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

"EK" Edmund Keen BYRNE

Born 6 April 1866 in Chittering, Western Australia [114]
Son of Edmund Keane BYRNE and Amelia JONES [15]
Grandson of Richard JONES and Mary BROWN, who arrived in the Swan River Colony on the Nancy on 9 January 1830 [P137]
     His grandmother Mrs Mary JONES was among the first white women to arrive in the Swan River Colony [39: 6-Apr-1937]
     Bullsbrook was said to have been named after his grandfather "Bull" Richard JONES, who was the first to build a camp there [39]
     His father had been imprisoned in England for stealing a purse and arrived in Western Australia as a child convict in 1848 [P1]
EK was born at Brockhill Farm in Chittering, where his father was a farmhand, and resided there with his parents 1866-1868 [114]
     Resided with his parents on his father's Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon 1868-1889 [114]
     By the age of eight he was ploughing with a bullock team, and by 14 years drove a bullock team to and from Perth [81: 11-Apr-1937]
     Assisted his father in the running of Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon until 1883 and then worked as a carrier and shearer [114]
Farmer of West Point Farm in Wannamal 1889-1913 [114]
     He farmed West Point in partnership with John J. ESSEX 1889-1896 and then by himself [114]
     He and John Joseph ESSEX became the pioneers and first farmers in the Wannamal district of Western Australia in 1889 [114]
     On his advice the property had been purchased by his father from Walter PADBURY [81: 11-Apr-1937]
     The land that made up West Point had originally been an outer portion of Donald MACPHERSON's Glentromie Station [148]
Married Isabella WOODS on 9 October 1890 at the Holy Trinity Church in Chittering [114]
On 8 August 1891 he won the inaugural Victoria Plains ploughing competition, winning the prize of ten guineas [114]
From 1896 to 1898 he supplemented his income by undertaking contract work with the Chittering Road Board [114]
Served as a Member on the Chittering Road Board from 1901 until resigning in February 1914 [114]
Member of the Wannamal Hall Committee and the Wannamal Cemetery Committee [114]
In 1908 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the Swan Magisterial District [39: 5-Dec-1908]
Steward of the Wool section at the Moora Agricultural Society's Annual Show in Moora on Friday 9 October 1908 [9: 2-Oct-1908]
Purchased 1,000 stud ewes bred from Murray rams from George BARRETT-LENNARD of West Swan in October 1908 [9: 30-Oct-1908]
The annual Wannamal Picnic was held in a paddock on his West Point Farm in Wannamal on Friday 30 October 1908 [9: 6-Nov-1908]
     He made a welcoming speech at the picnic which included children's athletic events and was followed by a dance at the school [9]
In 1910 he advertised for those interested in buying improved farming properties to communicate with himself [9: 5-Aug-1910]
Foundation Committee Member of the Wannamal Farmers' Progress Association in 1910 [39: 18-Jan-1910]
Exhibited in the Vegetable, Grain and Sheep sections of the Moora Agricultural Society's Annual Show in Moora in 1910 [9: 28-Oct-1910]
     Won 1st prizes for Cauliflower, Carrots and Parsnips, and 2nd prizes for Cabbage, Bushel of Wheat and a Ewe (over 2-tooth) [9]
Owner of the Draught stallion Royal Kilbowie, who won First Prizes at the Moora Show and Royal Perth Show [9: 21-Jul-1911]
     In 1911 his stallion stood at West Point and could be mated with mares for £2/10/- plus paddocking fess of 1/6 per week [9]
Guarantor on the Wannamal Hall Committee's £80 overdraft for the building of the Wannamal Hall in 1912 [114]
Opened a butchering business situated in Slaughter Street, Three Springs in early June 1911 [9: 2 & 9-Jun-1911]
     His butcher's shop was situated on Lots 1 & 2 of Victoria Location 2022 on Slaughter Street in the Three Springs townsite [44]
