Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Jochim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

"Charlie" Charles Frederick THOMAS

Born 21 June 1868 in Geraldton, Western Australia [P40]
Son of George THOMAS and Mary DYNAN [15]
Married Winifred BROWNRIGG in Geraldton on 31 August 1892 [P40]
Resided in Geraldton until shifting to prospective farmland in Three Springs in 1906 [120: 26-Dec-1929]
After building a makeshift home on his land in Three Springs he arrived to settle with his wife and children on 8 April 1906 [P40]
On their arrival they were welcomed with lunch by a fettler's wife in a small house where the war memorial now stands [P40]
Farmer of Kadathinni Farm in Three Springs [120: 26-Dec-1929, 5-Oct-1933]
     His 900 acre farm consisted of Lots 7 & 13 of the Kadathinni Agricultural Area, which he'd purchased for £1/10/- per acre [P40]
     The Kadathinni Agricultural Area was 10,000 acres in size and was initially intended to be a State Experimental Farm [120: 5-Oct-1933]
     During the 1923-24 financial year extended his farm by 360 acres with the purchase of Victoria Locations 3339, 3463 and 3728 [44]
     With further purchases extended his farm to a total of about 5,000 acres [120: 26-Dec-1929, 5-Oct-1933, 15-Oct-1936]
     Among such was 450 acres purchased from Charles C. MALEY for the record price of £12 per acre [120: 5-Oct-1933]
Excluding earlier pastoralists Reuben CARTER and himself were the first settlers of the Three Springs district in 1906 [120: 5-Oct-1933]
Turned the first furrow in the history of Three Springs in 1906 when he planted oats in a small four acre clearing [5: 25-Sep-1936]
He is said to have grown the first wheat in Three Springs, apparently 15 acres in 1906 which was cut for hay [191]
Undertook contract work in Three Springs, including fencing the Kadathinni Well by contract for £3/10/- in 1907 [103: page 30]
In 1907 held the first "Three Springs Day," which became an annual fete and sports meeting, and of which he was Secretary [120] [191]
Met Samuel F. MOORE M.L.A. at the railway station in Three Springs on his visit to Three Springs in October 1908 [9: 23-Oct-1908]
     After the partaking "of an excellent spread" at his farmhouse MOORE spent the afternoon learning the wants of the district [9]
     It proved worthwhile as afterwards MOORE spoke with the Works Department and had a well put down in Three Springs [9]
Inaugural Secretary in 1908 and a Member in 1911 of Kadathinni Farmers and Progress Association [103: page 40] [31: 11-Jan-1911]
He wrote a letter to the Upper Irwin Road Board about certain work done in Three Springs in January 1909 [9: 22-Jan-1909]
     The Road Board informed him that they deemed the work satisfactory and that they'd spent £200 in Three Springs in two years [9]
A photograph of a sample of Alpha wheat he grew appeared in The Western Mail newspaper on 11 December 1909 [120: 11-Dec-1909]
     Two wheat experts who viewed the sample claimed it was the finest sample of wheat they had ever seen anywhere [120]
     He grew 200 acres of Alpha wheat in 1909, and partway through harvest it was stripping nine bags of clean wheat to the acre [120]
He was the second largest grain grower in Three Springs in 1910 - with 300 acres of his farm in crop [9: 17-Jun-1910]
     His 1910 crop was "good and regular, and testified to the fertility of the soil, and to a good rainfall" in Three Springs [31: 7-Oct-1910]
     His crop was among those inspected when Samuel F. MOORE M.L.A. visited Three Springs on 30 September 1910 [9: 14-Oct-1910]
Member of the committee formed in July 1910 to obtain an Agricultural Hall for Three Springs [9: 22-Jul-1910]
     The hall opened in 1912 with him as one of 15 guarantors who covered the £300 debt to complete and furnish the hall [9: 12-Jul-1912]
     Served on the Hall Committee that managed the hall - Secretary in 1915-16 and a member in 1919-20 [10: 10-Aug-1915] [9: 29-Aug-1919]
