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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Tom" Thomas Joseph BERRIGAN

Born 6 October 1873 in Tarrawingee, Victoria, Australia [P134]
Son of John BERRIGAN and Catherine QUINN [P134]
Departed Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on the steamship Bullarra and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 16 June 1895 [P134]
He is said to have worked at well sinking and prospecting in Cue, Peak Hill, Mount Magnet, Randells, Bulong and Leonora [P134]
Married Johanna Catherine KEYS in 1902 in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia [15]
Miner in Bulong 1900-1902, Greengrocer in Bulong in 1903 and Miner in Bulong in 1904 and 1905 [6]
Served as a member on the Bulong Road Board until resigning in 1906 [P134]
Miner in Randells in 1906 and 1907 [6]
He and his brother Jack were the owners of a mine in Desdemona in 1911 [6]
Resided in Three Springs 1912-1927 and then in Carnamah 1927-1936 [4] [5] [9] [19] [50]
He began in Three Springs in a very simple way but became a keen businessmen and one of the district's leading citizens [5: 26-Jun-1936]
Well Sinking, Clearing & Fencing Contractor in Three Springs 1912-1914 [6] [9: 13-Dec-1912, 21-Feb-1913, 22-Aug-1913] [50]
     He initially traded in partnership with his brother Jack as "Berrigan Bros" until commencing on his own during 1913 [9: 22-Aug-1913]
     They had commenced working in Three Springs by December 1912 [9: 13-Dec-1912]
     In February 1913 it was reported that their arrival had been "a godsend to the settler waiting to discover water" [9: 21-Feb-1913]
     They employed thoroughly experienced men, who worked under their personal supervision [9: 13-Dec-1912, 22-Aug-1913]
     Known as the local "water wizard" he could find first class stock water and fresh water for local farmers [10: 29-Sep-1914, 22-Jan-1915]
     In February 1913 they finished a well with a splendid supply for Maley Bros on Parakalia Farm in Three Springs [9: 21-Feb-1913]
     Located a great supply of fresh water at a depth of 63 feet on the Three Springs farm of Sir Walter H. JAMES in 1913 [9: 13-Jun-1913]
     In October 1914 he sunk a well for the Midland Railway Company on Lot M953 in Carnamah [34]
     He and Andrew TODD, also of Three Springs, went to Coorow in October 1914 after rumours of alluvial gold [10: 16-Oct-1914]
Fruiterer and Greengrocer in Three Springs in 1915 [6]
     He and Francis C. HAGAN were the local agents for the firm Messrs Louis Dreyfus & Company in 1915 [9: 17-Mar-1916]
     They purchased wheat from local farmers on behalf of the Company, which was then stacked in bags at the railway siding [10]
     Over the 1915-16 harvest he worked as a wheat lumper at the wheat stacks in Three Springs [10: 25-Feb-1916]
Later an Auctioneer, Land Agent and General Commission Agent in Three Springs [9: 30-Jul-1920, 21-May-1926]
     Agent in Three Springs for Elder Shenton & Co [34] and also for the Commercial Union Assurance Co Ltd [6]
     His shop and residence were both situated at Lot 53 Railway Road in the Three Springs townsite [44]
     In March 1919 he had horses, a stallion, farming implements, sulkies and harnesses for sale, and a car for hire [9: 7-Mar-1919]
Reported to have been the first person in Three Springs to own a bike [5: 26-Jun-1936]
His daughters were bridesmaids at the wedding of his brother John and Delia KENNEDY in Three Springs on 28 April 1913 [9: 2-May-1913]
Attended the Saint Patrick's Day Sports in Three Springs in 1913 and competed in the Sheffield Handicap race [9: 14-Mar-1913]
Won the Buffers Race at the Annual Sports Meeting held in Arrino on Easter Monday 1 April 1915 [10: 9-Apr-1915]
His pony was known to wander off and follow trains into the railway station to rub itself on the back buffer of the train [10: 2-Jul-1915]
Along with Evander W. FRANKLIN he judged the Vegetable section at the "Three Springs Day" on 16 September 1915 [10: 24-Sep-1915]
