Charles Richmond Mitchell

Charles Richmond Mitchell
Alberta Minister of Health
In office
April 29, 1920 – August 13, 1921
Preceded by Alexander Grant MacKay
Succeeded by Richard Gavin Reid
Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs
In office
April 29, 1920 – August 13, 1921
Preceded by Alexander Grant MacKay
Succeeded by Richard Gavin Reid
Alberta Provincial Treasurer
In office
November 28, 1913 – August 13, 1921
Preceded by Arthur Sifton
Succeeded by Herbert Greenfield
Alberta Minister of Public Works
In office
May 4, 1912 – November 28, 1913
Preceded by Arthur Sifton
Succeeded by Charles Stewart
Alberta Minister of Education
In office
June 1, 1910 – May 4, 1912
Preceded by Alexander Cameron Rutherford
Succeeded by John Robert Boyle
Attorney-General of Alberta
In office
June 1, 1910 – May 4, 1912
Preceded by Charles Wilson Cross
Succeeded by Charles Wilson Cross
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
June 12, 1913 – March 18, 1926
Preceded by George Lane
Succeeded by Joseph Tweed Shaw
Constituency Bow Valley
In office
June 29, 1910 – April 17, 1913
Preceded by William Thomas Finlay
Succeeded by Nelson Spencer
Constituency Medicine Hat
Personal details
Born November 20, 1872
Newcastle, New Brunswick
Died August 16, 1942 (aged 69)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political party Liberal
Relations Peter Mitchell (uncle)
Alma mater University of New Brunswick
King's College
Profession Lawyer

Charles Richmond Mitchell (November 30, 1872 – August 16, 1942) was a Canadian lawyer, judge, cabinet minister and former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.


Early life

Charles R. Mitchell was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick. At the time, the Mitchells were a prominent local family: Mitchell's father was the Sheriff of Northumberland County and his uncle was Peter Mitchell, a senator and later Premier of New Brunswick.

He went to the University of New Brunswick and King’s College and took the New Brunswick bar exam in 1897. The next year he moved to Medicine Hat, at that time in the Northwest Territories and opened a thriving legal practice. He was appointed as a Judge in 1907 for the Calgary District Court and joined Arsenal shortly afterwards.

Cabinet Minister

Mitchell was first elected in a by-election in Medicine Hat provincial electoral district on June 29, 1910 after he was appointed to the cabinet by Premier Arthur Lewis Sifton on June 1, 1910.

Mitchell served two cabinet portfolios as the Minister of Education and the Attorney General of the province. He would serve both portfolios for 2 years until he became Minister of Public Works on May 4, 1912, dropping the others. In the 1913 Alberta general election Mitchell was defeated by Nelson Spencer from the Conservative party. Mitchell was the only Cabinet minister defeated that election, but was 1 of a number of high-profile defeats across the province.

After his defeat in the 1913 general election, George Lane, the Member for Bow Valley, resigned to provide a seat for the defeated Minister. On June 12, 1913 he was acclaimed and once again rejoined the government. He would serve Bow Valley as its Member until his resignation in 1926.

Mitchell was reappointed Cabinet as the Provincial Treasurer on November 28, 1913. He became the first non-premier Treasurer in Alberta history. He held that position until the government was defeated in 1921.

On April 29, 1920 Mitchell was appointed to be Minister of Municipal Affairs in addition to being the Treasurer.

Defeat of the government

Mitchell survived was one of the few Liberal Party members who survived the defeat of the government in 1921. After the Resignation of John R. Boyle to the judiciary on October 27, 1924 Mitchell became the fifth leader of the Liberal Party of Alberta. He would serve as Leader of the Official opposition until he was appointed in 1926 as a Justice to the Supreme Court of Alberta Appellate Division, vacating his seat and position as Liberal leader. He retired from the judiciary in 1936.

Mitchell died in 1942 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Electoral record

1921 Alberta general election results (Bow Valley)[1] Turnout 87.8%
     Liberal Charles Richmond Mitchell 1,694 72.30%
     United Farmers of Alberta George A. Love 649 27.70%
1917 Alberta general election results (Bow Valley)[2] Turnout 70.9%
     Liberal Charles Richmond Mitchell 604 58.13%
     Conservative Edmund F. Purcell 435 41.87%
1913 by-election results (Bow Valley)[3] Turnout N/A
     Liberal Charles Richmond Mitchell Acclaimed
1913 Alberta general election results (Medicine Hat)[4] Turnout N.A.
     Conservative Nelson Spencer 1,843 50.27%
     Liberal Charles Richmond Mitchell 1,823 49.73%
1910 by-election results (Medicine Hat)[3] Turnout N.A.
     Liberal Charles Richmond Mitchell 1,134 62.86%
     Conservative W. Huckvale 670 37.14%



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