Sang a song at the Social he and his wife hosted at the schoolroom in Three Springs on Saturday 30 July 1910 [9: 12-Aug-1910]
Played for the losing married men in a Married verses Single cricket match held in Three Springs on 4 February 1912 [9: 1-Mar-1912]
In August 1912 he was appointed to the Three Springs Local Board of Health [334: 27-Aug-1912]
Won the Log Chopping Competition at the "Three Springs Day" held in Three Springs on Monday 16 September 1915 [10]
     He defeated the other competitors after chopping his 37 inch log with an axe in one minute and 37 seconds [10: 24-Sep-1915]
Committee Member and Secretary of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee 1916-1928 [124] [10: 22-Mar-1918, 17-Jan-1919]
     He was Secretary-Treasurer in 1916 and 1917, and in 1918 he and Mrs Sara T. MALEY were Joint Secretaries [124]
     Once more Secretary-Treasurer in 1919, 1925 and 1928, and also Joint Treasurer with Rev. Father John FLAHAVAN in 1925 [124]
     Donated to the Committee: 10/- in 1916, £1/1/- in 1918, £2/2/- in 1919 and 1920, £2/10/- in 1925, and £1/1/- in 1928 [124]
     As Secretary he was the main organiser of the Committee's annual Sports Meeting in Three Springs on Saint Patrick's Day [124]
     The Sports Meetings included horse races, and from 1920 onwards they became Picnic Race Meetings [124]
     He and Thomas A. LYNCH ran the tote at the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations on 15 March 1923 [9: 13-Apr-1923]
     Donated a sheep and some steelyards for the Committee to raffle at their Picnic Race Meeting on Tuesday 17 March 1925 [124]
     He and James G. LYNCH ran the tote at the Committee's Picnic Race Meetings on Saint Patrick's Day 1925-1928 [124]
Inaugural Member of the Arrino Cemetery Board, which managed the Arrino Cemetery, in 1916 [10: 18-Aug-1916]
Attended the annual Three Springs Day held at Casuarina Park in Three Springs on Wednesday 27 September 1916 [10]
     Won the Log Chopping Competition (through an 18 inch log with an axe) and received 2nd prize for Chaff [10: 6-Oct-1916]
In early December 1916 received the news that his brother William had been accidentally killed at Mullewa [10: 5-Dec-1916] [P40]
Entrant in the Ugly Man Competition held in 1917 to raise money to pay for the gas plant at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs [10]
     Out of the ten competitors he came fifth, his involvement helping to raise the amount of £42/13/4 [10: 6-Jul-1917]
Member of the Three Springs Honour Board Committee in 1917 [10: 20-Jul-1917]
He was among the worst affected by severe floods that flooded and isolated Three Springs for ten days in mid August 1917 [10]
     The floodwaters rushed through his home to a depth of two feet and with great difficulty he got his family to safety [10: 24-Aug-1917]
Won 1st prize for Wheaten Sheaves at the Three Springs Day on Mrs M. M. WATSON's farm on 26 September 1918 [10: 4-Oct-1918]
Attended the wedding of Robert A. CALDOW and May I. BYRNE at the Three Springs Hall on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
The Three Springs Kangaroo Hunting & Picnic Party inspected his crops on the way their hunt of 1-2 September 1922 [9: 15-Sep-1922]
In March 1925 he was one of 32 farmers in Western Australia who purchased a Case tractor from Westralian Farmers [39: 21-Apr-1925]
Conducted the tote at the Picnic Races held in Three Springs on Saint Patrick's Day Tuesday 17 March 1925 [9: 3-Apr-1925]
In 1927 or 1928 had the telephone connected to his home in the name of "C. F. Thomas & Son" - was telephone number TS-20 [60]
Inaugural Secretary of the Three Springs Agricultural Society 1928-1934 [4: 29-Sep-1928] [5: 7-Oct-1932, 8-Sep-1933, 13-Apr-1934]
     The Society's first show was a huge success, credited largely to the "tremendous amount of hard work" he had done [4: 29-Sep-1928]
     Vice President of the Three Springs Agricultural Society in 1935, 1936 and 1937 [5: 17-May-1935, 1-May-1936, 25-Mar-1937]