Speech giver at the silver wedding anniversary celebration of EK & Isabella BYRNE 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 the Stepping 100 Yards competition at the Hall Committee's Sports Day in Three Springs on 18 February 1916 [10: 25-Feb-1916]
Member of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee 1916-1926 [124]
     Chairman in 1919 and 1920 and Secretary 1921-1923 of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee [124]
     He was one of four committeemen who drew up the program for the Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meeting in 1916 and 1918 [124]
     Donated to the Committee: 10/- in 1916, £1/1/- in 1918, £2/2/- in 1919 and 1920, £3/3/- in 1924, £2/2/- in 1925 and 1928 [124]
     Collected subscriptions for the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in 1918 and 1919 - collected £18/12/6 in 1919 [124]
     Steward in 1918 and Vice President in 1918 and 1919 of the Committee's Sports Meetings held on Saint Patrick's Day [124]
     In 1923 it was said he "deserved the utmost praise for the way he worked to make the picnic meeting a success" [9: 13-Apr-1923]
     Resigned as Secretary of Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in January 1924 "owing to the pressure of business" [124]
     Following his resignation "the members expressed regret at the loss of so efficient a secretary" [124]
     He and Philip LYNCH oversaw the preparations of the course for their 1925 Picnic Race Meeting on Saint Patrick's Day [124]
In August 1916 assisted the contractor erect the building for the Roman Catholic Convent in Three Springs [10: 11-Aug-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]
     Out of the ten competitors he came sixth, and his involvement helped to raise the amount of £42/13/4 [10: 6-Jul-1917]
With his horse Ginger he won the Farmer's Hunter at the Three Springs Day in Three Springs on 26 September 1917 [10: 5-Oct-1917]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
In May 1918 he suffered a severe attack of pleurisy which warranted an urgent house call from Dr ALLAN of Moora [10: 17-May-1918]
Donated 5/- cash to increase the funds being raised by the Three Springs branch of the Red Cross Society in 1918 [10: 21-Jun-1918]
In June 1919 called for tenders for the purchase of three shops and land in Railway Road, Three Springs [9: 13-Jun-1919]
Won the "Old Buffers Race" at the Three Springs Day held on Thursday 25 September 1919 [9: 3-Oct-1919] [10: 3-Oct-1919]
One of the Judges of the races at the Arrino Railway Picnic Day held in Arrino on Saturday 29 November 1919 [9: 5-Dec-1919]
Conducted a clearing sale to sell William DEAN's farm in Three Springs at 11 a.m. on Friday 30 January 1920 [10: 23-Jan-1920]
Won the Old Buffers Race at the annual picnic and show, the Three Springs Day, held on Thursday 23 September 1920 [10: 15-Oct-1920]
Auctioned 30 horses for Donald MACPHERSON at his homestead in Carnamah on 2 p.m. on Friday 24 September 1920 [10: 10-Sep-1920]
Auctioned various items for the Carnamah Hall Committee on the afternoon of the Carnamah Races on 28 March 1921 [10: 8-Apr-1921]
Helped with and attended the wedding of Robert A. CALDOW and May I. BYRNE in Three Springs on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
On 13 October 1921 conducted a clearing sale of Louis P. PARKER's livestock and machinery at his farm in Winchester [10: 30-Sep-1921]
He and Phillip F. LYNCH were Joint Secretaries of the Three Springs Picnic Races in 1922 [9: 3 & 24-Mar-1922]
     They organised the Three Springs Picnic Race Meeting, which took place in Three Springs on Friday 17 March 1922 [9]
Conducted a surplus stock sale for Donald MACPHERSON in Carnamah at 2 p.m. on Thursday 9 February 1922 [39: 4-Feb-1922]
The Moora District Railway League wrote to him in 1922 encouraging him to form a railway league for Three Springs [10: 12-May-1922]
He was extended a Social Evening & Presentation by the residents of Three Springs on Friday 13 October 1922 [9: 20-Oct-1922]
