Born 4 May 1868 in Toodyay, Western Australia [P40]
Daughter of Michael BROWNRIGG and Winifred WARD 
Prior to getting married she had worked as a School Teacher in Moonyoonooka near Geraldton [P2]
Married Charles Frederick THOMAS on 31 August 1892 in Geraldton [P40]
Resided in Geraldton until shifting with her husband and children to prospective farmland in Three Springs in 1906 [120: 26-Dec-1929]
Resided on Kadathinni Farm in Three Springs 1906-1946 [P40]
She and her husband hosted a social at the schoolroom in Three Springs on Saturday evening 30 July 1910 [9: 12-Aug-1910]
Their social, which consisted of supper followed songs and musical items, was attended by a large circle of their friends 
Donated the prize for the student of the Three Springs State School who made the best progress in 1913 [9: 19-Dec-1913]
Played the piano overture "Boomerang" at the opening of the Concert & Dance held in Three Springs on 6 June 1914 [10: 12-Jun-1914]
Her first grandchild and son of her daughter Winifred, Walter K. BOOTH, was born in 1918, however was a delicate baby [P40]
She cared for and raised her grandson Walter who lived with her her and her husband on Kadathinni in Three Springs [P40]
Attended the wedding of Robert A. CALDOW and May I. BYRNE at the Three Springs Hall on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
She and her husband spent three months on a touring holiday of the Eastern States of Australia in 1923 [9: 4-May-1923]
Taught English to Boris J. PASKOS, an immigrant from Greece who worked as a farmhand for her husband [P2]
Member of the Three Springs Roman Catholic Church Committee in 1925 
Donated a sheep and milk for the Refreshment Stall at the Picnic Race Meeting in Three Springs on Saint Patrick's Day in 1925 
Also donated a china tea set to be raffled, the proceeds of which went towards the Three Springs Roman Catholic Church 
Successfully exhibited in the Poultry section of the Three Springs Agricultural Society's First Annual Show in 1928 [4: 29-Sep-1928]
Won 1st prizes for male and female Rhode Island Reds, male and female White Leghorns, Muscovy Drake, and for Duck 
Foundation Member of the Three Springs branch of the Country Women's Association in 1929 
Exhibited in the Poultry and Confectionary sections of the Three Springs Agricultural Society's Second Annual Show in 1929 
Won 1st prizes for male and female Rhode Island Reds and male and female White Leghorns in the Poultry section [4: 5-Oct-1929]
Also won 1st prize for a male Brown Leghorn and 2nd for a female Leghorn; in Confectionary won 2nd prize for Cream Puffs 
She, Charlie and their daughter Nora were among those from Three Springs who attended the 1929 Perth Royal Show [4: 19-Oct-1929]
Received 2nd prize for Sponge Sandwich at the Carnamah Show at Centenary Park, Carnamah on 18 September 1930 [4: 27-Sep-1930]
Won 2nd prizes for male and female Rhode Island Reds and for Roses at the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1932 [5: 30-Sep-1932]
Attended the Grand Ball following the Three Spring Agricultural Show on 22 September 1932 in a gown of black satin [5: 7-Oct-1932]
Attended the R.S.L. Ball held at the Three Springs Hall on Friday 1 September 1933 in a dress of blue satin [5: 8-Sep-1933]
Attended the Carnamah Football Club's Monster Ball in Carnamah on 2 September 1933 in a dress of black georgette [5: 8-Sep-1933]
Received 2nd prize for Farmers Lunch in the Confectionary section of the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1933 [5: 29-Sep-1933]
Attended the Show Ball after the Three Springs Agricultural Show on 21 September 1933 in a dress of black georgette [5: 29-Sep-1933]
Donated a cushion to be raffled at the North Midlands District Hospital Ball at the Three Springs Hall on 22 April 1935 [5: 26-Apr-1935]
Returned to Three Springs improved in health on Saturday 30 May 1936 after spending a vacation in Perth [5: 5-Jun-1936]
Sold a baconer for £3/5/6 and a chopper for £2 through Elder Smith & Co Ltd at the Midland Market in November 1936 [5: 6-Nov-1936]
In July 1937 sold through Elders six baconers at £2/12/6 per head, one baconer for £1/18/6 and one porker for £1/17/6 [5: 9-Jul-1937]
Resided in Three Springs until her death in 1946 
Mother of Winifred Mary, Letitia Catherine, Charles Frederick Jnr, Alma Elizabeth, Nora Mary, Amy Dolores and Irene Agnes [P40]
Died 2 June 1946 in Three Springs WA; buried Three Springs General Cemetery (Roman Catholic, Plot 34) 
From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 15 June 1946:
Obituary - Late Mrs. C. F. Thomas - Death at Three Springs
"On the morning of the 2nd inst., the death occurred at Three Springs of one of the first settlers of that district in the person of Mrs. Winifred Mary Thomas, relict of the late Mr. C. F. Thomas of Three Springs. The deceased lady was seventy-five years of age, and during her residence of forty years at Three Springs she watched the district and many of its residents grow from infancy. Born as Winifred Mary Brownrigg at Toodyay in 1871, she was of Irish parentage and the youngest of four daughters. At that time her father was employed as an engineer in the flour mill at Toodyay, but a short time afterwards he transferred with his family to a similar position at Clinch's Mill at Greenough, the journey from Fremantle to Geraldton being made by sea. The late Mrs. Thomas lived with her family until she reached the age of sixteen years, at which time her father died. She then accepted employment, first as a cashier at Kenny's Store in Geraldton and later as a school teacher. She followed the latter vocation at the Convent School in Geraldton and later at the Moonyoonooka State School, and whilst at Moonyoonooka she won high praise from the educational authorities for her teaching ability. It was also whilst at Moonyoonooka that she became a great friend of the late Archdeacon Louch, then a minister at Geraldton, and who later honoured her by being present at her wedding in the Catholic Church.