He was among the 400 people who attended the Matrons and Benedicts Ball held in Three Springs on 31 August 1928 [4: 8-Sep-1928]
Attended the Three Springs Agricultural Society's First Annual Show, Official Luncheon and Show Ball on 20 September 1928 [4]
     C. F. Thomas & Son entered exhibits in the Horse, Sheep and Wool & Skins sections of the First Annual Show [4: 29-Sep-1928]
     Won 1st prizes for Farm Gelding and Strong Wool Merino Fleece, and 2nd prizes for Farm Gelding and Pair of Farm Horses [4]
Successfully exhibited in the Three Springs Agricultural Society's First Annual Show on 20 September 1928 [4: 29-Sep-1928]
     Won 1st prizes for a Farm Gelding and for a Strong Merino Fleece and 2nd prizes for Pair of Farm Horses and 3 Merino Ewes [4]
Secretary and organiser of the Grand Social, Dance & Novelty Fair held in Three Springs on Wednesday 15 November 1928 [4]
      The evening which boasted a splendid orchestra and a good supper, raised funds for the local Convent School [4: 10-Nov-1928]
Committee Member of the Three Springs Race Club in 1928 and 1929 [4: 1-Dec-1928, 23-Feb-1929]
Inaugural Member of the Three Springs District Road Board - represented the Kadathinni Ward in 1929 [120: 26-Dec-1929]
     Attended the first meeting of the Three Springs District Road Board on Monday 25 February 1929 [103: page 61]
     Member of the Three Springs Road Board's Revision Court in 1930 [4: 8-Mar-1930]
     Upon the expiration of his term as Town Member in April 1937 he re-nominated but was defeated by 17 votes [5: 23-Apr-1937]
Along with his wife and their daughters Nora and Rene travelled to Geraldton in early February 1929 [4: 9-Feb-1929]
     On their return to Three Springs they broke the axle of their car, however his daughters assisted (and got quite black! ) [4]
Secretary of the Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations & Sports Meeting held in Three Springs on Monday 18 March 1929 [4: 30-Mar-1929]
Among those who travelled from Three Springs to the coast for a day in a truck and two cars on Saturday 23 March 1929 [4: 6-Apr-1929]
In May 1929 purchased a smart new Oakland car through Carnamah agent Andrew SMART [4: 18-May-1929]
At a meeting held on 10 August 1929 he was appointed a Trustee of the Three Springs Recreation Reserve No. 12432 [4: 17-Aug-1929]
Won 2nd prizes for a Farm Gelding and for a Pair of Farm Horses at the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1929 [4: 5-Oct-1929]
Competed in the nationwide Bateman Centenary Wheat Growers' Competition in 1929[4: 17-May-1930]
In October 1929 successfully obtained permission from the TS Road Board to lay a water pipe over a road near his farm [4: 26-Oct-1929]
Acted as agent for the Carnamah Agricultural Society in 1930 and accepted exhibits from Three Springs for their Show [4: 13-Sep-1930]
Exhibited in the Poultry section of the Carnamah Agricultural Show held at Centenary Park, Carnamah on 18 September 1930 [4]
     Won 1st prizes for both male and female Rhode Island Reds and 2nd prize for a female White Leghorn [4: 27-Sep-1930]
Attended the Commemoration Dinner held at the Commercial Hotel in Three Springs on Friday 26 August 1932 [5: 9-Sep-1932]
     The dinner was to commemorate Three Springs having the highest average yield for wheat in the State for the 1931-32 season [5]
Attended "The Official Dinner" of the Three Springs Agricultural Show on the evening of 22 September 1932 [5: 7-Oct-1932]
Attended the Farewell Evening tendered to local pioneer Mrs Blanche M. KOCH in Three Springs on 3 December 1932 [4: 10-Dec-1932]
Attended the Three Springs C.W.A. Husbands Evening at the Three Springs Hall on Saturday 10 December 1932 [4: 17-Dec-1932]
Vice President of the Three Springs Agricultural Society in 1933 [5: 26-May-1933]
Served on the Board of the North Midlands District Hospital, Three Springs 1933-1935 [5: 14-Jul-1933] [109]
