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Members’ biographical register

William James George

Principal Honours
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George 1921
Date: 26 January 1853
Place: West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
Circa December 1891
Henry Wellington, draper, and Eleanor Sheldon
Marriage and Family
Married 3 June 1891, Christ Church, Casterton, Victoria to Mary Ann Nelson (born circa 1855 and died circa July 1936), daughter of Alexander and Eliza Frances Collins
Children: three sons and one daughter
Date: 10 March 1931
Place: Claremont, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Church of England
Educated privately and Birmingham and Midland Counties Institute, studied mechanical engineering
Employment History
Worked as iron merchant and bicycle maker
1885 joined Neil McNeil and Company public works contractors, worked on Tasmanian and Victorian railways and Watts River aqueduct, Victoria
Contractor’s manager 1891
To Western Australia circa December 1891, managed firm’s Jarrahdale timber station and Perth water works
Became general manager, built Mullewa railways and Victoria Reservoir
1894 with William Smith, established Black Swan Foundry
First president Chamber of Manufacturers from 1899
Commissioner of Railways 1902–1907
Retired from railways to farming 1907
1920 organised Western Australian tour of HRH the Prince of Wales
Local Government Service
Perth Municipal Council 1894–1898
Liberal to 1917 then Nationalist
Chaired NPL Campaign Committee 1900
Secretary National Liberal League, Western Australia 1910
Date Elected
12 February 1895
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by William George
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Murray 12 February 1895 (by-election)–1 July 1902 (resigned), 4 February 1909 (by-election)–3 October 1911
  • MLA Murray–Wellington 3 October 1911–12 April 1930
  • Contested Murray 18 June 1894, 11 September 1908

  • Minister for Works and Trading Concerns 27 July 1916–15 April 1924
  • Minister for Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage, 28 June 1917–15 April 1924
  • Member Royal Commission on Government Railways 1895–1899
1884 travelled and settled in Victoria
Justice of the Peace 1895
In later life resided in Claremont where stained glass window in Christ Church commemorates family
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, 2010, p. 78.
Further Information
Toby Manford, 'George, William James (1853–1931)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 21 December 2015.
"Mr. W.J. George", Sunday Times, 15 March 1931, p. 9.