     Presumably purchased Lots 1 & 2 from pawnbroker Henry SEELIGSON who'd purchased them at auction on 18 June 1909 [27] [44]
     In 1911 purchased 1,130 acres of farmland in Three Springs from Michael and Francis BROWN of Three Springs [39: 6-Apr-1937] [44]
     The 1,130 acres consisted of adjoining Lots M761, M762, M763 and M764 of Victoria Location 2022 [44]
     His son Eddie shifted to Three Springs and began developing his property there and to run his butchering business [114]
In February 1914 sold his Westpoint Farm in Wannamal to Alexander W. EDGAR of Gingin [114]
     He was publicly farewelled by the residents of Wannamal at a function held in the Wannamal Hall on 18 February 1914 [114]
     Along with his wife and children left Wannamal in February 1914 and shifted to his farmland in Three Springs [114]
Farmer of Eastbourne Farm in Three Springs 1914-1938 [19] [P137]
     His farm in Three Springs was 1,130 acres comprising Lots M761, M762, M763 and M764 of Victoria Location 2022 [44]
Spoke at the Social & Concert held in Three Springs on 24 April 1914 to welcome Rev. J. W. BAYLISS to the district [10: 1-May-1914]
     At the Social & Concert he also sang the songs "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon" and "Town of Limerick" [10: 1-May-1914]
     Along with his wife had the Rev. James W. BAYLISS as their guest when the reverend first arrived in Three Springs [10: 17-Apr-1914]
Captained the "B's of Three Springs" cricket team who competed against a team of townspeople on 22 November 1914 [10: 27-Nov-1914]
     His team, which included himself and seven of his sons, lost however following a challenge another match was arranged [10]
     "The Byrne Boys" began their challenge match one day in December, however it had to be called off due to rain [10: 11-Dec-1914]
Sang "I've Met a Charmer" at a Concert in aid of Methodist Church Funds held in Three Springs on Friday 26 February 1915 [10]
     The audience most emphatically applauded and requested an encore, however he refused to oblige them with a repeat [10: 5-Mar-1915]
During May 1914 when his wife was spending a holiday in Wannamal he cooked for his family and any visitors [10: 14-May-1915]
     The menu during this time was kangaroo steamers, curried bardies and his famous damper made without baking powder [10]
A letter from him on the weed stinkwort was published in The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate on 14 May 1915 [10]
     In his letter he disputed the claims that stinkwort weed had value as livestock feed, and that sheep ate it only when starving [10]
Exhibited the best Carrots and came 2nd in the Log Chopping Comp at the "Three Springs Day" on 16 September 1915 [10: 24-Sep-1915]
Received 1st prizes for Carrots and Swedes exhibited at the Moora Agricultural Show in Moora on Friday 1 October 1915 [10: 5-Oct-1915]
He and his wife celebrated their silver wedding anniversary at their home in Three Springs on 9 October 1915 [10: 15-Oct-1915]
Foundation Committee Member of the Three Springs Rifle Club in 1915 [10: 29-Oct-1915]
Won most of the Ring Events at the Three Springs Hall Committee's Sports Day held on Friday 18 February 1916 [10: 25-Feb-1916]
Member of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee 1916-1928 - was Vice President 1918-1920 and 1925 [124]
     He was one of four committeemen who drew up the program for the local Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meeting in 1916 [124]
     Financially assisted the committee with donations of 10/6 in 1916 and 1918, and £1/1/- from 1919 to 1928 [124]
     Steward of the horse races at the Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meetings in Three Springs in 1918 and 1919 [124]
Made a speech at the Ball held by the local Red Cross branch at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs on 2 June 1916 [10: 6-Jun-1916]
Gave a speech at the Welcome Home held in Three Springs for Corporal. John L. HEBITON on 9 August 1916 [10: 11-Aug-1916]
