchell & Strachan" until 1939 [3] [60]
     They'd had the telephone connected by 1928 - telephone number Inering-14 [60]
     In November 1928 "Mitchell & Strachan" purchased a new Chevrolet truck form Carnamah dealer L. Scott WYLIE [4: 1-Dec-1928]
     Said to have employed a manger who developed the farm, but who also stole some of the farm's profits [P90]
He continued to live in Perth while working as a photographer at 264 Murray Street, Perth [6] [P144]
      Neighbouring Carnamah farmer Dick READING would visit him when in Perth and inform him how his farm was going [P144]
      He is said to have shifted to the farm after losing his business and other investments during the Great Depression [P90]
      With his photographic trade in decline he closed his studio in Perth in 1931 and shifted with his wife to his farm in Carnamah[200]
      It was later reported that "he forsook the camera for the plough" [81: 14-Jan-1940]
Farmer of Roselm Farm at Five Gums in Carnamah 1931-1946 [60] [200]
     With little knowledge of farming, much of the farm's running fell to employed Italian immigrant "Phillip" Filippo DI MASI [200]
     His farmhouse was telephone number Inering-14 and later telephone number Carnamah-50S [60]
     In 1933 his farm was one of the "excellent properties" heading eastwards from the Three Springs townsite [120: 5-Oct-1933]
     After an extension he completed paying the Midland Railway Company the instalments for his farm in 1942 [27]
     Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in 1943 [53]
     He is said to have "got on well with everyone" [P346]
Attended the Official Opening of the Carnamah Golf Course at Centenary Park in Carnamah on Sunday 23 July 1933 [5]
     Following the opening of the Carnamah Golf Course he took a group photograph of those present [5: 28-Jul-1933]
The Carnamah Road Board recommended he be appointed a Justice of the Peace for the Five Gums district in 1933 [5: 18-Aug-1933]
Mr WATERSTROM, Assistant Manager of Kodak Perth, spent a fortnight staying with him in September 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
He exhibited a display of photographic work at the Sixth Annual Three Springs Agricultural Show on 21 September 1933 [5: 29-Sep-1933]
The Carnamah District Road Board paid him £1/11/6 for photographs on 13 June 1934 [300: page 12]
In June 1934 he was made a Justice of the Peace for the Victoria Magisterial District [86: 16-Jun-1934]
The local newspaper reported on 24 August 1934 that a parcel for him had arrived at the Carnamah Railway Station [5: 24-Aug-1934]
In November 1934 Mr R. WATERSTROM of the Radio Shop in Perth, spent a holiday staying with him in Carnamah [5: 9-Nov-1934]
Returned to his farm in Carnamah in February 1935 after spending a few days in Perth [81: 24-Feb-1935]
In 1935 he carried around a vest pocket camera on his farm and used it to take photographs of his crops [81: 24-Feb-1935]
Donated 1st and 2nd prizes for the Best Collection of Australian Stamps at the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1935 [5: 13-Sep-1935]
Travelled from Carnamah to Perth by train on 30 September 1935 [5: 4-Oct-1935]
In March 1936 lost a suitcase which was recovered after being handed into the Police Station in Moora [88]
     Telephoned the Carnamah Police Station asking for the suitcase be forwarded to Three Springs with the fright payable there [88]
Returned to his home near the Inering Estate in Carnamah on Tuesday 7 April 1936 after several weeks in Perth [5: 10-Apr-1936]
Judged the Arts, Photography and Stamp Collection sections of the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1936 [5: 25-Sep-1936]
Sold 75 ewes through Goldsbrough Mort & Co Ltd at Midland Market in January 1937 - 35 at 12/7 and 40 at 9/3 per head [5: 22-Jan-1937]
Sold eight pigs at 21/10 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 10 February 1937 [5: 12-Feb-1937]
Member of the Five Gums School Committee - was President in 1937 [278]
     Attended the meeting at Five Gums on 10 March 1937 to discuss the establishment of a state school at Five Gums, Carnamah [278]
     Their application was turned down as too few of the children lived within the "compulsory radius" of the proposed school [278]
     As a result they proposed that a bus service be provided to transport children from Five Gums to the Inering State School [278]
     The costly bus service was endorsed by the Acting Director of Education but was turned down by the Minister for Education [278]
     He wrote to the Education Department in March 1938 advising a school bus was no longer needed as there were less children [278]
Judged the Photography section at the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1937 [5: 4-Jun-1937, 17-Sep-1937]
Mr WATERSTROM, former assistant manager of Kodak's Ltd, holidayed with them in Carnamah in September 1937 [5: 17-Sep-1937]
Member and Patron of the Five Gums Tennis Club from 1937-38 to 1940-41 [89]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1941 [13]
He also financially assisted the Three Springs Agricultural Society with annual donations [262]
Sold his 1,784 acre Roselm Farm in Carnamah to Walter BODYCOAT of Carnamah in February 1946 [P346]
In 1946 he left Carnamah and shifted to the Perth suburb of Claremont, where he resided until his death in 1959 [2] [200]
Husband of Lena [19]
Died 3 January 1959; cremated at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia [2]
His ashes were interred under a rose bush at his and his wife's home in the Perth suburb of Claremont  [P144]
A talk on his life and photographs was given in Carnamah by Dr Joanna SASSOON on Saturday evening 3 November 2007 [P8]

From The West Australian newspaper, Thursday 2 May 1929:
"Mr O. Mitchell, an ex-Australian died at Halifax, Yorkshire (England) recently, according to advice received on Tuesday by his son, Mr E. L. Mitchell, of Perth and Carnamah. The late Mr. Mitchell, who was 82 years of age, was interested in wool buying and scouring in Melbourne, Sydney and Bradford (England), and at one time owned property in the western portion of New South Wales. He spent some time in Western Australia in 1914. Mrs Mitchell died about two years ago. There are two daughters in England."

Comment Form Submission:
Sandy Barrie on 17 January 2019
"Ernest's uncle Percy Lund mentioned in your text was also a professional photographer, below is a list of his studios.
Lund, Percy & Co. (also Printer & Publisher. died 1942. aka Matthew Surface, pseudonym)
21 Imperial Buildings, New Bridge St, London, EC 1890-91
Memorial Hill Bdgs, Farringdon St, London 1891-92
5 Godwin St, Bradford 1899-1900
Also, Percy Lund is noted for his series of book on photography."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Ernest Lund Mitchell' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2024 from [reference list]

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