From Hooves to Highways

Isadore Emanuel, Esq

Isadore Emanuel.jpg


Isadore Samuel Emanuel was born in 1860 in NSW and sent to Western Australia in the early 1880s by his father, Samuel, to establish stations on the pastoral leases he and his partner, Patrick Durack, had taken up in the West Kimberley. In 1894, in partnership with his brother, Sydney, and Alexander Forrest, they forged Forrest, Emanuel & Co, stock and station agents, which dominated the north-west meat industry.

In about 1900 Isadore moved to Perth and in 1902, aged 42, married Muriel O’Meehan (20). Sons Sydney and Gerald were born in 1903 and 1907 respectively. In 1907 he built a brick villa opposite Kings Park in Bellevue Terrace, and named it Urella (Muriel’s middle name).

“About 35 - he may be more, but does not look it - sallow complexion, dark, curly hair, tinged with grey, with unpronounced Jewish features, medium height and build - such is the presiding genius of the firm Forrest, Emanuel, & Co. Hard as a nail in a deal, keen and shrewd in gauging chances, and capable of handling very big things. Reserved in manner, and self-contained, he is somewhat difficult to approach. Frequently to be seen walking along the Terrace, in the direction of the Weld Club. Invariably carries an umbrella in one hand, and, afar off, the Emanuel walk enables one to pick him out. Drives the best horses and carriages to be seen in the city, and is a good judge of horseflesh. Has no liking for politics, sticking closely to business. Fond of horseracing. Has been very successful in his operations, therefore very wealthy. Success of the firm due in no small measure to the ability displayed by the subject of this sketch.”

Through the Spyglass by ‘Truthful Thomas’, 1905

In 1910 Isadore sold their Bellevue Terrace home to Paul Strelitz and by 1912 they had moved to London, where youngest son Ronald was born in October. Isadore managed his pastoral interests from afar and died in his home in Park Lane, Mayfair, at the age of 93, on 5 January 1954, leaving an estate worth roughly $25m today.

 What, Where, When

Isadore is in the back seat of his 1907 Beeston-Humber with his wife, Muriel. Their oldest son, Sydney (4), is in the front. Their English chauffeur, Percival Caudle, is driving. They are outside Urella, their newly-completed home in Bellevue Terrace, West Perth. Gerald Emanuel was born in July 1907 and the home finished a few months later which, together with their clothing and bright sunlight, suggest this was taken in the summer of 1907-1908.

This car was sold at auction in March 1910. In their subsequent car, later that year, Percival was driving Isadore and his friend Samuel Burges to Belmont. As they passed the Ozone Hotel, East Perth, a group of men were heading to the hotel. Edward Snashall seemed to step in whatever direction the car was headed and though Percival tried to avoid him, he ran him over. Snashall was left unconscious and bleeding from the head, but survived. Initial accusations that Percival was speeding (over 12 miles per hour) were retracted.

Beeston-Humber(30 H.P., 4 cyl.) the property of Isidore Emanuel, Esq.