Inaugural Member of the Arrino Cemetery Board, which managed the Arrino Cemetery, in 1916 [10: 18-Aug-1916]
Spoke at the Farewell to Privates Dick LYNCH and his son Harry BYRNE held in Three Springs on 15 August 1916 [10: 18-Aug-1916]
Won 1st prize for Three Swedes and 2nd for a Collection of Vegetables at the Three Springs Day on 27 September 1916 [10: 6-Oct-1916]
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]
     He won the competition, having secured the most votes, and helped to raise the amount of £42/13/4 [10: 6-Jul-1917]
Seeded 300 acres of wheat on his Three Springs farm in 1917 [10: 19-Jun-1917]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
Member of the Three Springs Honour Board Committee in 1917 [10: 20-Jul-1917]
Won the Skipping Contest and the Buffer's Race at the Three Springs Day held in Three Springs on 26 September 1917 [10: 5-Oct-1917]
In December 1917 he had a boat called the Foam on a huge lake near the Three Springs townsite [10: 14-Dec-1917]
     The lake covered what had previously been the local racetrack, and had became a huge attraction for locals and visitors [10]
Donated 10/- cash to increase the funds being raised by the Three Springs branch of the Red Cross Society in 1918 [10: 21-Jun-1918]
Spoke at the Farewell Social for Const. Richard J. HONNER at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs on 30 August 1918 [10: 6-Sep-1918]
At the Three Springs Day in 1918 won 1st prizes for Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots and the Best Collection of Vegetables [10: 4-Oct-1918]
Spoke at the Welcome Home Social tendered to Private Fred JAMES in Three Springs on Monday 7 October 1918 [10: 18-Oct-1918]
In December 1918 a fire started up in the crop he was harvesting, which was said to have been one of the best crops in the district [10]
     Volunteers came to his aid and helped extinguish the fire, but not before it destroyed 30 acres of crop and 25 bags of wheat [10]
     The crop was insured but not for anything near its value, as it had been going 30 bushels to the acre [10: 13-Dec-1918]
Proposed a vote of the thanks to the hosts of the Ball held at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs on 31 December 1918 [10]
     The Ball, which went until daylight, was hosted by Tom & Johanna BERRIGAN and Bob & Elizabeth IRONSIDE [10: 10-Jan-1919]
Purchased a 2-tooth sheep at the Basket Social & Dance in Three Springs in aid of Church funds on 10 February 1919 [9: 21-Feb-1919]
Under the name of "Byrne Bros" his sons' horse Mella competed at the Sports Meeting in Three Springs on 17 March 1919 [124]
Attended and spoke at the unveiling of the Three Springs Honour Board on Tuesday 3 June 1919 [9: 6-Jun-1919] [10: 13-Jun-1919]
Speaker at the Welcome Home Social & Dance in Three Springs for Private Vernon C. BASTIAN on 11 June 1919 [9: 13-Jun-1919]
Spoke on behalf of the Three Springs district at May BERRIGAN's 21st Birthday in Three Springs on 12 September 1919 [10]
     The following year May became his daughter-in-law when she married his fourth son Frank Ashmore BYRNE [10: 19-Sep-1919] [66]
Won first prize for a "Collection of Vegetables" at the Three Springs Day held on Thursday 25 September 1919 [10: 3-Oct-1919]
     He also entered his horse Prince for the Ring Event competitions, which came second for "Best Ladies Hack" [9: 3-Oct-1919]
Member of the Hall Committee that managed the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs in 1919-20 [9: 29-Aug-1919]
Received 2nd prizes for both Chaff and Wool at the annual Three Springs Day held on Thursday 23 September 1920 [10: 15-Oct-1920]
One of the prominent punters at the Three Springs Picnic Races held on Saint Patrick's Day Friday 17 March 1922 [9: 24-Mar-1922]
Part of the Three Springs Kangaroo Hunting & Picnic Party of Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September 1922 [9: 15-Sep-1922]
