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Members’ biographical register

Frank Wilson

Principal Honours
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) 1911
Date: 12 May 1859
Place: Monk Wearmouth, Sunderland, Durham, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
To WA October 1891
Son of John, timber merchant, and Sarah Martha Walker
Marriage and Family
Married 25 May 1880, Whitburn St Chapel, Monk Wearmouth to Annie Phillips (born circa 1861), daughter of Robert Hall
Children: three sons and six daughters
Date: 7 December 1918
Place: Claremont, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, WA
Educated Sunderland; Moravian College, Nieuwied, Germany; Wesley College, Sheffield
Apprenticed to Peacock Brothers and Sons, timber merchants, shipbrokers and commission agents in Sunderland
Employment History
1878 joined brother in engineering firm in Sunderland
Migrated to Queensland 1886
Operated own business then managed A Overend and Company, railway contractors, machinery merchants and flour millers
Until 1899 managing director Canning Jarrah Timber Company
During these years acted as mining agent
Director Fremantle Gas and Coke Company, Eureka Mining Company and Perth Brick Company
Short period with Jarrah Wood and Sawmills Company
Then into Collie coal business, substantial shareholder with Zebina Lane and manager director Collie Proprietary Ltd
Local Government Service
Perth City Council November 1895–1898
Liberal; Nationalist 1917
Date Elected
6 May 1897
Inaugural Speech
Wilson, Frank, Inaugural Speech, 1897.pdfWilson, Frank, Address-in-Reply, 1904.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Frank Wilson
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Canning 6 May 1897–24 April 1901; Perth 24 April–6 December 1901; Sussex 28 June 1904–29 September 1917
  • Contested Perth (ministerial by-election) 6 December 1901, Claremont 11 June 1902 (by-election), Sussex 29 September 1917
  • Premier, Treasurer 16 September 1910–7 October 1911, 27 July 1916–28 June 1917
  • Commissioner for Railways and Minister for Railways and Mines 21 November–23 December 1901
  • Minister for Works 25 August 1905–7 May 1906
  • Colonial Treasurer, Minister for Agriculture and for Education (until 14 May 1909) 7 May 1906–30 June 1909
  • Minister for Works 30 June 1909–16 September 1910
  • Premier, Treasurer 16 September 1910–7 October 1911, 27 July 1916–28 June 1917
  • Leader of the Opposition 1 November 1911–27 July 1916
Mother died soon after he was born
For many years president Timber Merchants and Saw Millers' Association
President Perth Chamber of Commerce 1899–1902 employer's representative
Member of Arbitration Court until 1904 and later represented employers from time to time in hearings before the Court
Established and president Coalmine Owners’ Association
Attended coronation of King George V
Granted freedom of City of Sunderland
Senate University of Western Australia 1912–1916
Staunch supporter of athletics and keen long distance cyclist
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2001, p. 207-208.
Further Information
JS Battye, The Cyclopedia of Western Australia, vol 1, p. 338–339.
David Black, 'Wilson, Frank (1859–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 12 January 2016.
WB Kimberly, History of West Australia. A Narrative of her Past, together with biographies of her leading men, p. 182.
GS Reid and MR Oliver, The premiers of Western Australia 1890-1982 .
Twentieth century impressions of Western Australia, p. 38.
West Australian, 19 November 1895, 2, 19 April 1897, 9, 10 December 1918.