In 1891 the deceased lady was married to Mr. Charles Frederick Thomas, who was following farming pursuits at Moonyoonooka, and the altar before which she was married is now located in the chapel of Nazareth House at Geraldton. About this time there were reports of gold discoveries at Cue, and her husband joined in the rush, driving his own team of ten horses and transporting the first load of diggers to this portion of the Murchison. On a later trip to Cue the late Mrs. Thomas made the journey in a sulky, driving behind her husband's wagon--accompanied by her first child. With the gold rush over they returned to Moonyoonooka and early in 1906 the late Mr. Thomas moved to Three Springs as one of the first farmers in that district. A few months later his wife followed with her six children and their tutor, the late Mrs. Thomas being the second woman to settle at Three Springs.
Close to the railway line and about one mile from the siding they established a home, and in a separate cottage the education of the children was continued. By the middle of 1906 a tiny patch of fifteen acres had been cleared, and to this spot the deceased lady one day took her children in order that they would witness the turning of the first furrow in the district. At that time there were many people who were extremely doubtful about wheat ever being grown at Three Springs, but she felt that history was being made and time has certainly justified her faith in the possibilities of the district. For many years the prevailing conditions were hard for the pioneering settlers and more especially for a woman with a large family; but despite all these hardships, never did the deceased lady every forsake her gardening or her reading, her religion or her hospitality. Gardening was her favourite hobby, and with more leisure time in the latter years she kept a beautiful garden, growing flowers, shrubs and vegetable.
In the early days of Three Springs most of the settlers lived alone, and to them the home of the late Mrs Thomas was always open. Frequently they visited this home for a talk and a meal, and also to the sound of a woman’s voice or the laugh of a child, for with seven children the home was always lively. Her hospitality, however, extended far beyond her neighbours, and many a traveller passed on with a lighter heart and a heavier pack. Nor was the deceased lady’s home confined to her own creed, colour or nationality, for to all who called she readily gave a helping hand. At times she was referred to as the “Mother of Three Springs”, and particularly in the earlier years was this compliment most applicable.
In the later years, with the development of the district and the advent of better conveniences, living conditions became somewhat easier and the late Mrs Thomas was able to devote more time and thought to her hobbies. For many years past, and particularly since the death of her husband in 1944, she was attended by her youngest daughter, who continued to live at the old homestead after her marriage. During more recent years the deceased lady was occasionally subject to an illness, but her demise came somewhat suddenly, for it was within a brief period of two days that death intervened in her last illness, all of her surviving children being at her bedside during her last hours, The late Mrs Thomas is survived by five daughter and one son, twenty seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In the presence of a large gathering of relatives and friends, the funeral took place in the Catholic portion of the Three Springs Cemetery with the Very Rev. Father B. Gallagher officiating at the graveside. The pall-bearers were Messrs. W. J. Turner, C. E. Maley, M. M. Wilson, J. J. Thorpe, H. Nairn and E. Hunt, and the casket was borne to the graveside by Messrs J. B. Clune, B. G. Antonio, H. R. Carter and C. Dodd. An exceptionally large number of floral tributes was laid upon the grave, included in the collection being those from the following:- Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Thomas (son and daughter in-law); Winnie, Lettie, Alma, Nora and Irene (daughters); Marie, Rufie, Pauline, Frances, Julie, Anthony and David Thomas (grandchildren); Bill and Betty Hunt (grandchildren); Wally and Edie (Mr. and Mrs. W. Booth jun.); C. F. Coffey and E. Burge; chairman, members and secretary of Three Springs Road Board; Country Women's Association; M. and Mrs. Lionel Brimson; Mr. and Mrs. Saggers and Rita; Mr. and Mrs. H. Nairn; Durack Bros.; Mr. and Mrs. B. Antonio; Mr. and Mrs. Keith Ball; Mrs. Dodd and Charlie; Dr. and Mrs. M. A. Mayrhofer and family; Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Jordan, Bill and Lynette: Doris Bynder; Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clune and family; Mr. And Mrs. Sleaford; Mrs. E. Turner and family and Miss Carroll; Mr. and Mrs. E. W Franklin and family; Mr. and Mrs. Gooch and family; Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Bickford and family; Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Rojo and Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Franklin; Mr. and Mrs Hebiton and family; Mrs. Duffy, Ted and Biddy; Mr. Jim Thomas; Mrs. S. J. Howard, Sue, Nada and Bill; Mr. And Mrs. Alf Hunter; Mrs. Carter, sen. and Mr. and Mrs. Bert Carter and family; Mrs. Berrigan and Mr. and Mrs. A. Brown and Pattie; Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Maley; Mona and Betty Barrett; Mr. A. Saunders and Joy; Mrs. I. E. Byrne and family."
|Reference: Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Winifred Brownrigg / Thomas' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 5 December 2023 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/winifred-brownrigg [reference list]|
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