     On the second day of hunting took some of the ladies out on his buggy pulled by two horses so they could be among the action [9]
     Followed the 29 hunters on horseback out in his buggy and then to a high position on a ridge where they had a good view [9]
     Once the hunters dispersed crazily after kangaroos he quickly drove the buggy to the action two miles down the slope [9]
One of the speakers at the social evening tendered to Thomas J. BERRIGAN in Three Springs on Friday 13 October 1922 [9: 20-Oct-1922]
Supported the remarks of Senator Patrick J. LYNCH at the Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations in Three Springs in 1923 [9: 13-Apr-1923]
Wrote to the Carnamah District Road Board in April 1925 regarding the payment for land at the Perenjori Road well [9: 1-May-1925]
      The Road Board responded that the information they had indicated that he had given the land surrounding the well as a gift[9]
One of the speakers at a gathering to show appreciation to Senator LYNCH at the Three Springs Hall on 2 October 1925 [9: 9-Oct-1925]
Attended a dinner tendered to visiting city pressmen at the Commercial Hotel in Three Springs in October 1926 [9: 22-Oct-1926]
Member of the Three Springs Progress Association 1926-1929 [9: 22-Oct-1926] [4: 25-May-1929]
Served on the Carnamah District Road Board representing the Three Springs ward 1926-1928 [7: page 111]
     Attended the conference in Three Springs on 2 March 1928 to discuss the formation of a Three Springs Road Board [4: 10-Mar-1928]
     In 1929 Three Springs separated from the Carnamah District Road Board to form its own Road Board [7: page 95] 120: 26-Dec-1929]
     He was elected Inaugural Member for Town ward at the first election of the Three Springs Road Board on 16 February 1929 [120]
     Member of the Three Springs Road Board's Revision Court in 1930 [4: 8-Mar-1930]
     Nominated but defeated in the election as the member for Womarden Ward on the Three Springs Road Board in 1932 [5: 25-Nov-1932]
In 1927 he had over 7,000 sheep on his farm in Three Springs [9: 14-Oct-1927]
Proposed one of the toasts at the wedding of his nephew Edmund K. WELLS in Carnamah on 8 February 1927 [4: 19-Feb-1927]
In January 1927 both he and his son E. K. BYRNE Jnr each purchased a 25 cwt. International truck with tipping body [81: 30-Jan-1927]
     His International truck was registered with the Carnamah District Road Board and in 1927-28 had licence plate CA-81 [325]
     "E. K. Byrne & Sons" purchased a new Chevrolet truck from Carnamah dealer L. Scott WYLIE in November 1928 [4: 1-Dec-1928]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in 1927 [53]
As a Justice of the Peace presided as Magistrate over cases that went before the Three Springs Police Court [4: 17-Nov-1928]
     Also presided as Magistrate over cases that went before the Court of Petty Sessions in Three Springs [4: 18-May-1929]
By 1928 had the telephone connected to his home - was telephone number Three Springs-17 [60]
In January 1928 he sold a townsite block he owned in the Three Springs townsite to Norman SAGGERS [4: 14-Jan-1928]
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]
Inaugural Vice President of the Three Springs Agricultural Society in 1928 [4: 29-Sep-1928]
Won 2nd prize for a 2-tooth Merino Ram of Strong Wool at the Three Springs Agricultural Society's First Annual Show in 1928 [4]
    E. K. Byrne & Sons donated two special prizes of £2/2/- for the Sheep section of the Society's First Annual Show [4: 29-Sep-1928]
Committee Member of the Three Springs Race Club in 1928 and 1929 [4: 1-Dec-1928, 23-Feb-1929]
During February 1929 he and his wife Isabella travelled to Perth for a short holiday [4: 9-Feb-1929]
In 1928 grew 1,100 acres of wheat crop on his farm in Three Springs [4: 31-Mar-1928]
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]
Won 2nd prize for Oaten Chaff at the Three Springs Agricultural Society's Second Annual Show on 30 September 1929 [4: 5-Oct-1929]
