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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Hon. Edwin Mitchelson

The Hon. Edwin Mitchelson, Member of the House of Representatives for Eden, was a Minister of the Crown in three Governments—he held the portfolio of Public Works in the Atkinson Ministries, from the 23rd of November, 1883, to the 16th of August, 1884; from the 28th of August, 1884, to the 3rd of September, 1884, and from the 8th of October, 1887, to 17th of October, 1889; and was also Minister of Native Affairs from the 8th of October, 1887, to the 24th of January, 1891, Postmaster-General and Electric Telegraph Commissioner from the 17th of October, 1889, to the 24th of January, 1891. He is a son of the late Mr. Alexander Mitchelson, Warehouseman, who arrived in the Kaipara in January, 1840, per ship “Hannah Watson,” Mr. (afterwards Sir) Frederick Whitaker being a fellow passenger. Born in 1846 in the Northern Capital, the subject of this sketch was educated at St. Matthew's Parish School, and at Mr. Paterson's private school. He served his time as a carpenter in Auckland, and entered into business on his own account in 1870. Mr. Mitchelson is the founder of the firms of Mitchelson and Co., Kauri Gum and General Merchants, and Varnish Manufacturers, Auckland, and Mitchelson Bros., Sawmillers and General Merchants, Dargaville. In October, 1881, he was returned to the House as member for the electorate of Marsden, and three years afterwards he was re-elected unopposed for the same constituency. In 1887 Mr. Mitchelson, after arranging with Mr. R. Thompson to stand for Marsden, went to the Eden District with the intention of crossing swords with the Hon. J. A. Tole, Minister for Justice in the Stout-Vogel Administration, who, however, sought another electorate, where he was defeated by Mr. E. Withy. Mr. Mitchelson has since been twice re-elected for this district, which he still represents. The honourable gentleman claims to be a Liberal in politics, although not a supporter of the party now in power, he being one of the leading men in Her Majesty's Opposition. During the late Sir H. A. Atkinson's term of office as Premier, Mr. Mitchelson had frequently, owing to his chief's illness, to occupy the position of Acting Treasurer and leader of the House. The subject of this notice was for a short period a member of the Auckland Waste Lands Board. He was one of the first members of the Hobson County Council, of which he remained a member for many years till leaving the district. The honourable page 82
The Hon. Edwin Mitchelson

Photo by Wrigglesworth and Binns.

gentleman was married in September, 1871, to Miss Sarah Wilson, daughter of Mr. John Wilson, who landed in Auckland in 1839, twelve months before the lady whom he married, and who was a fellow passenger of Mr. Mitchelson's father and mother. His family numbers four—two sons and two daughters.