     The social was held at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs and was in recognition of the good work he'd done for the district [9]
     Speeches were made about his good character by E. K. BYRNE, William HARRIS and Frederick E. S. JAMES [9]
     He was described "as one of the right sort" who left no stone unturned in his efforts to make the whole district progressive [9]
     In addition to his business he gave much time to the benefit of the public, and was secretary of various local organisations [9]
     After making a speech Father Mark L. HART presented him with a dressing case valued at ten guineas [9]
     In responding he remarked that nothing gave him more pleasure than to do his duty in the right way to his fellow citizens [9]
In 1922-23 he had an Overland car or truck registered with the Mingenew Road Board with licence plate MI-1 [325]
He was confined to his bed for over a fortnight in July 1923, suffering from a bad state of health due to the flu [10: 19-Jul-1923]
Pallbearer at the funeral of John Hudson DAVIES of Carnamah at the Three Springs Cemetery on 20 February 1925 [9: 20-Feb-1925]
Member of the Three Springs Roman Catholic Church Committee in 1925 [124]
Conducted a clearing sale on Edward W. BELL's farm in Winchester at 1 p.m. on Tuesday 28 April 1925 [9: 24-Apr-1925]
Donated two guineas to the recently formed Carnamah Rifle Club in July 1925 [9: 10-Jul-1925]
He had a Chevrolet car or truck registered with the Carnamah District Road Board with licence plate CA-28 in 1925-26 [325]
     In 1926-27 and 1927-28 he still had licence plate CA-28 but it was on a Dodge car or truck [325]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in 1926 [53]
In 1926 was an agent in Three Springs for Elder Smith & Co, Sunshine Implements and Commercial Union Assurance [9: 21-May-1926]
     Through his agency he sold a new Dodge car to the Three Springs Roman Catholic Church in May 1927 [4: 14-May-1927]
     His business in Three Springs was telephone number Three Springs-9 [9: 21-May-1926] [60]
     In mid 1926 his agency business was "increasingly rapidly" and it was said he was opening a branch in Carnamah [9: 30-Jul-1926]
     His business in Three Springs was said to be "the best commission agency business along the Midland line" in 1927 [4: 18-Jun-1927]
Purchased from H. C. OAKLEY the then vacant block at 14 Boojerabba Street in Carnamah (Lot 72 of Victoria Location 1936) [3] [27]
     In April 1927 employed the services of W. PERRY to build a commodious home on the block in Carnamah [4: 23-Apr-1927, 28-May 1927]
     Shifted to Carnamah in mid 1927 and sold his Three Springs agency business to Oswald S. SOWERBY [4: 18-Jun-1928, 28-Jul-1928]
     He retained ownership of Lot 53 Railway Road in Three Springs, which in 1930 was leased to Frank ANDONS [86: 21-Jun-1930]
Auctioneer and Machinery/Commission Agent in Carnamah from June 1927 to June 1936 [9] [P217]
     Resided and conducted business from his house at 14 Boojerabba Street, Carnamah 1927-1930 [P134]
     He may have had two buildings as in 1927 there was reference to his "new business premises and private residence" [9: 29-Jul-1927]
     His business was telephone number Carnamah-26 form 1927 to 1936 [60]
     In 1927 was an agent for Elder Smith & Co, H.V. McKay (Sunshine Machinery) and Commercial Union Insurance [4: 27-Aug-1927]
     He was the agent for Sunshine harvesters from Marchagee to Yandanooka, and in 1927 sold 60 headers [9: 21-Oct-1927]
     By May 1928 was no longer an agent for Elder Smith & Co but had taken up the agency for Dalgety & Co in its place [4: 26-May-1928]
     In 1928 he was an agent for Dodge Bros and Austin cars and trucks, in addition to the same agencies he represented in 1927 [9] [4]
     Sold livestock locally including sheep, horses and cows on behalf of clients [4: 6-Oct-1928]
     Also sunk wells on farms in and near the Carnamah district [P70]