Attended the funeral of Mingenew pioneer Mrs Ellen OLIVER at the Mingenew Cemetery on 18 December 1929 [86: 21-Dec-1929]
In December 1929 E. K. Byrne & Sons advertised "Good Stock Salt" in any quantity for sale in The Irwin Index newspaper [4]
     Sold the salt for £2/10- per ton including railing from Three Springs, or 5/- per bag for order under one ton [4: 7-Dec-1929]
Attended the local reception tendered by the Three Springs Road Board to the Bishop of Geraldton on 8 November 1930 [4: 15-Nov-1930]
Admitted to the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs suffering from a general breakdown in August 1931 [4: 15-Aug-1931]
By 1932 he was farming in partnership with some of his sons as "E. K. Byrne & Sons" [5: 30-Sep-1932]
His wife Isabella passed away in Three Springs on 1 July 1932 and was buried at the Moora Cemetery, Moora WA [P137]
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]
Won a 1st and a 2nd prize in the Swine section and 1st for Middle of Bacon at the Three Springs Show in 1932 [5: 30-Sep-1932]
E. K. Byrne & Sons competed and came 3rd in the Three Springs Agricultural Society's 50 acre crop competition in 1932 [5: 20-Jan-1933]
Travelled with his daughter Annie to Wannamal on 15 September 1933 to attend the 21st birthday of the Wannamal Hall [5: 22-Sep-1933]
E. K. Byrne & Sons won 2nd prizes for a Berkshire Boar and for Middle of Bacon at the Three Springs Show in 1933 [5: 29-Sep-1933]
In October 1933 sold three bales of wool through Westralian Farmers Ltd at 14¾d. per pound [5: 13-Oct-1933]
A fierce storm which struck Three Springs on Sunday 14 January 1934 damaged some of his out sheds [5: 19-Jan-1934]
Attended and spoke at the send-off to Miss Mary LYNCH in Three Springs on Wednesday 31 January 1934 [5: 2-Feb-1934]
Travelled to Moora for a few days on 13 February 1934 and then on to Perth for a holiday with his son and daughter [5: 16-Feb-1934]
Attended and gave a speech at the farewell to Dick and Lilian HARRIS in Three Springs on Monday 12 March 1934 [5: 16-Mar-1934]
E. K. Byrne & Sons won 1st prizes for Berkshire Boar, Baconer and Three Porkers at the TS Agricultural Show in 1934 [5: 21-Sep-1934]
His family "was greatly honoured in the district" and "was a local institution and helped make Three Springs" [5: 19-Oct-1934]
E. K. Byrne & Sons held a clearing sale to sell the machinery and livestock on their farm on Thursday 11 April 1935 [5: 15 & 22-Mar-1935]
     The clearing sale was conducted by William B. SHERIDAN of Carnamah who was the local agent for Elder Smith & Co Ltd [5]
     Machinery, plant and livestock sold at the sale (and some of the prices received) included a 10 foot Sunshine header, [5]
     8 foot Sunshine Header, 18 run Shearer combine (£24), 6 foot Osborne binder, 15 run McCormick drill, Chevrolet truck, [5]
     15/30 McCormick tractor, 10 disc Shearer plough (£20), State tyne cultivator (£6), 19 disc McCormick drill (£16), [5]
     125 feet of new 2 inch piping, troughing, 3 sets of leading chains, quantity of plough chains, quantity of sawn timber, [5]
     double action Deeming pump and new two inch fittings; 14 pairs of collars, hames and winkers; two 2000 gallon tank (£7), [5]
     one 1000 gallon tank, 8 foot Comet windmill with 25 foot tower (£16), quantity 7 foot and 10 foot lengths of galvanised iron, [5]
     wipple trees, sundries; 1500 sheep (8/9 to 12/-), 12 horses (£8 to £37), one cow and seven pigs [5: 29-Mar-1935, 26-Apr-1935]
E. K. Byrne & Sons sold 459 sheep through Elder Smith & Co Ltd at six Midland Markets between August and December 1935 [5]
     The 459 sheep consisted of 285 shorn wethers (29 at 14/10, 43 at 13/4, 40 at 13/1, 47 at 12/7, 52 at 11/7, 74 at 10/4), [5: 16-Aug-1935]
     129 wethers (77 at 21/7, 52 at 20/7), 30 suckers at 10/4, and 15 ewes at 10/- per head [5: 27-Sep-1935, 18-Oct-1935, 22 & 29-Nov-1935, 3-Jan-1936]
In 1935 E. K. Byrne & Sons owned livestock yards in Three Springs, which were used for local livestock sales [5: 18-Oct-1935]
