DEATH OF MR. CHARLES WILLCOX.
MAYOR AND LEGISLATOR. MANY BUSINESS INTERESTS.
General regret will be felt concerning the death of Mr. Charles Willcox, a former mayor of Adelaide and member of the Le- gislative Council. Mr. Willcox who was
in his 78th year, contracted pneumonia on Wednesday of last week and passed away peacefully at his home, Fitzroy-ter- race, Fitzroy, about 5 o'clock yesterday morning. He was well known throughout South Australia and in most parts of the commonwealth as a business man who, beginning with little material
equipment, but with indomitable courage, abundant energy, and financial acumen, rose to the highest ranks of com- mercial enterprise in this State. He was a high-minded and patriotic citizen and was very cordially respected throughout the community. He had a warm heart and an open hand. His word was his bond, and in all the engage- ments of public business and social life he bore his part with the greatest possible efficiency. He was courteous and generous on all occasions. He did excellent work as a legislator and he was a most valuable municipalist, his turn as mayor being marked by the utmost success. In the hospitalities of the office he was splen- didly aided by his wife, who was exceed- ingly popular during her period as mayoress. Mr. Willcox was born at Borough- bridge, on the Parreth, a tributary of the Severn, in Somersetshire on Sep- tember 15, 1843. Therefore in another week he would have completed his 78th year. He was educated in his native parish and came to South Australia in the sailing ship Adamant at the age of 18. For a year and a half he followed rural pursuits in the South-East and then re- turned to Adelaide and entered into the employment of Messrs. Goode Bros., wholesale merchants. Three years later he visited England, but he stayed there only for about 12 months. In 1873 he entered into partnership in Tynte-street, North Adelaide, with the late Mr. William Gilbert, M.P., as hay, chaff, and corn merchants, under the style of Gilbert, Willcox & Co. Ten years later Mr. Willcox purchased Mr. Gilbert's interest in the firm, and became sole proprietor of the business, which was carried on under the style of Charles Willcox & Co. Later be secured an interest in the business of John Hill & Co., and was chairman of directors of that company until the amalgamation with H. Graves & Co., under the name of Graves Hill & Co. Mr. Willcox was also chair- man of directors of the new company until it went into liquidation last year, and be was appointed one of the liquida- tors. In 1886 Mr. Willcox purchased the Payneham and Paradise Tramway Com- pany, is conjunction with the late Hon. W. Everard, and three years later became sole proprietor. Prosperity rewarded his industry and enterprise, and in 1896 he purchased also the Goodwood and Clarence Park tramway. The two lines he con- ducted profitably until they were taken over by the Metropolitan Tramways Trust for the purpose of electrification. He held the largest individual interest of any shareholder in the Adelaide tramways at the time of the conversion. He was chair- man of directors of the West Coast Ship- ping Company at the time of the amalga- mation with the Gulf Steamship Company, and held a similarly high position in the Coast Steamships, Limited, which company later was incorporated in the Adelaide Steamship Company. He re- mained a director untill the time of his death. With Mr. Job Hallett. he founded the firm of J. Hallett & Sons, brickmakers of Brompton, the biggest business of its kind in the State. In 1901 he took over the produce business of W. Thyer & Co. from Messrs. F. C. Howard and W. Thhyr, and continued it under the style of Thyer, Willcox & Co. The trad- ing name of the firm is now Charles Will- cox & Co. Mr. Wlllcok was at one time interested with Messrs. C. H. Angas and J. W. Bakewell in the Tarella Pastoral Com- pany, and also engaged in farming in the Mallala and Two Wells dis- tricts. His many enterprises in- cluded fruit-growing at Renmark and Berri. He was one of the guarantors of the Jubilee Exhibition Building in 1887, and of the Adelaide Y.M.C.A., of which he also was a trustee and member of the managing committee. He was for many years a member of the committee of the Baptist Union and a prom- nent member and officer of the Tynte- street (North Adelaide) Baptist Church. Not withstanding his many business in- terests, Mr. Willcox found time for phil- anthropic work, and was actively con- nected with the boards of management of the Royal Institution for the Blind and the Home for Incurables. He was also prominent in tbe Chambers of Commerce and Manufactures and the Royal Agricul- tural Society. His work in the Adelaide City Council, particularly in respect to the beautification of the city, is gratefully remembered by the citizens. He was first elected to the council as a councillor for Robe ward in 1884. He continued his connection with municipal activities hi tbe cipacitv of councillor and alderman until D?2, Vrhen he was elected mayor, an office he held for two yeais. Policies also poosensed *b interest for him. He first sought election to the House of Assembly as a represenU tre of Crumeracba, and conducted a si- eoreful campavn. He was declared ekcted but, on objection being made that he was a Government contractor, be resigned tfie seat. In 1896 be was returned as a #?>re ?entative <£ the N'orth-Ea?tern Dirfnct of the LpgwlaUre Counvil *>y one of She largpss majorities ever obuined in ti?t diatru-x. For many years lie represented that con stiteency K-ith credit to himseic anl benefit to the electors. Mr. Willcox was twice married. A widow, six sons, and five daughters survive. The family comprises Dr. F. M. Willcox of Adelaide; Messrs. S. and A. M. Will cox, of Two Wells; H. G. Willcox of Robe-Terrace, Medindie.; P. H. Willcox of Clare: and C. A. Willcox, of Fitzroy: Mrs G. Hillman, of Prospect: Mrs. R. W. Thomas, of Brisbane; Mrs. Malcolm P Reid, of Toorak: Miss Willcox and Miss Irene Willcox, of Fitzroy. The president of the Commonwealth Club (Dr. F. W. Richards) at a luncheon at the Town Hall on Wednesday said he was sure it was the wish of all present that he should refer to the death of a former Mayor of Adelaide (Mr Charle Willcox). A great loss had been sustained by the public.
The late Mr. Charles Willcox.