History of West Australia/Edward Sholl

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WHEN we think that the comfort and stability by which we are surrounded are largely the result of what pioneers did in the past, we are compelled to respect their labours. The industries, the monuments of toil in towns and roads, in farms and stations, in railways and bridges, are the resultant benefits. Most of these veterans are dead; some survive to witness the completeness and success of their past efforts. The younger generation now take their places. They succeed to the professions and trades, and carry on the good work. They improve on and fulfil the proposals of their fathers. Many are the fine examples of this in Western Australia. Born in the country, they breathed its air and grew in its geniality, and became strong in body and mind.

Edward Sholl HOFWA.jpg
Photo by
T. Latimer.

We mention in this book of biography the careers of three members of the Sholl family descended from the pioneer Government Resident of Roebourne, Mr. Robert J. Sholl. Each son has proved himself fully worthy to maintain the traditions of the work of the father. Each works in different spheres—one in Parliament and production, another in the Public Service, and the gentleman of whom we now write has made himself well known in the legal profession. They are typical of many other families of pioneers in Western Australia.

Edward Sholl was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1854, and received his early education in the same centre. Upon leaving school, he joined his father at Roebourne, when that gentleman was performing lasting services to the benefit of the colony in popularising and settling northwest country. For four and a half years Mr. Edward Sholl remained at Roebourne; then he returned to Perth in order to qualify for the legal profession. Becoming articled to Mr. Stone, then a leading local lawyer, and now Mr. Justice Stone, he was duly admitted to practice in local courts. His first cases were conducted at York, where he removed, but in a few months he returned to the wider field to be found in Perth. He energetically worked up a large practice, and conducted it most successfully for many years. From 1877 to 1891 he was associated with numerous cases, and became a well-known figure in local courts, and was recognised as a good lawyer. In the latter year he was joined by Mr. J. C. Foulkes, M.L.C. These two gentlemen now possess a reliable, steady connection, and in addition to being associated with numerous cases they do considerable conveyancing. One of the most prominent cases with which Mr. Sholl has been identified was as solicitor for the plaintiff in the remarkable action, 0gilvie versus the West Australian Mortgage and Agency Company. Mr. 0gilvie sought to recover money on certain forged orders debited to his account by the defendant company. In the first place he was nonsuited by the Chief Justice, but on appealing to the Full Court a new trial was granted, and the case was heard by a jury, who found for Mr. 0gilvie. A second appeal was made, on this occasion by the defendants, to the Full Court, who then set aside the judgment of the jury. A final appeal was made to the Privy Council in England, with the result that the decision of the Full Court was reversed. In this protracted action Mr. Sholl watched over his client's interests very successfully, and his ability to grasp the complex questions at issue denoted much legal skill and insight. Space will not allow a recapitulation of other important actions with which he has been associated. His career as a lawyer has been in every way a happy one. His brother lawyers view him with so much respect that he is a member of the Barristers' Board. In the absence of a university this important and learned body enquires into the credentials and qualifications, and examines, applicants for admission to the local bar.

Mr. Edward Sholl is a director of the Perth Gas Company and of the Western Australian Trustees and Executors Company, and, in mining, of the Fraser's Gold Mining Company, Southern Cross. He holds interests in business affairs and gold mines. Like his brother, the Postmaster General, Mr. Edward Sholl has been prominently identified with local volunteer matters. He was for fifteen years a member of the Metropolitan Rifles, now forming part of the 1st. Infantry, and retired as a first lieutenant.

Mr. Sholl married, in 1886, Miss Fanny Cosgrove, of Sydney. Shrewd and attentive as a lawyer, practised in debate, courteous in demeanour, Mr. Sholl is looked upon as among our most prominent colonists. He well maintains the dignified name of his father, and is to be commended for his many good works in the Western Australian community.

[We regret to hear of the death of Mr. Sholl since the above was written.]