Through Elder Smith & Co Ltd E. K. Byrne & Sons sold four bales of wool for 14½d. per pound in late October 1935 [5: 1-Nov-1935]
Attended the meeting of Three Springs ratepayers held on Saturday 11 January 1936 to discuss the local water crisis [5: 17-Jan-1936]
Attended the funeral of Carnamah agent William B. SHERIDAN at the Winchester Cemetery on 27 January 1936 [5: 31-Jan-1936]
Among those who attended the Special Ratepayers Meeting of the Three Springs Road Board on Monday 10 March 1936 [5: 13-Mar-1936]
     After much discussion it was requested that the Board's members resign and half did causing the Road Board to become defunct [5]
Speech-giver at the social evening tendered to newly married Syd and Priscilla GOOCH in Three Springs on 2 July 1936 [5: 10-Jul-1936]
E. K. Byrne & Sons sold 338 sheep through Elder Smith & Co Ltd and Westralian Farmers Ltd at Midland Markets in 1936: [5]
     The sheep comprised 5 lambs at 10/7 per head, 160 wethers (75 at 16/7, 9 at 15/10, 38 at 14/7, 38 at 13/10), [5]
     and 173 ewes (47 at 15/10, 13 at 16/4, 24 at 12/4, 32 at 9/10, 12 at 9/7, 45 at 9/1) [5: 14-Aug-1936, 16 & 23-Oct-1936, 4-Dec-1936]
While adjusting his chaff cutter the weight on the feed system fell onto his face on Wednesday morning 10 March 1937 [5]
     Received serious injuries to his head and face including four fractures of the nose and damage to the frontal bone of his forehead [5]
     Also sustained a broken finger on his left hand and injuries to his left eye that had the potential to result in the loss of sight [5]
     His was conveyed to the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs where his condition was reported as serious [5]
     He underwent an operation at the Hospital under the care of his son-in-law Dr Mario A. MAYRHOFER [5: 12-Mar-1937]
     A week after the serious accident he was reported to have been "progressing favourably" [5: 19-Mar-1937]
     His brother Tom travelled to Three Springs to see him, and when almost there his car capsized and landed on its side [5: 25-Mar-1937]
     After almost a month at the North Midlands District Hospital he was discharged on Wednesday 7 April 1937 [5: 9-Apr-1937]
     A few weeks later he had to have one of his eyes removed at Saint John of God Hospital in the Perth suburb of Subiaco [5: 7-May-1937]
Spoke on behalf of the residents of the district at the farewell to the CARMODY family in Three Springs on 12 July 1937 [5: 16-Jul-1937]
Himself, his son Leslie and daughter-in-law Dorine were the recipients of a Valedictory Evening in Three Springs on 16 June 1938 [4]
     The evening was to bid them farewell prior to their departure from the district, and was held at the local Agricultural Hall [4]
     During the speeches an expression of thanks for the interest his family had displayed in the district's affairs over a lengthy period [4]
     At the conclusion of the speeches he received a wallet of notes and a writing sachet from the residents of the district [4: 25-Jun-1938]
Left Three Springs in June 1938 [4: 25-Jun-1938]
Spent a holiday in Carnamah staying with his son Tom and daughter-in-law Beryl in August 1942 [0: image 04125]
Father of Robert, Edmund, Henry, Frank, Leslie, Frederick, May, Annie, Horace, Thomas and John [113]
Died 11 April 1957 in the Perth suburb of Subiaco; buried at the Moora Public Cemetery in Moora (Anglican, Plot 147) [116]


From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 22 September 1933:
News and Notes
"Mr. E. K. and Miss A. Byrne left Three Springs on Friday for Wannamal to attend the 21st birthday of the Wannamal Hall. Mr. Byrne is one of the oldest past residents of the district and was present at the opening of the hall. He is known as the father of Wannamal. Mr. E. K. Byrne returned to Three Springs on Monday and Miss Byrne on Wednesday."


From The West Australian newspaper, Thursday 6 April 1937:
Pioneer of Wannamal - 71 Years in the Midlands (By F.W.G.)
