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Mitchell, William Broadfoot (Willie) (1850–1899)

Widespread feelings of regret will be felt at the death of Mr. William Broadfoot Mitchell (manager for Messrs Tooth and Co., Limited), which took place at his residence, Carthona, Darling Point, at 2.30 p.m on Saturday. Mr. Mitchell bad been in somewhat indifferent health for the past four or five years, but notwithstanding this fact, nothing serious was anticipated by his most intimate friends. The deceased, who had been formerly attended by Dr. Scot Skirving, was apparently in his ordinary health on Saturday morning. About 8.45 a.m., whilst in his dressing-room he had a partial stroke of paralysis. In the absence from home of Dr. Scot Skirving, Drs. Jenkins and Leo E. F. Neill were called in. The patient became unconscious about 10 30 a.m , and passed away shortly before 3 p.m., the immediate cause of death being haemorrage of the brain. The suddenness of his decease came as a severe shock, Expressions of deep regret were made as the news of the sad event spread around the city and suburbs. The deceased gentleman, notwithstanding his weak state of health during the past few years, was well known in commercial circles, and also took a deep interest in sporting and social events. Mr. Mitchell had only reached the age of 49 years. He proceeded to Maidstone, Kent, England, in the year 1878 for the purpose of gaining a thorough practical knowledge of the brewing business. After a course of close study for nearly five years he returned to Sydney and became associated with the firm of Tooth and Co., assisting his father in the active management of the business. The firm at that time consisted of Messers. F. Tooth, R. Tooth, and J. S. Mitchell. About the year 1888 the business had grown to such an extent that it was successfully floated into a limited company, Mr. Mitchell being appointed the first manager. As a business man and employer of labour the deceased was highly respected. Mr, Mitchell took very little interest in political or municipal affairs, but was an ardent supporter of outdoor sports, and for years took a keen interest in cricket. He was a frequent spectator of important matches, and was also a member of the Australian Jockey Club. It is probably as a yachtsman that he was best known outside business circles. He was a member of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Prince Alfred Yacht Club, and owned and raced several boats with the colours of the latter, principal of which might be mentioned the Pleiades (the champion 10 tonner of former years), and the Doris (built for Dr. Milford), was also another well-known yacht owned and raced by the deceased. In consequence of failing health Mr. Mitchell disposed of his various sailing boats and subsequently owned the steam launch Isabel, in which he frequently took a turn around the harbour with the colours of the Prince Alfred Yacht Club. As a vice-president of the Sydney Gun Club, the deceased imparted considerable life into the doings of that institution, and was considered by many to be its mainstay. He was himself a capital shot, and notwithstanding his success in the field he adopted the nom de plume of "Riley" when competing in the various events Mr. Mitchell possessed many social qualities, and was highly esteemed by members of the various branches of commercial enterprise. He leaves a widow and two children in addition to a large circle of friends and acquaintances to mourn their loss. At the various boat sheds at Rushcutter Bay and other places in the harbour on Saturday afternoon the flags were flying at half-mast as a token of respect for tho deceased. At St Mark's Church, Darling Point, on Sunday morning the rector (Rev. Willoughby Flower, M.A ) referred in sympathetic terms to the decease of Mr. W B. Mitchell, who with his family were members of the congregation. During the service appropriate hymns wore sung by the choir and congregation, and at the close Mr. J. Edward Sykes, who presided at the organ, played the "Dead March" (from Saul), during which the congregation remained standing. During the morning the bells from St. Mark's belfry were tolled to mark the sad event. The funeral will take place to-day.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Evening News (Sydney), 21 November 1899, p 7

Citation details

'Mitchell, William Broadfoot (Willie) (1850–1899)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mitchell-william-broadfoot-willie-23036/text32327, accessed 22 November 2017.

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