Oversaw the Three Springs Road Board's town drainage works which were carried out in 1934 to prevent flooding [5: 15-Jun-1934]
In 1934 voted in favour of dances held at the Three Springs Hall being allowed to continue after midnight on Saturdays [5: 15-Jun-1934]
     The motion was unsuccessful by one vote, resulting in a continued disadvantage to the hall, town and all who attended dances [5]
     His son raised the motion again before the Road Board in October 1936 when it was passed six votes to one [5: 23-Oct-1936]
Judged the Poultry section at the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Shows in 1934, 1935 and 1936 [5: 14-Sep-1934, 20-Sep-1935, 4-Sep-1936]
In 1935 the Three Springs Road Board planted a rose garden in front of the local railway station upon his suggestion [5: 11-Jun-1937]
Honorary Secretary of the Saint Patrick's Day Sports and Picnic Meeting held in Three Springs on Monday 18 March 1935 [5]
     The day included good prizes for pedestrian, equestrian and cycling events and was followed by a Grand Ball at night [5: 15-Feb-1935]
Judged the Poultry section at the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Shows in Coorow in 1935, 1936 and 1937 [5: 13-Sep-1935, 11-Sep-1936, 10-Sep-1937]
"C. F. Thomas & Son" won 1st prize for Dairy Cow in the Cattle section of the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1935 [5: 27-Sep-1935]
Presided over the meeting of Three Springs ratepayers held on Saturday 11 January 1936 to discuss the local water crisis [5: 17-Jan-1936]
On Wednesday 6 May 1936 he was travelling to Perth by car with daughter Irene and son-in-law "Mick" Clifford F. COFFEY [88]
     Near Winchester at about 11:30 a.m. the steering on the car went out of control and the car left the road and crashed into a tree [88]
     Fortunately none of them received any serious injuries, although he was in a bad way and suffering heart trouble [88]
Donated special prizes for the Educational section of the Three Springs Agricultural Show on 17 September 1936 [5: 25-Sep-1936]
"C. F. Thomas & Son" were among local farmers who hired through the Three Springs Road Board a boring plant in 1937 [5: 22-Jan-1937]
     At his request abandoned the first bore at 143 feet and no water, and moved on to another spot 40 yards south of Beach Road [5]
     The second bore was abandoned after the boring bit was lost at 93 feet, and due to clay falling in from 40 feet level [5: 5 & 25-Mar-1937]
Reported to the Three Springs Road Board that the Post & Telegraph Department had destroyed trees at the local Convent [5]
     The Department had wantonly destroyed the trees while lopping branches away from the telegraph line [5]
     The Three Springs Road Board resolved to ascertain what power the Department had in destroying trees [5: 22-Jan-1937]
Resided in Three Springs until his death in 1941 [24]
Father of Winifred Mary, Letitia Catherine, Charles Frederick Jnr, Alma Elizabeth, Honora Mary, Amy Dolores and Irene Agnes [P40]
Died 8 October 1941 in Three Springs; buried Three Springs General Cemetery, Three Springs (Roman Catholic, Plot 33) [24]


From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 26 December 1929:
Country Towns and Districts - Three Springs and Mingenew - Cereal and Pastoral Wealth - People and Properties
"Despite the pessimism of a recognised authority, Mr. C. F. Thomas, snr., was convinced of the quality of the land when he arrived in the undeveloped Three Springs district in 1906 from Geraldton. This season he is hopeful of harvesting 3,600 bags from 600 acres of wheat. Kadathinni Farm, the property of Mr. C. F. Thomas and Son, covers 5,500 acres. After Mr. Thomas's arrival in the district, progress was slow and some bad seasons were experienced, but a visit to Kadathinni Farm reveals the success of the pioneers. Mr. Thomas has been the secretary of the Agricultural Society since its inception, and is a member of the road board."