"It is more than 25 years since I first met Mr. E. K. Byrne, and though he is 71 today he does not look an hour older than when we first met. He had journeyed to Mogumber to attend the funeral of his father-in-law. Even at that time his name had a familiar sound along the whole of the Midland Railway. For the past 23 years he has resided at Three Springs. He has spent the whole of his life in the Midlands. He is the father of nine sons and two daughters. On April 6, 1866, he was born at Brockhill, Chittering. His father, Edmund Byrne, arrived in the State in 1848 at the age of 12. He had been brought out under a system which sought to give greater opportunities to orphan boys in London, and on arrival was indentured to Mr. John Spice, the owner of Brockhill. After 12 years' service here he married Miss Amelia Jones. Her father, a Swan River pioneer, was well known as "Bull" Jones. Her mother was one of the first three white women to arrive in the Colony. Considerable discussion has been held as to how Bullsbrook came to be so named. Mr. E. K. Byrne says that "Bull" Jones was the first man to build a camp at Bullsbrook, and that the spot was named after him. One of "Bull" Jones's daughters lived to be 96 years of age, after being twice married: By her first husband, named Martin, she had a numerous family; and three sons by her second husband, named Matthews. When Mr. E. K. Byrne was two years old his parents settled at Mt. Pleasant, North Bindoon, a property which was recently handed over by Mrs. Musk to the Roman Catholic Church. Their eldest daughter, Mrs. Wells, now 76, resides at Victoria Park. There were five girls and four boys born to them, and Mr. E. K. Byrne is the oldest surviving son.
     When he was eight or nine years of age he had to drive a plough drawn by bullocks. "We did not crop more than about 25 acres in those days," said Mr. Byrne, "and we tilled the land thoroughly. There was no artificial manure used. Labour was scarce, and all the family had to work. At harvest we had the assistance of natives. The crop was cut by sickle or scythe. We got the corn by using the flail, and later we trod it out with horses. And to winnow it, we had to wait for windy days, when the boys and girls would drop it out of dishes into a box with a sieve bottom. There was no school at first, but after a time the Thompsons, Glovers, Bransotis, and others joined us in getting Miss Groves, of Guildford, to come up as governess. For three months my sister (now Mrs. John Joyce, of Wanery, Koojan,) who was two years younger than myself, walked three miles each day with me for five days a week. That is all the schooling we got."
     His father carted goods from Perth to Berkshire Valley, Yathroo, Walebing, Glentromie; and other stations and on the return journey would get loads of  sandal wood for sale in Perth. Then a calamity threatened them. The father was going blind from sandy blight The family depended upon his earnings to subsist. Then came help from that Good Samaritan, Walter Padbury, who sent him to England by the sailing ship Charlotte Padbury to be cured. When his father went away, E. K. Byrne was 14 years of age, and with the help of another lad, he took charge of the bullock team, and for the nine months of his father's absence, carried on the trips to Perth and back. The other boy was John Hooper, whose mother had died when he was two years of age. Mrs. Edmund Byrne, in addition to her own numerous family, took John and his brother Will, aged four, into her home, and the boys grew up as foster-brothers to the Byrne's family. John Hooper later went to the Gascoyne where he was associated with George Gooch, H. E. Bush and Robert Newman. Eventually he settled at Coomberdale. I buried him some years ago at Moora. E. K. Byrne continued to help his parents on the farm until he was 17. He then embarked on the venture of carting wool for the late Sir Henry Lefroy and other settlers, and shearing for various stations of the district.
     In 1887, when Walter Padbury, who had taken over the Glentromie property from Donald McPherson, disposed of a number of out-stations belonging to Glentromie, Edmund Byrne bought the Wannamal portion known as West Point from him. Before doing so he commissioned his son, E. K. Byrne, then 21, to first inspect it, and the son took possession in 1889. Wannamal was the native name for a lake. It was most isolated, and wild dogs were plentiful. There was no railway. He employed a lad named John Essex, now settled at Waddington, who stayed with him 10 years. Time for Public Matters.
     After three years of struggling he married Isabella Woods, a daughter of John and Sarah Woods, of Fairlawn, New Norcia. His own lack of education made him desirous of securing a good schooling for his children, and with the assistance of other settlers the first Wannamal school was erected. He prospered at Wannamal, and had time to give to public matters. On its formation in 1900 he became the north ward member of the Chittering Road Board, which he held for 14 years. He was made a justice of the peace in 1906, and had to take many long journeys to Gingin over sandy roads to discharge his duty as acting-coroner, or to try police prosecutions. In 1914 he sold West Point to the late Mr. Alec Edgar, of Gingin, and proceeded to a property of 1,200 acres he had bought at Three Springs in 1911. In addition to successfully working his farm he acquired much property in the township, and erected buildings. For five years he was a foundation member of the Three Springs-Carnamah Road Board, again as north ward member. Again he was a foundation member of the Three Springs Road Board when it separated from Carnamah. After holding his commission as a justice of the peace for 25 years he resigned it.