     He had a front room of his house set aside for machinery parts [7: page 144]; and also had boarders stay at their home [P39]
     By November 1928 he had sold at least 24 Sunshine harvesters for the 1928 season [4: 17-Nov-1928]
     Arranged a demonstration of Hart-Parr tractors, which he sold, on DEWAR's farm in Carnamah on 19 February 1929 [4: 16-Feb-1929]
Purchased the vacant block next door, at 12 Boojerabba Street in Carnamah, from Henry F. BASFORD for £85 in 1928 [3] [4: 12-May-1928]
     Had a shop erected at 12 Boojerabba Street in 1929, which he leased to Michael CLUNE for use as a butchers shop [3] [4: 2-Nov-1929]
In 1930 employed the services of builder Mr KENNEDY to construct for him new business and residential premises [4: 19-Jul-1930]
     The plans for his new premises were approved by the Carnamah District Road Board on 20 May 1930 [4: 31-May-1930]
     The new premises, including a house as well as an office/store for his agency business, was at 25 Macpherson Street [P39]
     In June 1930 he secured the required approvals to erect a verandah at his new premises on Macpherson Street [86: [21-Jun-1930]
     He and his family had boarders stay with them at 25 Macpherson Street, on the corner of Macpherson Street & Niven Crescent [P39]
Transformed his previous premises at 14 Boojerabba Street into a hospital and leased them to Dr Cecil P. ROSENTHAL [P39]
Advertised his business in The Midlands Advertiser, The Irwin Index and The Carnamah-Three Springs Times newspapers [4] [5] [9]
     Advertised in the local paper in 1934 that he was an agent for International, McCormick Deering and Big E harvesters [5: 23-Mar-1934]
In the 1930s he was an agent in Carnamah for Dalgety and Co, Hart-Parr tractors,[4: 26-Apr-1930]
     H.V. McKay (Sunshine Machinery), Commercial Union Insurance Co, Dodge Bros cars and Austin cars and trucks [5: 5-Aug-1932]
Advertised his business in the Schedule of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1933 [13]
     "T. J. Berrigan, Auctioneer and Commission Agent, Carnamah. Agent for Dodge Bros and Austin Cars, [13]
     Graham Trucks and "G" Boy Trucks, H. V. McKay, Dalgety & Company Limited - Wool and Wheat Buyers, [13]
     Commercial Union Insurance Co., Ltd., New Australian Hart-Parr Tractor, Australian Lumber Company" [13]
In the Carnamah 1933 Show Schedule there was also an advert for the Australian Lumber Company, for whom he was agent [13]
     "Australian Lumber Company. Timber, Joinery and Hardware Merchants" [13]
     "We supply designs and estimates for house and farm buildings erected on your own property in any district" [13]
     "For good rooms, as above, with verandah all round, erected anywhere within 200 miles of Perth, £335" [13]
     "We carry full stocks of all building materials, including tanks, galvanised iron and paints. 166-170 Rose Street, Perth" [13]
     "Local Agent: T. J. Berrigan, Carnamah" [13]
In August 1933 he reduced his list of agencies by selling the agency for H. V. McKay to Oswald S. SOWERBY [5: 25-Aug-1933]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and general repairers Henry Parkin & Son in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 [53]
Conducted a clearing sale for Daniel P. FARLEY on Dartmouth Farm in Coorow at 1 p.m. on Friday 20 January 1928 [39: 6-Jan-1928]
During May 1928 the Carnamah District Road recommended he be appointed a Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Carnamah [4: 26-May-1928]
On the evening of 19 May 1929 helped extinguish a fire that started in the office of Stan O'GRADY's garage [4: 25-May-1929]
Judge of the dancing competitions at the Carnamah Football Club's Ball held in the Carnamah Hall on 18 May 1929 [4: 25-May-1929]
He was among those who attended the Centenary Ball held at the Carnamah Hall on 26 July 1929 [86: 3-Aug-1929]
     The ball was to celebrate 100 years since the founding of Perth and the establishment of the Swan River Colony [86]