From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 5 October 1933:
Country Towns and Districts - Three Springs and Carnamah - Rich Pastoral and Wheat Lands - A Progressive Community
"Mr C. F. Thomas, the pioneer farmer of the Three Springs district, is a native of Geraldton, where he was born 65 years ago. He arrived at Three Springs in 1906 a few days later than Mr R. Carter. Both of these hardy settlers selected land that was portion of a block of 10,000 acres known as Kadathinni Estate. When the Government decided to revoke the experimental farm project, the land was subdivided for sale, the highest price per acre being 30/- paid by Mr Thomas and the late Mr H. Maley. Mr Thomas originally selected 900 acres on the conditional purchase system, and increased his holding by purchase to 4,000 acres, 450 of which was purchased from the late Mr C. C. Maley at £12 per acre. This was the highest price ever paid of land in the district, and probably stands as a record for the highest priced farm land sold in any portion of this state. Two thousand acres are cleared, of which 700 are cropped annually for an average yield of twenty bushels per acre, while for the same period 250 acres are in fallow. The property carries 2,000 Merino sheep, 30 cattle and 20 horses. It is splendidly watered by three dams and there is also a supply from wells that is adequate for all domestic and stock requirements. Mr Thomas is a foundation member of the local road board and vice-president of the Three Springs Agricultural Society, of which he was the original organiser and secretary and the only honorary life member."


From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 15 October 1936:
"Starting in 1906 with a holding of 900 acres, Mr. C. F. Thomas, sen. increased his property to the present area of 5,000 acres. Arriving from Geraldton after five days' journey with only one plough, one wagon, a few horses as his only farming equipment, he carved a prosperous farm out of virgin country. It was largely owing to the efforts of Mr. Thomas that an annual agricultural show was inaugurated in the district, and he holds a testimonial from the Three Springs Agricultural Society as a token of its gratitude for his work in this connection. As early as 1907 Mr. Thomas convened a Three Springs Day, which eventually grew into the first district agricultural show."


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 11 October 1941:
Late Mr. Thomas, sen. - A Three Springs Pioneer - Long Service to District
"A pioneer of the Three Springs district in the person of the late Mr. C.F. Thomas, sen., passed to his last rest in the very early hours of Thursday morning at the North Midlands Hospital, and the news of his death was received with great regret by all who knew him. The deceased had been in failing health for a long period and recently entered the local hospital where he passed away on Thursday. The late Mr. Thomas was born at Geraldton and in April last, he celebrated his 73rd birthday. He was engaged in a carrying business in the Geraldton district during the early years of his life, and was married there to Miss Winifred Brownrigg, who survives him together with four daughters and a son. A fifth daughter predeceased her father. In 1906 Mr. Thomas moved to Three Springs with his family, plant and household goods, having selected the property on which he had since lived. He was the first man to crop land at Three Springs and has seen the district develop from bush country to its present highly improved condition. When the Three Springs Road Board was formed in 1929, the late Mr. Thomas became a member and represented the Town Ward for several years until ill-health compelled his retirement from public life. He was a foundation member of the Three Springs Agricultural Society, in the formation of which he played a prominent part. For many years he held the position of secretary of that body, in which he took an exceptionally keen interest as in fact, he did in everything pertaining to the district in which he had elected to make his home. He was a staunch churchman and was always prominent in anything connected with the
welfare of the Roman Catholic Church in the district. Three of his daughters (Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. Burge and Mrs. Coffey) have married and settled at Three Springs, as also has his son (Mr. C.F. Thomas, jun.) who has for several years, occupied the position of chairman of the Three Springs Road Board. The district generally, is very much the poorer for the passing of such a pioneer as Mr. C.F.Thomas sen. who was a man of kindly personality and high moral character. The residents of Three Springs and many of the surrounding districts where he was also held in high esteem, will tender sincere sympathy with the bereaved family, in which expression the "Irwin Index" associated itself. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon in the cemetery at Three Springs in the presence of a very large assemblage of residents from all parts of the district."


