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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Tom" Thomas BONHAM

Born 18 November 1859 in Adelaide, South Australia [55]
Son of Daniel BONHAM and Jane HUNTER [55]
Contractor in Moora, Western Australia in 1909 and 1910 [19]
Contractor, Farmer and later Retiree in Coorow, Western Australia 1910-1945 [3] [9: 11-Mar-1910] [19] [44]
Advertised for tenders for the clearing of 100 acres of land at Coorow in March 1910 [9: 11-Mar-1910]
In late November 1912 he was loading his bags of wheat, ready to be dispatched, at the railway siding in Coorow [9: 29-Nov-1912]
It was said he had the best and most advanced crop in all the country between Coorow and Mingenew in July 1914 [10: 17-Jul-1914]
Farmed 1,781 acres in Coorow belonging to Edward M. BLYTHE in 1915 and 1916 [44]
In 1919 farmed 3,363 acres in Coorow in partnership with Francis A. LATHAM as "Bonham & Latham" [44]
     They farmed 3,523 acres - Victoria Locations 2927, 2997, 3058, 3059, 3350, 3351, 3355, 3370, 3483, 3500, 3502, 3732, 5464 [44]
     The land was possibly owned by Francis A. LATHAM and had previously been owned by Edward M. BLYTHE [10: 12-Sep-1919] [44]
Around October of 1920 [215] he purchased 295 acres of his own land in Coorow from Angus A. N. MCGILP [44]
     The 340 acres was Victoria Location 385, a portion of Victoria Location 1274, and Lot M634 of Victoria Location 2023 [3] [44]
     He lived in the old Coorow House on Victoria Location 385 which had been the home of Coorow's pioneering LONG family [P361]
     In later years he lived in mainly just one large room of the house which contained an enormous table [P361]
On 15 May 1926 extended his farm by 130 acres with purchase of Lot M1640 of Victoria Location 2023 [27]
     The 130 acres was purchased from the Midland Railway Company and cost £130, payable by instalments over four years [27]
His horse Lady Folly won the Maiden Plate and Forced Handicap races at the Carnamah Picnic Races on 1 April 1918 [10: 12-Apr-1918]
Four days later Lady Folly won the Midland Handicap at the Moora Race Club's Annual Races on Friday 5 April 1918 [10: 12-Apr-1918]
His horse Birdie won the Hurry Scurry race at the Peace Day Celebrations in Carnamah on Saturday 19 July 1919 [10: 25-Jul-1919]
At the Moora Races on 19 March 1920 his horse Lady Folly came 3rd in the Midland Handicap of seven furlongs [9: 26-Mar-1920]
His horse Olderfeet won the Hack Race and came 2nd in the Maiden Plate at the Carnamah Races on 28 March 1921 [10: 1-Apr-1921]
By February 1924 his brother-in-law and sister Alexander R. P. and Sarah GRANT had settled in Coorow [19]
His horses Don Mac and Moidore ran at the Carnamah Race Club's Annual Race Meeting in Carnamah on 10 April 1924 [10: 3-Apr-1924]
ZT7 was his registered horse and cattle firebrand in 1924 [80: 28-Oct-1925]
His horse Moidore came 3rd in the Trial Stakes at the Carnamah Race Club's Picnic Race Meeting in 1924 [86: 27-Sep-1924]
Vice President of the Carnamah Race Club in 1927 [9: 8-Apr-1927]
Purchased a new McCormick-Deering harvester from Carnamah agent Charles ROBERTSON in October 1928 [4: 20-Oct-1928]
He was one of 98 people from the Coorow district who signed a petition in 1929 for a local hotel license to be granted [39: 6-Feb-1929]
Won 2nd prize for White Hen Eggs at the first Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show at Maley Park on 8 September 1932 [5: 16-Sep-1932]
Received 1st prizes for both male and female White Leghorns and for White Hen Eggs at the Coorow Show in 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
In 1933 he sold his farm, which adjoined the Coorow townsite, to Angus A. N. MCGILP [3] [39: 29-Nov-1933]
The MCGILP family kindly allowed him to continue residing in the house on the farm following its sale [P8]
Won 1st prize for a Thoroughbred Mare exhibited in the Horse section of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1934 [5: 7-Sep-1934]
     Also received 1st prize for White Hen Eggs, 2nd prize for male White Leghorn, and 2nd prize for female White Leghorn [5]
Attended the 50th wedding anniversary of Heinie and Mina BOTHE at the Coorow Hotel on 26 February 1935 [86: 5-Mar-1935]
Awarded 1st prize for White Hen Eggs in the Farm Produce section of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1936 [5: 11-Sep-1936]
The JOHNS children of Coorow used to visit him, at which time he had a neat white beard and rode a white horse [P361]
Resided in Coorow until his death in 1945 [1]
Died 8 August 1945 in Three Springs; buried Winchester Cemetery, Carnamah (Row D, Plot 14) [1]
Tom MORCOMBE of Coorow officiated at his funeral, which was undertaken by Henry Parkin & Son of Carnamah [1]
His headstone reads "Thomas Bonham, Died 8th August 1945, aged 86 years, A Pioneer at Rest, Erected by the McGilp Family" [14]
The Western Mail newspaper described him as "a pioneer... one of the men who launched and made Coorow" [120: 13-Oct-1938]

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 24 August 1945:
Thomas Bonham
The funeral of the late Thomas Bonham, of Coorow, took place at the Winchester Cemetery on the 10th inst., and was conducted by Mr. Tom Morcombe, of Coorow. Deceased, who was one of the oldest residents of the Coorow district, was 86 years at the time of his death. The pall bearers were Messrs. A. McGilp, B. D. Bothe, C. C. Bothe, G. Hutchcraft, G. Lambert, and G. Greenwood."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Thomas Bonham' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 June 2024 from [reference list]

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