1948 – 1951
Sir James Mitchell was the first Australian-born Governor of Western Australia. He was born in 1866 at Dardanup on Paradise Farm, near Bunbury, the son of a grazier.
In 1905 he resigned as a manager with the Western Australian Bank in Northam after being elected to the Legislative Assembly. He held a number of portfolios while in government including Agriculture, Lands, Industries, Railways and Water Supply. He was Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Lands and Repatriation from 1919 to 1924 and served a second term as Premier in 1930.
Sir James was subsequently appointed Lieutenant-Governor, a position he held for 14 years until 1948 when he was finally appointed Governor on 5 October. Sir James actually served as Governor for 18 years because no Governor was appointed over him after his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor in 1933.
His final years at Government House were darkened by personal tragedy. His wife Clara died in 1949, and by his retirement on 30 June 1951 all but one of his children had predeceased him. Sadly, in the early hours of 26 July 1951, after having spent the day shooting with his son Roy near Donnybrook, he died in his sleep in the Vice Regal railway carriage.