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 18 October 1941:
Late Mr. Thomas, sen. - Three Springs Pioneer - Largely Attended Funeral
"The funeral of the late Mr. C.F. Thomas sen., a pioneer of the Three Springs district, who died on Thursday of last week, took place the following day in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Three Springs. As indicating the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held there was a very large attendance at the funeral, those present including residents of Three Springs, Arrino, Yandanooka and Morawa. The Rev . Father Lynch read the prayers. The pall-bearers was Messrs. F. Connaughton, E. W, Franklin, M. M. Wilson and C. E. Maley, members of the Three Springs Road Board, of which body the deceased was a member from its establishment until his retirement a few years ago. The principal mourners were:- Mrs. Thomas (wife), son, daughters, sons-in-law and daughter-in-law and grand-children. Others present included Messrs. N. Nairn, P. J. Lynch, W. Maley, K. S. Glyde, W. Turner, J. Lynch, A. E. Saggers, A. Mortimer, E. Duffy, E. Hunt, S. Broad, N. McKenzie, Pilot Fred McKenzie, H. Barrett, A. H, Ferguson, Cecil Maley, C. Luscombe, G. H. Bickford, E. L. Franklin, A. Sheppard, Archie Howard, A. Smith, Claude Maley, Walter Durack, S. Gooch, J. B. Kuhnberg, K. Bussenschut, R. Black, A. R. Strutton, A. Bastian, K. Bastian, E. W. Franklin, J .K. Hebiton, sen.,  W. Smith, H. R. Goodridge, C. B. Thomas,  C. B.Barrett, H. R. Carter, S. Lambert, B. Paskos, F. Connaughton, Albert Sheppard, R. Young, W. Turner, W. G. Duncan, Bertolliti, Howard Smith, J. Brown, P. Vanderleur, H. Sweetman, Selway, Father Ord, Dr. M. Mayrhofer, Mr. and Mrs. G. Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Jordan, Mr. and Mrs. S. Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. O'Shannessy, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. S. Maley, Mrs. L. J. Carter (representing "Irwin Index"), Miss Mary Howard, Miss Caroll. The numerous floral tributes included the following:- His loving wife, his loving son (Charlie), daughter-in-law (Winnie) and family, loving daughters, (Winnie, Letty, Alma, Nora and Irene), sons-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. A. Bastian, Mr. and Mrs. P. Millard, Mrs. Sara Maley, the management and staff of the North Midlands Co-op Ltd., Mrs. Watson and Arthur, Mr. and Mrs. A. Saggers, Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Lynch, Luscombe family, Mrs. S.J. Howard and family, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Thomas and Mrs. L. Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Black and family, Mr. and Mrs. J.K. Hebiton and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. Morgan and family, Mr. G. H. Bickford, Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Williamson, Dr. and Mrs. Mayrhofer, Mr. E. Hunt and family, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin and Hetty, Mr. and Mrs. G. Meyer and family, Daphne and Len Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Carter and family, "The Irwin Index" E. Duffy, Ted and Biddy, Mr. and Mrs. Gooch, Matron and staff of the North Midlands Hospital, Mr. and Mrs. Lambert, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Vandeleur, members and secretary of the Three Springs Road Board, Mr. and Mrs. C. Bussenschut and family, Frank, Kath and Charlotte, Mrs. and Mrs. H. Nairn, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Maley and family, Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Carter, Mrs. Turner and family, Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Jordan, Mrs. Angel, Mr. and Mrs. H. Sweetman, Mr. and. Mrs. J. Turner and John. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. H. E. Thomas of Three Springs."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Charles Frederick Thomas' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 20 October 2017 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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