     "When I was a boy," said Mr. Byrne, "there were hundreds of natives around and a plentiful supply of game. The possums were so numerous that they used to fall into wells and spoil the water. The natives held corroborees frequently. They had no trouble to get a living. Now they have gone: and the game has gone with them. A beneficent Creator supplied their wants so long as they were in need of them.”


From The Sunday Times newspaper, Sunday 11 April 1937:
Early Settlers in the Fertile Midlands – The Splendid Record of the Byrne Family
“Western Australia could do with more families of the type depicted here whose association with the life of the country goes back for nearly 90 years. One of the most versatile and best known of the family is a settler along the Midland line in the person of Mr E. K. Byrne, of Three Springs. Though his birth certificate tells that he was 71 last Tuesday, he is still most youthful in appearance. He was born at Brockhill, Chittering, on April 6, 1866. At the age of eight he was ploughing with a bullock team on Mt Pleasant, North Bindoon; at 14 he was driving a bullock team to and from Perth; at 23 he inspected Wannamal and advised his father to purchase West Point from Walter Padbury. He became the first settler at Wannamal, and assisted by John Essex, of Waddington, he carved out a home there. He married a daughter of Mr and Mrs John Woods, of Mogumber, in the early 90’s, and is the father of nine sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. When he first went to Wannamal the nearest railway point was the terminus at Guildford. His maternal grandfather was “Bull” Jones, a Swan River pioneer who built the first camp at Bullsbrook. Mr Byrne, when seen in Perth recently, stated that Bullsbrook was named after “Bull” Jones. His father, Edmund Byrne, arrived in the colony in 1848 as an orphanage boy from London. E. K. Byrne was a foundation member of the Chittering Road Board, and for 14 years was North Ward member. He was made a J.P. in 1904 and did quite a lot of useful work at Gingin as acting coroner. After selling West Point to the late Alec Edgar, of Gingin in 1914, he went up to Three Springs to a property he had bought in 1911. He was a foundation member of the Carnamah-Three Springs Road Board, as well as of the Three Springs Road Board at the time of its separation from Carnamah. He has acquired considerable property in the township. His sons and daughters are all happily settled along the line and in the metropolitan area. One daughter is the wife of Dr Mayrhofer, of Three Springs. Recently E. K. Byrne met with a painful accident, but is now making a good recovery.”


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Friday 19 April 1957:
Three Springs Pioneer’s Death
"The death occurred in a metropolitan institution on Thursday of last week of a pioneer of Three Springs in the person of Mr. Edmund Keen Byrne at the age of 91 years. The deceased gentleman, whose wife predeceased him some years ago, reared a large family of eleven children comprising of nine sons and two daughters, by seven of whom he is survived. The funeral took place at the Anglican Cemetery at Moora on Friday last."


From The Midlands Advocate newspaper, Thursday 25 April 1957:
An Old Pioneer Passes
"The death of Edmund Keane Byrne severs another link with the Pioneering days of the Midlands. "EK" as he was affectionately known was born 91 years ago at lower Chittering. He was always a public spirited man being a foundation member of the Chittering, Carnamah and Three Springs roads boards and was a member for a short time of the Mingenew roads board thereby taking a keen interest in the progress and development of the Midlands. A Justice of the Peace for 30 years he had the pleasure of being chairman to the late Sir John Forrest at his occasional meetings in the Wannamal district when the Midland Railway was first opened. His passing will be felt deeply by his relatives and friends who can surely find consolation in the fact that he has contributed so much to the welfare of the district in which he lived. At his request his remains were taken back to Moora and buried with his wife who pre-deceased him in 1932."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Edmund Keen Byrne' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 21 October 2017 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




Use the below form or e-mail us: mail@carnamah.com.au

Name:
 
E-mail:
 
Comment, memory or story about this person
Suggested correction or additional information
Question or general feedback
 
 
Please enter this code into the box to confirm your request.