Won first prize for the Best Collection of Garden Flowers at the Carnamah Show on Thursday 19 September 1929 [4: 28-Sep-1929]
Conducted a trade exhibit of his business at the Carnamah Show in Centenary Park on 19 September 1929 [4: 28-Sep-1929]
     Within his exhibit he had on display a six cylinder Dodge Bros car, Hart-Parr tractor and Sunshine stripper harvester [4: 28-Sep-1929]
Member of the Carnamah Catholic Church - hosted functions at their home for the church [P134]
Gave a speech at the Social Evening tendered to Mrs Ida B. SHEARD at his home in Carnamah on 12 October 1929 [4: 19-Oct-1929]
Member for Carnamah on the Board of the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs 1929-1936 [109] [120: 26-Dec-1929]
Came 3rd in the Traders Handicap race at the Sports Day & Picnic at Centenary Park, Carnamah on 9 October 1930 [4: 18-Oct-1930]
Attended the funeral of "Father of Carnamah" Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery on 14 August 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
Made a donation to the Carnamah branch of the Country Women's Association in 1932 to help them purchase premises [5: 29-Jul-1932]
Vice President of the Carnamah Tennis Club in 1932 [5: 21-Oct-1932]
In addition to his properties in Carnamah he was the owner of two shops in Three Springs [4: 18-Oct-1930] [5: 27-Oct-1933]
     Floodwaters in Three Springs in 1932 and 1933 had caused damages to his two shops of approximately £20 and £30 [5]
Attended the Carnamah Roman Catholic Church's Ball held at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday 26 May 1934 [5: 1-Jun-1934]
Won the euchre competition at the Bridge Party held at the Carnamah Hostel on Wednesday 20 June 1934 [5: 22-Jun-1934]
Attended the Repertory Social, of plays, community singing and dancing, held in Carnamah on 15 August 1934 [5: 17-Aug-1934]
Attended the funeral of Mrs Christina B. D. FORRESTER of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 31 August 1934 [4: 8-Sep-1934]
Attended Charlie OLSON's Surprise 70th Birthday at Lou JOHANSEN's farm on Thursday 17 January 1935 [5: 25-Jan-1935]
Vice President of the Carnamah Football Club in 1935 and 1936 [5: 19-Apr-1935, 17-Apr-1936]
Attended the funeral of Miss "May" Mary L. LANG of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 26 November 1935 [5: 29-Nov-1935]
Advertised for sale freehold property, a general storekeeping business and its premises in Perenjori in December 1935 [5: 13-Dec-1935]
Attended the funeral of Carnamah agent William B. SHERIDAN at the Winchester Cemetery on 27 January 1936 [5: 31-Jan-1936]
Advertised in May 1936 that he had a quantity of sleepers for sale in Carnamah and Winchester [5: 29-May-1936]
Attended the Carnamah Repertory Club's Social Evening & Play Presentation at the Carnamah Hall on 17 June 1936 [5: 19-Jun-1936]
Due to their long residence he and his wife were "the most popular and well known couple in the North Midlands" [5: 26-Jun-1936]
In June 1936 sold his Dalgety & Co Ltd agency and business Carnamah to W. George MULLIGAN of Winchester [5: 5 & 19-Jun-1936]
On selling the agency he leased his premises at 25 Macpherson Street, Carnamah to W. George MULLIGAN [3] [5: 5-Jun-1936]
He and his wife were tendered a Farewell Social & Dance at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday evening 20 June 1936 [5]
     The large attendance at their farewell was credited to the esteem in which they were held by the residents of the North Midlands [5]
     The Chairman of the Carnamah District Road Board spoke of the assistance they'd given to everything in the town and district [5]
     Other speakers included long time friend Rev. Father Michael LYNCH and Senator Patrick J. LYNCH, both of Three Springs [5]
     In response he spoke saying he regretted leaving so many friends but was doing so with the object of improving his position [5]
     The evening concluded with the singing of "For They Are Jolly Good Fellows" and "Auld Lang Syne" [5: 19 & 26-Jun-1936]
