15.  Elias Solomon (1839-1909), auctioneer and politician


Elias Solomon was born in London and arrived in Australia with his family in 1841. After working as a chief clerk and bookkeeper in Adelaide and Melbourne, Solomon commenced business in Fremantle in 1868 as an auctioneer and agent. 

Little was known about Solomon’s early years in Fremantle, as many personal papers were destroyed after his death. Later, a 500-page letter book of thin water-stained pages was discovered and revealed details of his business activities. 

Always interested in public affairs, Solomon served three terms as Mayor of Fremantle between 1889 and 1901. By this time he was living at Ocean View, the home he had built in 1884 at 134 Solomon Street, Beaconsfield, which still stands today. As mayor, he helped achieve many improvements in the town, including the building of the Town Hall, the cleaning up of cesspits from backyards, and the acquisition of land for a synagogue. 

He was also elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for South Fremantle in 1892 until 1901, and in 1901 became the first Federal member for Fremantle. He was one of four Jewish members of the first Commonwealth Parliament. 

At various times Solomon headed public boards such as the Fremantle Literary Institute, Fremantle Municipal Tramways, Fremantle Public Hospital, Fremantle Cemetery and the Technical School. He was also consular agent for Italy and Visiting Justice to the Fremantle and Rottnest Prisons.