They were again farewelled at a by some of their friends at a Bridge Evening in Carnamah on Sunday 21 June 1936 [5: 26-Jun-1936]
Along with his wife left Carnamah by car and shifted to Perth on Tuesday evening 30 June 1936 [5: 3-Jul-1936]
     Resided at 262 Lord Street, Perth 1936-1937 and then at 211 Peninsular Road in the Perth suburb of Maylands 1938-1939 [3]
     Resided at 75 Morrison Road in the Perth suburb of Midland Junction from 1939 until his death in 1942 [2] [3]
On leaving Carnamah retained ownership of his premises at 12 Robertson Street, 14 Robertson Street and 25 Macpherson Street [3]
     Continued leasing 14 Robertson Street to Dr Cecil P. ROSENTHAL who used it as the Carnamah Private Hospital [3] [P39]
     In December 1936 hired the services of Alexander R. G. BARR as bailiff to recover rent owed to him by Dr ROSENTHAL [88]
     Following his death his three properties in Carnamah remained for a few years in the "Estate of the Late T. J. BERRIGAN" [3]
     His house and business premises at 25 Macpherson Street were sold from his estate to the R. & I. Bank on 19 October 1945 [3]
     During the 1945-46 financial year his premises at 12 Robertson Street were sold from his estate to Maurice S. B. AUNGER [3]
     The former hospital at 14 Robertson Street was sold from his estate to A. Norman MOSEDALE on 30 November 1946 [3]
He visited Carnamah during the second week of April 1937 [5: 16-Apr-1937]
In June 1937 called for tenders for the lease or purchase of his shops and buildings at Lot 53 Railway Road, Three Springs [5: 25-Jun-1937]
Father of May, Lilian, Clara, Eileen, Thomas and Patrick [P134]
Died 25 November 1942; buried at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Roman Catholic, MC, 260) [2]

From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 26 May 1928:
Mr. Berrigan's Agency
"Some sidelights on the agency business were recently shown our representative on the occasion of a recent visit to Carnamah, by Mr. T. Berrigan. It may be generally imagined that all an agent has to do is to just get round and collect orders and receive a fat cheque by way of commission, but it appears there is a whole lot more in the business. Mr. Berrigan has a large showroom in which two harvesting machines are usually kept, together with a very large assortment of spare parts. His stock of Sunshine parts alone represents a cash value of about £600. In the busy summer season this figure is often as high as £1000 so apparently an agent has to hand over a considerable amount of cash before he can proceed with the collection of commissions. The parts came in barrels, boxes and other packages, some of them being of considerable weight. Among the agencies carried by Mr. Berrigan are Dalgety & Co., H. V. McKay & Co., Commercial Union Insurance Co., Dodge Bros and Austin cars and trucks."

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 27 November 1942:
Obituary - Late Mr. Thomas Berrigan
"The death occurred suddenly at his home at Midland Junction on Wednesday of Mr. Thomas Joseph Berrigan. The deceased gentleman spent many years in business at Carnamah and Three Springs and during that period he established many close and lasting friendships in the North Midlands. About six years or so ago, Mr. Berrigan disposed of his business interests at Carnamah and with his family, went to reside in the city. He still, however, was interested in various properties at Carnamah and Three Springs, and recently visited both these centres on business. He then appeared to be so hail and hearty that the news of his untimely demise came as a shock to all who had known him. The late Mr. Berrigan was aged 69 years. Every sympathy is felt for his bereaved widow and family: May (Mrs. F. Byrne), Lillian (Mrs. R. Harris), Clara (Mrs. A. Brown), Eileen, Tom and Pat."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Thomas Joseph Berrigan' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 May 2024 from [reference list]

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